Category Archives: Holiday Etiquette

Holiday Business Etiquette Q & A

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1It’s holiday time again, and as always, there are the usual confusing situations that present themselves. We spend a significant amount of this hectic time worrying about the details. I have gathered a number of the most frequently asked questions that I receive during the holidays from friends, family, clients and media. Prepare to find your issue (s) in the following holiday business etiquette Q & A.

Q: I spend enough time with my colleagues and boss at work. Do I really have to go to the office holiday party?

A: That is an unequivocal “yes.”. Attendance is mandatory. Don’t even consider not going unless you have a justifiable conflict. Show up, even if the thought of spending your precious off hours with co-workers and colleagues is less than appealing. The office party is part of your job. Its purpose is to bring together co-workers for a bit of camaraderie. If this is not your idea of a great time, then just consider it work, put on your best attitude and go.

Q: Is this a good time to ask the boss for a raise?

A: That is an unequivocal “no.”  Speak to your boss when you arrive and when you leave making sure that your manners and your presence are noted. This, however, is not the time to talk about business.

Q: Business-related gift-giving is so confusing. I never know what to give and to whom.

A:  It is not always easy to come up with the perfect present while following holiday business etiquette. Here are some tips:

—Follow corporate guidelines. Some companies have strict policies about what kinds of gifts, if any, their employees may receive. If you have any doubt, ask your clients or check with their personnel department.

—Consider your client’s interests. Perhaps your client has a favorite food or beverage. If you can’t determine this on your own, contact an assistant or associate.

—Be appropriate. Sometimes a gift can be taken the wrong way. Avoid anything that is even slightly intimate when giving to members of the opposite sex. A bottle of wine or liquor won’t be appreciated by a teetotaler or a country ham by a vegetarian. Also, keep in mind that what seems funny to one person could be insulting to another.

Q: What if I want to give special gifts to just a few close colleagues in my office and not others?

A:  Give your gift at a time and place away from the office and your other co-workers.

Q: Do I have to give the boss a gift?

A: My answer to that is another unequivocal no. The boss, whose salary no doubt exceeds yours, should give gifts to his or her staff, but not the other way around. Often members of a department will contribute to a pool for the boss’s gift. As a result, the boss ends up with the most elaborate or expensive gift of all.

Q: Should I send holiday greeting cards to business contacts?

A: Yes, and for four obvious reasons:
1. To enhance your current business relationships
2. To attract new customers
3. To remind previous clients that you exist
4. To show appreciation to those who are faithful supporters of you and your business

Q: Is it OK to send business contacts an electronic card?

A: It is not inappropriate to send e-cards, but they are not as effective as those sent by old-fashioned snail mail. The recipient will click on the URL, download the e-card, read it, smile and in all probability delete it. Consider, too,  that your electronic card may never make it through the client’s spam filter

For more in-depth information about holiday business etiquette, order a copy of  my e-book Business Etiquette for the Holidays – Building Relationships Amid the Perils of the Season.

Happy Holidays!

Lydia

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com

Seven Holiday Tips for the Polished Professional

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1The holidays present opportunities and challenges. These seven holiday tips for the polished professional will guide you through the season.

1.  Holiday Greeting Cards When you send out greeting cards, sign each one personally and write a short note. .  Even if you have preprinted information on the card, your handwritten signature and a personal message will add warmth to your greeting.

2.  Sending E-cards In today’s high-tech world, the question about sending your holiday greetings by email always comes up. It is not rude to send e-cards, but they are not as effective as those sent by old-fashioned snail mail. Your cute and clever electronic message with singing Santas and dancing trees is a fleeting greeting. The recipient will click on the URL, download the card, read it, smile and, in all probability, delete it.

3.  The Office Party Attendance is mandatory. Don’t even consider NOT going unless you have a justifiable conflict. Show up even if the thought of spending your precious off hours with co-workers and colleagues is less than appealing. The office party is part of your job so put on your best professional attitude and go.

4.  Minding Your Table Manners During the holiday season there will be the usual round of business/social events including cocktail receptions, luncheons and dinners. Now might be a good time to brush up on your dining etiquette. Whether you are eating in a restaurant, the corporate dining hall or in someone’s home (like the boss’s), your table manners will be an indication of your professionalism and your polish. It really does matter which fork you use, how you eat your bread and where you put your napkin.

5.  Business Entertaining Over Meals The holidays are a good time to invite your clients and customers out for a meal. Because this is a festive occasion, it is not a time when you want to dwell on business. It is more of a time to work on building relationships. Entertaining your client over a meal requires that you have good conversational skills, confidence in social settings and first-rate table manners.

6.  Corporate Gift-Giving Follow the corporate guidelines. Some companies have strict policies about what kinds of gifts, if any, their employees may receive. If you have any doubt, ask your clients or check with their personnel department. Be creative. Look for items that are distinctive and different.  Make your gift stand out just as you want your company to stand out.

7.  Exchanging gifts with colleagues and co-workers Inner office gift-giving can often cause problems and confusion although it is well-intended. Everyone in the office or department should be in agreement as to how this will be done. Will each person be expected to have a gift for everyone else? Will there be a drawing for names so that only one gift needs to be purchased? Will a price range identified? In difficult financial times, consideration should be given to each individual’s circumstances. No one should be made to feel embarrassed if it is not the best time to enter the office pool.

Photo from Savannah magazine

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

The Holiday Tipping Point

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The holidays mean parties, shopping, cooking, decorating, greeting cards and gift-giving. They also mean tipping. And of course, I am not just speaking of the day to day tipping that goes on. I am referring to holiday tipping—the practice of giving an extra amount of money or a special gift to those who provide various services to you throughout the year. Those people might be your newspaper carrier, hairdresser or barber, housekeeper, pet sitter and the list goes. It is challenging to figure out whom to tip and how much.

Holiday tipping is a way of showing appreciation to those people who make your life easier and more pleasant. Start with a list of people you would like to feel your gratitude. Then follow these guidelines for mastering the art of tipping during the holidays.

* Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
* Consider your own budget in determining the amount.
* Present a monetary tip in a card or a small gift with the cash inside.
* Give it personally whenever possible.
* Do it within the week of the holiday or shortly before.
* Offer it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much. The following suggestions should help eliminate some of the confusion as well as the stress of holiday tipping.

* Housekeeper – an amoount equal to the cost of a visit
* Gardner – $20-$50
* USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small $15-20 gift
* Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
* Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – small gift from your child
* Baby sitter – one night’s pay plus small gift from your child
* Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay depending on length of employment
* Dog groomer – the cost of a session
* Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay
* Nail technician- $15 – $20
* Massage therapist – $15- $20
* Hairdresser – the cost of a visit

The list goes on. If you live in an apartment building, there are legions of people to reward. If you belong to a private club, unless a single amount is collected to be distributed to all, there are servers, receptionists and activities personnel to be considered. Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

When we think of tipping, we usually think of cash. However, if this is a difficult time and you can’t afford to give cash to all these people, make or bake a holiday gift. In some cases a simple handwritten note of thanks is sufficient. When times are better, you can be more generous.

The most important thing is to let these people know valuable their service and their relationship are to you.

Happy holiday tipping!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Holiday Etiquette – So Many Questions

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iStock_000014394928XSmallThe holidays should be a joyful time, but with so much to do, both personally and professionally, ‘tis often the season to be stressed out. There are any number of  questions that might be drifting through your mind right now. Can you skip the office gala? Should you buy the boss a gift? How do you address the envelope to couples using different last names? Who pays for the business meal? Do you need to tip your pet sitter? The list goes on and on.

I can’t cover all the issues in one brief newsletter. For that you might want to check out my e-book on Business Etiquette for the Holidays. For now let me share a handful of helpful tips:

1)    The holiday office party is a mandatory event; not one that you can skip even if you don’t want to spend another minute with people from your office.

2)    Dress appropriately for the office party. This is not the time to wear your slinkiest and most revealing dress.

3)    Limit how much alcohol you drink at the party. Remember that wine, beer and other spirits tend to loosen the tongue.

4)    Decide ahead of time how you will handle gift-giving within the office. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount of money each is expected to spend on a gift or gifts.

5)    If you invite a client or co-worker to be your guest for a holiday meal, you pay the bill.

6)    Thank you notes for holiday gifts are as obligatory as the office party. They need to be handwritten to be effective.

7)    Sending your clients e-cards is a waste of your time and effort although they don’t require much of either. Your client may or may not open your email; and if they do, they will read and then hit “delete.” A paper greeting will live on and be remembered much longer.

8)    Make sure to personally sign your printed holiday cards. Otherwise they will come across as impersonal as an e-card.

9)    When you are invited to dinner at someone’s home, take a small gift to your host. If you choose to take wine, make sure your host drinks. Flowers are appreciated, but only if they arrive in a vase that does not have to be returned. Don’t expect your host to drop everything and hunt for the proper vessel for your flowers.

10) When it comes to toasting at a holiday event, never raise a glass or drink to yourself if you are the recipient of the toast. Return the kindness and toast the person who toasted you.

Bonus tip: Smile during the holidays. It is a happy time to be enjoyed by all.

13-0811 Lydia Ramsey eBook Cover smallFor the detailed version of holiday etiquette, remember that my e-book is available to you in The Manners Store on my website and on Amazon in the Kindle Store. It’s the least expensive gift you can give yourself or someone else whom you would like to see succeed in business. The cost is $2.99, and shipping is free.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

The Etiquette Rules for Corporate Gifts

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Chapter 4Choosing a gift for your colleagues and clients during the holiday season can be a challenging task. It is not easy to come up with the perfect present while following business protocol for corporate gifts.  Whether you head for the mall, haul out those holiday catalogs or go online, the following tips should guide you to a gift that will be appropriate, appreciated and remembered for all the right reasons.

Follow the corporate guidelines.  Some companies have strict policies about what kinds of gifts their employees may receive.  If you have any doubt, ask your clients or check with their Human Resources department.

Consider your client’s interests.  Find out what sports, hobbies or pastimes your clients enjoy.  If you can’t determine this on your own, contact an assistant or associate. Make your gift stand out just as you want your company to stand out.

Consider the cost.  An inexpensive gift can make you look cheap. .A lavish one could be embarrassing or alienating. Giving or receiving expensive items may be against company policy. Do your homework. What could be more embarrassing than to have your corporate gift returned or refused?

Rethink putting the company logo on your gift.  Make sure the item meets a certain quality standard and that your logo is understated enough so as not to look like a blatant advertisement.

Be appropriate.  Sometimes a gift given in innocence can be taken the wrong way, Avoid anything that is even slightly intimate when giving to members of the opposite sex.

Think twice about a humorous gift.  What seems funny to one person could be insulting to another.  Know your client’s sense of humor first.

Consider a charitable donation. Find out what charities your client supports and choose one of those.  Everyone wins. A charity is served, and no one has another unwanted gift to deal with.

Presentation is important.  Have your gift wrapped and presented in a festive way.  The packaging is part of the present.

Be generous with group gifts. If you decide to send food to your client’s office, make sure there is enough for everybody.  The holiday season is not the time to cause a food fight.

Keep the goal in mind.  The purpose of gift giving is to show appreciation and have people think of you when it’s time to do business.  It’s also a means of expressing gratitude to those who support you.

May all your clients be impressed with your gift,

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

The Etiquette for Holiday Flying

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FlyingHoliday season is here, and many of us will be traveling. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, take plenty of patience and tolerance with you, especially if you will be flying. The behavior of the flying public seems to have fallen to a new low. Having flown across the US last week on four different flights, I can testify first hand to the rude, inconsiderate actions of others.

Living in Savannah as I do, I can rarely, if ever, get a direct flight anywhere. There is always the plane change in Atlanta. It was on my last flight from Atlanta to Savannah, having started out in Phoenix, that I witnessed the astonishing behavior of a fellow passenger. I got lucky on that flight and was upgraded to first class. Must have been the late hour since the flights from Atlanta to Savannah and Hilton Head are always filled to capacity.

When I reached my seat and stopped to toss my handbag across to my window seat before heaving my carry-on into the overhead bin, I glanced back to see the woman behind me glaring at me. That was the first sign of a bumpy ride. I was moving as fast as I could and wanted to tell her that, but managed to keep those feelings to myself and give her an undeserved smile. After all, I am an etiquette expert and don’t want to put my reputation on the line.

The next problem occurred as I tried to squeeze into my seat. Remember, I am in first class where there is supposedly more room between rows. However the man in the row ahead of me on the aisle had pushed his seat all the way back so I couldn’t get in gracefully or fast enough to please the woman behind me. When I asked him to pull his seat upright so I could maneuver my way across, he gave me a harsh glare. He must have been related to the cranky woman behind me.

The man in front of me was extremely large. I don’t know, of course, if he paid full fare or not, but clearly he thought that he was somehow entitled to all the space around him. Before we took off, in fact as soon as we started to pull away from the gate, he pushed his seat all the way back again, much to the chagrin of the nice gentleman seated next to me. The inconsiderate man kept his seat back during take-off, flight and landing. Not only did this cause comfort issues for those of us behind him, but it also posed safety issues. For some reason, the flight attendant did not notice or didn’t care.

Happily, the flight was otherwise uneventful. Perhaps I should have called the actions of this passenger to the attention of the flight attendant, but for whatever reason. I chose not to.

You can’t do anything about the way other people behave, but you do have control over your actions. When you are flying this holiday season, be patient, be tolerant, be helpful, and be polite. And be observant of the rules regarding your safety and that of your fellow passengers. Try to observe the etiquette for holiday flying.

May your holiday travels be safe and pleasant (I hope I am not asking too much),

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Is Your Business Etiquette Ready for the Holidays?

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Everywhere you turn this week and last13-0811-Lydia-Ramsey-eBook-Cover-230x300[1], somebody somewhere is reminding you that summer is over. Fall is here, no matter what the temperature is where you are, and it is time to focus on work. There is no more serious vacation time until the holiday season arrives. And, folks, it will be here before you know it. Therefore my advice for you is to prepare now.

That may sound a bit far-fetched, but trust me, there are certain things you need to be doing. I haven’t seen any holiday decorations up yet, but I am willing to bet one of you has–and I don’t mean those icicle lights that some people put up five years ago and haven’t bothered to take down.

Is your business etiquette ready for the holidays? What do you need to do now to prepare for the season?

Step 1: Order that special holiday greeting card for your business this month. You will want to have the name of your company and your name printed on it. You will want to make sure that the quality of your card speaks to the quality of your business and the value of your customer. And keep in mind that the polished professional always signs each card personally—even those with the name printed on them.

Step 2: Review and update your address list. Make corrections for people who have moved on or changed their name or address. Add the names of your new clients.

Step 3: If you can get the envelopes before the cards come in (not possible if you have your return address printed on them), start to address them. Better yet, assign that task to someone else, preferably someone with an attractive handwriting. You are not going to use those computer-generated labels that are so impersonal.

Step 4: Decide on an appropriate gift that you want to give your special clients and order now. If you have any doubt about your company’s policy on gifts or your clients’ policy, this is the time to check that out.

Step 5: If you will be planning a holiday party for your employees or perhaps your clients, you might want to select the venue now before some other business professional beats you to your ideal location.

If you take care of these five steps now, you will be amazed how much less stress you will feel when the holidays hit.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

How Do You Show Customer Appreciation?

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We Like youJust the other day I had two extremely different experiences with customer appreciation. One was good; the other not so. As a business etiquette expert, I may be unusually mindful of how business people treat their customers and clients. I love good examples of customer service. I much prefer to experience, to write or to speak about the positive than I do the negative.

Not to give away too many details or to name names, I will only reveal that the one business I was dealing with has a long history with the community and with me as a customer. The other is fairly new to the area as am I as their customer.

The former (long history) refused to budge on a minimal charge that I questioned, possibly the only one in 45 years. The other refused to take my money for a simple purchase and a quick repair—the kind where you wait only minutes—on a small appliance. Their response when I tried to pay was, “Oh no, you’re a good customer. We are happy to help you.” Good customer? I have purchased one or two items with a few accessories from them in the three years. Will I return to the latter? You bet. Will I go back to the former? Not if I can help it.

So how do you show customer appreciation? Do you waive small charges or do you haggle over them? Do you tell your customers how much you appreciate their business or do you take them for granted? Do you exceed your customers’ expectations to let them know they are valuable?

People want to feel they are appreciated. With rare exceptions, they cannot read the business owners’ minds. They can only tell whether they are valued by your words and actions.

A lesson in how to show customer appreciation came during one of my earliest jobs with the legendary Rich’s of Atlanta. Richard Rich’s mantra was “The customer is always right.” We never argued with a customer no matter what the issue, how absurd, how implausible or how unbelievable. It was always handled with a “Yes, Ma’am (Southern manners) or a “Yes, Sir.”

Today’s lessons learned:

  1. Tell your customers how much you appreciate their business.
  2. Show your customers by your actions that your words are sincere.
  3. Keep in mind that the customer keeps you in business.
  4. Consider what the customer’s business is worth to you.
  5. Make sure all your employees are on board with you.

Business etiquette is the cornerstone of profit and success. It is grounded in courtesy, kindness and respect for others.

I would love to know how you show customer appreciation.

Here’s to your success and profitability!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Holiday Etiquette Reminders

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If Santa is making his list and checking it twice, I thought it might be a good idea to do the same.  The list I have in mind is about holiday etiquette reminders.  I’ll keep it brief and  to the point since I suspect that you, like me, are short on time trying to get everything done.  In the rush of the season, you don’t want to have an etiquette relapse.This is the perfect to time to impress your clients, colleagues, family and friends with your polish and good manners.

Holiday Cards: Did you get them out on time?  Did you personally sign each one and hand write the address on the envelope?

The Office Party: Did you go? Did you remember to dress conservatively/ Did you make an effort to circulate and speak to everyone there?

Dining Etiquette: Did you wait for your host to begin eating before you did? Did you keep your napkin in your lap until the meal was over? Did you avoid talking about business?

Business entertaining: When you took your client out to dinner, did you make sure that the server knew to bring you the check when the meal was over? Did you give your guest the seat with the view?

Corporate gifts: Did you check to be sure your client could accept a gift?  Did you come up with something more creative than a mug with your company logo?

Thank you notes: Did you write your thank you notes by hand or are you planning to as soon as you can after the holidays?

Did you remember to tip all those who ave provided service to you throughout the year?

There is still one week until Christmas so you have a few more days to impress.

This will be my last newsletter to you until after Christmas Day. I somehow assume that Christmas morning you will not run to your computer first thing to check your email.  Look for my newsletter on Wednesday.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Holiday Tipping – Who and How Much

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Do you sometimes feel tipsy during the holidays?   Most of us do, and not from all the holiday parties—it’s from all the holiday tipping.  This is another seasonal tradition that seems to have taken on new life. Tipping those people who serve us in a regular basis throughout the year has become customary during the holidays.  While it is not necessary to tip everyone who provides service to you, it is important to show appreciation for those people who make your life easier on a regular basis.

Here are a few tips on tipping during the holiday season:      

  • Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
  • Consider your own budget in determining the amount.
  • Present your monetary tip in a card or a small gift box..
  • Give it personally whenever possible.
  • Do it within the week of the holiday or shortly before.
  • Offer it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much.  The following general guidelines should help eliminate some of the confusion as well as the stress of holiday tipping.

  • Housekeeper – one week’s pay for someone you employ personally
  • Gardner – $20-$50
  • USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small $15-20 gift
  • Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
  • Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – an inexpensive gift from your child
  • Baby sitter – one night’s pay plus small gift from your child
  • Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay depending on length of employment plus small gift from your child
  • Dog groomer – one half the cost of a session
  • Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay
  • Nail technician- cost of one session
  • Massage therapist – cost of one session
  • Hairdresser – cost of one session
  • Personal trainer – cost of one session

Note: If you regularly tip any of these service providers, you can reduce the amount of your holiday tip.

Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

If you still have questions about tipping or other etiquette issues at this time of year, send them to me or consider purchasing a copy of my eBook, Business Etiquette For The Holidays. It is available as a download from my website or The Kindle Store on Amazon.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.