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Newport Manners & Etiquette: How To Ask For A Raise & Money Owed & Therapy Ethics

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


The etiquette of seeing two therapists, how to politely ask for money owed and asking for a raise, and helping a shy friend with social skills were all questions to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners.

How to ask for a well-deserved raise

Q. How do I go about asking for a pay raise without ticking off my employer? Talking about money makes me intensely uncomfortable. Growing up talking about money was a conversational mind field worse than talking about sex, politics or religion. We would rather talk about the weather. Now I have a family of my own and I need to be paid what my time is worth. How do I bring up the subject with my boss?  Polly, Boston


A.  A recent British study sited in Linda Babcock's new book, WOMEN DON'T ASK, reports that 56% of male graduates negotiated their starting salary, compared with 7% of women. From the start women probably earn approximately $5,000 less than their male colleagues who do the exact same job.

Don't let a lack of transparency about salaries continue the ongoing gap between what men and women earn. Practice talking about money. We should take a tip from the Chinese who say that "a conversation without talking about money is like eating rice without salt." Become more comfortable about making money part of your everyday banter.

When you know you should be making more money, here are tips to consider when going for a raise.

  • Decide on the best time.
  • Make an appointment to assure your employer's full attention.
  • Dress for the position you eventually hope to obtain.
  • Know your number and prepare to justify it.
  • Don't get personal, your finances are not relevant to the discussion.
  • Put together and pin down the facts that show how you have benefitted the company.
  • Be prepared to offer ideas for alternative benefits that are performance-based.
  • Thank your boss for discussing your salary with you.
  • Ask for your year-end performance review.
  • Don't take it as an insult if you are shot down.


It goes without saying that you should prepare by making sure that you fully understand the power of persuasion and the pitch process. Illustrate how you've built rapport, adapted your style, uncovered a client's need. Anything that will demonstrate to your boss that you know how to prepare and deliver a sales pitch.


The etiquette of having two different therapists

Q. As a white-shoe lawyer, I've gone from never having been to a therapist to recently taking on two very different therapists and I'm wondering if this is proper etiquette? Neither knows about the other. Originally I had three referrals. Didn't like the first one and very much liked the second and third ones equally. I can't decide which I prefer. So I go once a week to both and discuss the same issues. One therapist is straight and intellectual. The other is a gay man like myself and consequently we have similar lifestyles. I feel that these two are a good balance. I would never play one against the other or divulge to one what the other said in response to a question or issue. Do I have a moral obligation to tell the two men about the other?  Name Withheld


A. Wouldn't you benefit doubly if you gave therapist one permission to contact therapist two? Shouldn't the two therapists be communicating information that they've gathered to assure the best treatment in working toward your well-being? The therapist you tell first about the other will feel morally responsible and tell you that the confidentiality exception needs to exist for him to talk to the second therapist. Why not bring the question you posed to me up to each of them before giving both each other's name and contact information.


Shy about making small talk or polite conversation

Q. My ward who lives with my family, and who comes from Tibet, is excruciatingly shy. When we take this sweet 25-year-old to social events she hides behind husband or me. She's attractive, but her social skills are so awkwardly timid that she doesn't have any friends. I should add that my husband and I are professors and our Tibetan guest is very-well educated. She came to us through the college where I teach. How do we assist this graduate student in making polite conversation?  RW, Charleston, NC


A.  Social skills (often called soft skills) are learned early on and reflect the culture from where she lived as a youth. Because she sounds very smart, sit her down and have a grown up discussion with her. "We've notice you're tentative in public when we take you out and we thought we should talk about ways to make it easier for you to feel more comfortable at social events. Would you be interested to hear what we have to say?"

  • Ahead of time have an opening gambit. A tidbit of information you read about or saw on the news whether it be the riots in St. Louis or the latest freaky fact on climate change.
  • After you've been introduced to someone don't wait for an awkward silence. Ask questions. Where are you from? What do you do? How do you know the host? How are you connected to the event?
  • Never be afraid of sounding boring.
  • Eye contact and a friendly smile go a long way in encouraging the other person to speak up.
  • Once a conversation gets going give the other person a turn to talk: take turns listening and talking.
  • During a one on one conversation, do not look over the other person's shoulder because that signals that you're bored with what the person is saying.
  • It is better to escape than stay in a boring conversation, by saying, that you're going off to get something to dink (or eat) and ask if they would like to come. If they tag along, introduce them so someone else. Or simply say, "I'm going off to talk to someone I had hoped would be here."


You want to be sure she knows how to introduce herself, and that she knows to introduce herself by her first and last name. If she has a nick name, she can keep the conversation going by saying, "But everyone calls me Nicki." If need be, role play some of these scenarios with her.

  • It's polite to always introduce yourself even if there is one person who knows you in a group. 
  • It's always good manners to stand when someone comes into the room for the first time. She wouldn't do so at home with you, but if you take her with you out for dinner, she would stand when an older person came on the scene and introduce herself if someone hasn't already done so.
  • All introductions should be made while standing. It would be rude to shake hands with someone if she was seated at the time. Of course the exception would be if the person was elderly or disabled.
  • It is correct to stand when someone leaves the room and says good night. 
  • A host in particular should always stand to greet guests, so when you entertain at home she would participate in the hosting by standing when each new person arrived, and presumably introducing herself, if she didn't know them.
  • Making an entrance: Avoid turning your back on anyone in the room, so you would close the door behind you while remaining face-on and moving forwards into the room.
  • Exiting a room: Try to exit through the door so that the last impression people have of you is NOT your rump.
  • Seated, for instance, at a table she would talk to her neighbor on her right and left for equal amounts of time, but she would never fully turni her back to either of them. The cue to turn to talk to the other person would be with the change of courses.


Discussing these social graces with your Tibetan guest should help her feel less self-conscious about whether she is doing the right or the wrong thing. You would be giving her a pattern to follow.

Being reliable, punctual, and considerate about acknowledging the presence of others are keys to social success, as our verbal greetings and introductions, and standing up when someone enters the room.


Asking to be paid for a summer job

Q.  My college student daughter babysat for a family this summer and never really got paid. There were many perks that included afternoons at their swell beach club, meals in expensive restaurants, and there was always adequate money given to her to take the two children shopping for clothing, toys and ice-cream, snacks and meals, as well as for tickets to the movies or amusement parks. And when she returned the change at the end of her shift, the father said to keep it, but the change never covered the cost per hour nor the use of her car to chauffeur the children around. The family live in a mansion and servants were in evidence, but they never actually paid her! How should she go about asking them to pay her for her time?  EL, Bridgehampton, NY


A.  Have your daughter type out a bill and send it to them. It may be that both parents thought the other had paid her. Since it doesn't sound as though your daughter was on a salary, she'll have to go back over her calendar and figure out how many hours a day she spent taking care of the two children. Then she'll have to decide what to charge, which could be anywhere from $12 to $18 an hour. It could list the cost per week:  July 3-7, 25 hours, July 10-16, 37 hours. Plus tack on the cost of a tank of gas for every four weeks. Mail the bill to the parents with a sweet note saying something to the effect that she is submitting her hours for taking care of John and Mary from the start date ______ through the last day ______. Make sure she says, Please send me a check for $ ____ made out to ________ and send it to the following address _________________.

It may well be that an accountant pays the bills. Your daughter was probably given spending money out of the household petty cash. Have your daughter submit her bill as soon as possible, so that the memory of her helpfulness is fresh. The stingiest people are often the richest.

Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her forthcoming book.


Related Slideshow: 20 Can’t Miss Fall Festivals in New England - 2017

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September 9 & 10

RI Seafood Festival at India Point Park

Providence, RI 

The Rhode Island Seafood Festival is an annual event, which started in 2011, that brings together the best local sellers of seafood and other fine fare as well as beer, wine and spirits from Ocean State producers.

The festival includes live music, great food and much more. 

The festival will go from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

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September 10

3rd Annual Ocean State Beer Festival 

South Kingstown, RI 

The third annual Ocean State Beer Festival will take place at Whalers Brewing Company in South Kingstown. 

The festival will feature beer from breweries around Rhode Island. 

The festival is hosted by the Rhode Island Brewer’s Guild. 

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September 12

Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

Boston, MA

The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival is an event to look forward too and it will be held on September 12 from 12- 4 p.m. on two streets next to Fenway Park.

Tickets are $40 in advance and online and will go up to $50 at the event.

The ticket includes sampling 100 of Phantom's foods from hot dogs and pizza to pulled pork and more. Beer and wine will be served on the street.

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September 15-17

Wormtown Music Festival at Camp Keewanee

Greenfield, MA

A three-day long concert featuring bands such as The Alchemystics (pictured), a community bonfire, craft vendors and more.

Kids 15 and under are FREE to the event. 

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September 15-17

Misquamicut Fall Festival

Misquamicut Beach, RI 

The 2017 Misquamicut Fall Festival features live music from John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band and other local bands. 

The festival will also feature a car show, crafts, food truck rodeo and much more. 

Parking is free. 

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September 15 - October 1

The Big E 

West Springfield, MA

The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts features a circus spectacular, Mardi Gras parade, agricultural competitions, arts & crafts, food contests, live music, and midway. 

Sample food and enjoy rides, games, horse shows, historical exhibits and more. 

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September 15 -16

2017 Fitchburg Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

Fitchburg, MA 

The 2017 Festival begins at on Friday, September 15 from 5 p.m.to 10 p.m. and continues on Saturday, September 16 from 11 am. to 10 p.m.

The festival will feature an outdoor bar area, a menu including Mezedes, Greek BBQ, and pastries, vendors, music, and dance. 

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September 23

Ocean State Oyster Festival at Riverwalk Park

Providence, RI

The Ocean State Oyster Festival hopes to raise awareness and celebrate RI’s aquaculture industry. 

The festival will take place on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Providence. 

The festival will feature fine local food, beer, wine, and refreshments, local bands & DJs, activities for kids, culinary exhibitors, educational exhibits, a shucking contest. 

Purchasing a general admission ticket gets you a half dozen oysters and an ice cold craft beer of your choice.

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September 23 & 24

KidsFest 2017 at Wachusett Mountain

Wachusett Mountain, MA 

The festival runs from 10 a.m. on the 23rd to 5 p.m. on the 24th.

It will include entertainment such as a BMX Bike Show, Rainforest Reptile Shows Inc., and a Baby Animal Petting Zoo.

There will also be sample skiing and a USA Ninja Warrior Challenge Course. 

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September 29 -30

Harpoon Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery 

Boston, MA

Octoberfest will feature beer, bratwursts, chicken dancing, and more as Harpoon celebrates 28 years of Octoberfest. 

Entrance to the festival is $25 and includes a souvenir pint glass and your first beer. 

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September 30

Burke Mountain Fall Foliage Festival

Burke, Vermont

The Burke Mountain Fall Foliage Festival is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Vermont.

Events at the festival include a parade which begins at 10 a.m., a farm animal petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, a beer and wine tent open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and live music by Tritium Well from 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

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October 5 - November 5

Roger Williams Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular 

Providence, RI

This annual event, created by artists and craftsmen of Passion for Pumpkins, and features 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns, with over 125 of them artistically carved and displayed in scenes to play out the annual theme. 

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October 6-8

Freeport Fall Festival 

Freeport, Maine

The festival will feature more than 130 artists showing off their work ranging from photography oil, watercolor, mixed media and much more.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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October 7

International Oktoberfest at Bold Point Park 

East Providence, RI 

International Oktoberfest will take place over Columbus Day weekend at Bold Point Park. 

The festival will include seasonal beer, German cuisine, and live music. 

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October 7-8

Annual Fall Festival Weekend - Sunday River

Newry, Maine 

The annual Fall Festival Weekend welcomes the start of a new season with live music every day, a crafts fair and some friendly competition. 

That competition includes the 17th Annual North American Wife Carrying Competition where teams will compete and winners will receive the wife's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.


PHOTO: Sunday River

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October 7-9

Columbus Day Festival on Federal Hill

Providence, RI 

The annual Columbus Day Festival on Federal Hill is ready to take place once again featuring three days of Italian music, food and entertainment. 

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October 14

8th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration at Patriots Place 

Foxboro, MA 

The day is filled with fall activities for all ages including hayrides, pumpkin painting, live music, and more. 

The celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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October 14

9th Annual New Hampshire Brewfest at Redhook Ale Brewery 

Portsmouth, NH

The New Hampshire Brewfest will feature more than 150 beers from over 50 brewers. 

Admission includes entry to the session specified on your ticket, 5oz souvenir sampling cup, beer samples, and live music and festivities

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October 20-29

2017 Vermont International Film Festival 

Burlington, Vermont

The 2016 Vermont International Film Festival is set to take place from October 20 to October 29. 

The festival will feature films from all over the world. 

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October 22

King Richards Faire 

Carver, Massachusetts

Dive into history at King Richard's Faire, New England's oldest and largest Renaissance Festival and most beloved annual fall event. Dress up, play games and learn a lot at a fair that is a great fall event for the entire family.

The Fair started on September 2 through October 22


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