Posts from the “Communication Protocols” Category

Language Blockade

Posted on December 6, 2013

I’ve always wished to communicate fluently in a language other than  my native English.  Like many, I know a smattering of words in Spanish, Japanese, French, German and Swahili.  I am confident that my rest room needs will be accommodated, my greetings conveyed and common curse words could be muttered under by breath in Mexico, Japan, France, Germany and Kenya.  I am also  confident that my worldly vocabulary will forever be limited to these few words.  I continue to lean on my belief that with friendly enthusiasm and genuine interest, anything can be conveyed – it will just take a little longer. In college, I briefly dated a young man who was of Puerto Rican descent.  Understand that his attendance was legendary as his…

Words for the Broken: Part One

Posted on October 20, 2013

With a heavy heart, I am re-posting Words for the Broken.  This morning, a young friend of our family lost their youngest, three-year-old daughter.  It was sudden and unexpected.  As my heart breaks in their sorrow and grief, I ask that you read the simple advice below.  I also ask that you lift your heart in prayer for this young family and for those in your life who are facing their own personal struggles. I’m convinced that death and divorce bring out the worst in people.  Some folks behave as though the event is contagious and fade out of the lives of those left behind.  Others simply shed their facade and display their true colors.  I guess you could say this is redundant. I’ve…

Hey you, Bartender!

Posted on June 5, 2013

It’s a widely known fact that I’ve been blessed with an abundance of unreserved expressions and social comforts.  I’ve naively believed that everyone contains the same characteristics but in only slightly differing measure.  My measure however; happens to be greater than most.  While this characteristic comes in handy in most social situations, there are a few that require less spontaneous and reserved (dignified) engagements.  Gaining a bartender’s attention is one such occasion. A recent Girl’s Night Out provides a glimpse into today’s illustration of a common social foible and some offense advice.  Having just dined on a delectable meal of Greek food, we ladies adjourned to the bar area of the restaurant for a refreshing libation.  After spending 20 minutes patiently waiting for table…

A Priest and a Rabbi Walk into a Bar: The Unscrupulous Joke

Posted on March 13, 2013

Most of us have one.  We have one member of the family, friend or acquaintance circle who is best described as “colorful”.  I am no exception.  Last Thanksgiving was especially meaningful.  For the first time in 25 years my entire extended family joined together for merriment, food and fellowship.  The youngest tot to the oldest patriarch united together under one roof for a day of loving chaos.  As the day progressed and the wine flowed, my “colorful” sibling became increasingly colorful.  Never one to restrain his gaiety (or his filters), I found we were about to enter forbidden and uncomfortable territories. Good taste does not have to squelch good humor.  Unfortunately, there are some folks whose joke telling stipulates that all those within earshot…

Usernames: Not Just Another Moniker

Posted on February 16, 2013

You will never get the chance to regain a first impression.  This is a universal rule and can be applied to every situation worldwide including the virtual variety.  Usernames convey identity.  Your username is your brand, your stamp, your label.  It is a reflection of YOU.  The following list  illustrates just a sampling of the usernames I’ve encountered over the past 60 days. ↓ MissTittsTrick Hardboy69 Jkfg((y*948qup$S#@n09sfnwbp HairyLeftToenailed SoullessBitch Herpes_free_since_03 InJail_Outsoon ↓ As you examine each username above, close your eyes and call upon your own visual slide show to summon the image each one conveys.  I believe I’ve made my point. K. Martini

“What have you done to yourself?” Comments to live by.

Posted on January 12, 2013

While statistics vary only slightly, it is reported that approximately 75% of us color our hair.  In the 1950’s the figure hovered around 7%.  Thankfully, the progression of science has allowed us the freedom to become more attractive while avoiding the chemical hair-fry and unintentional color disasters of the past. I am not only thankful for the progression of science but am thankful that I was born with fabulous hair.  The good Lord blessed me with light, honey colored locks;  shiny, bouncy, thick and straight.  I am not boasting.  The good Lord also gave me legs with a 26 1/2″ inseam and a rack so large the girls can only be lifted with $150.00 bras.  One day I will understand His logic.  And His…

Another Annual Tradition: The Holiday Letter

Posted on December 1, 2012

“Dear [INSERT NAME], It’s hard to believe that another year has passed!  You just can’t imagene the many blesings our family has experienced in 2012.  Bob was promoted in July to the position of CEO.  After the many long and tireless hours he’s committed to the compnay over the past 38 years, we are enjoying a more liveable wage of $650,000 per year.  I just don’t know how we managed to get by on the pittance of just half that all these years.  Now we will be able to afford the procedure to get rid of his little “wart” problem! Buffy just graduated Magna Cum Laude of her class at Yale.  She missed Suma Cum Laude by .2% and attributes the oversight not to…

It’s (mostly) a pleasure to meet you: Introductions

Posted on September 29, 2012

I recently resigned from a company that I had been a part of for 15 years.  I was offered a position with another company that was just too good to pass up.  Being the new kid on the block comes with its perks and disadvantages.  The perks feel like Christmas morning and I’m the bright, shiny new present under the tree.  Everyone is welcoming and helpful as I navigate my way through the new organization.  The disadvantages come with the fact that I’m navigating my way through the organization and have not yet successfully memorized the organizational chart (aka: I don’t know anyone). As luck would have it, my new department scheduled a social 1 1/2 weeks after my first day.  A nice little…

The Art of the Air Kiss

Posted on September 1, 2012

I know what images are dancing around in your head.  Young Hollywood starlets, “Want-to-be-Famous-for-Nothings”, The Red Carpet.  While the rise of American celebrity continues to plague us with ridiculous demonstrations of artificial behaviors, it is the air kiss that holds genuine promise for sincerity if executed properly. Although it might be assumed that this cultural phenomenon originated in Hollywood, its inception actually dates back more than a century ago from countries far, far away.  It is hard to pinpoint the exact location but it’s safe to claim that air kissing was not invented by the Housewives of Orange County.  These gals may only take claim to re-imaging the air kiss into a disingenuous and hollow greeting. Let’s begin our lesson with the Five W’s:…

Indispensible Words – time for a re-run

Posted on August 18, 2012

It is time for a refresher.   If my recent experiences are any indication of the evolution of civility, then I’m forced to start near the beginning with a repeater.  Please read and forward the following message… Indispensable is a five syllable word that nicely compliments today’s posting; The Five Most Important Words in the civilized world.  Actually, I’ve been blessed to travel all over the world and know these words have power everywhere; even among the non-civilized.  What are they you ask?  Since it’s been awhile since we attended Kindergarten, I will provide a little refresher. Thank-you Please I’m Sorry Excuse Me You’re Welcome Expressing appreciation is the trademark of civility.  We either throw “thank-you” around willy-nilly or neglect to say it at all. …

Colors of Rude

Posted on July 14, 2012

As I see it, rude behavior comes in a rainbow of colors.  Each color signifies a degree and intent. ♣ BLUE: Unintentional Basically, these types of folk offenders just don’t know any better.  While they may not have grown up in a barn, they were either not taught otherwise or missed the lesson.  These types of offenses are easily forgiven.  Example:  Your mother-in-law audibly slurps her Earl Grey tea and uses her dinner fork to scratch her back at the dinner table.  These offenses are not meant to hurt and are not directed to you. ♣ ORANGE: Disguised or Unconscious Orange faux pas’ could be divided into two camps but the degrees are the same.  Generally, these are illustrated by people who are oblivious…

The Dropped Call

Posted on July 5, 2012

“Can you hear me now?” “Hello, Hello?” “Darn it I hate this phone!” This is the traditional litany of the dropped cell phone call.  Neither partner ended the call voluntarily.  You still have the juicy bits of the conversation to convey.  You look contemptuously at your phone and momentarily wonder if he/she is going to call you back or if you should re-engage the call.  Hmmmmm. Rule:  Whoever initiated the call is the person who should make the call-back. ♥ Easy Peasy K. Martini

The Handshake: It’s a Pleasure to Meet You

Posted on June 24, 2012

Somehow, there is an irony in the fact that you can gauge a personality by a handshake.  I believe that a handshake is a barometer of confidence.  There are as many variations as people.  Limp and loose, exact and firm, clammy and oppressive, combative and intrusive.  I’ve yet to shake the hand of a successful woman whose grip is woefully limp and damp.  I’ve not shaken the hand of a leader whose effective grip was curtailed by a weak sense of self-worth.  This is not to say that an effective handshake signals a healthy ego.  Sometimes, we just have to fake it. Whether a social or business environment, a proper handshake will commence an impression.  Let’s kick-off our imprint in a positive light! Step…

Instant Messaging – Not instant gratification

Posted on June 3, 2012

Last week I performed the professional faux pas of faux pas’s.  Let me expound… I work for a large, global firm but have the luxury of working “remotely” (code word for home office).  My work days are spent on the phone in conference calls and on the computer conducting all matters of business.  My days are long and it is not uncommon for me to feel guilt about having to leave my desk for a restroom break.  I’m still working on the work/life balancing act but I digress. Last week while on a conference call with a fellow colleague and a customer, I did it.  I committed a whopper of a pecadillo that is still leaving a flush on my face.  I unwittingly sent…

“Duh” is not a word

Posted on May 28, 2012

Our culture embraces intelligence and beauty.  It is a hard fact of the world we live in.  We “fit” into specific social circles or we don’t.  You might say that you don’t care but that would be a lie.  We all want to be admired and respected.  The formula for good social form at any level is an easy one; love and respect yourself. Demonstrate it by dressing and speaking as though you do.  People make instant judgements based on these elements.  If you dress like a slob, you will be viewed as such.  If you speak idiotically, you will be viewed as such.  I am not saying you need to become someone you are not. I am saying that you need to be…

Cheerful Stupid

Posted on May 15, 2012

A few years ago, my daughter was describing a situation she caught herself in unwillingly. She was involved in a friendly conversation at work with several of her fellow nurses.  It was friendly only on the surface as one of her colleagues clearly had an axe to grind with another nurse.  As the axe wielding colleague gave way to temptation and verbally assaulted the other, the rest of the group was left with their mouths agape and an uncertainty on what to do.  The nurse receiving the tongue lashing politely handled the situation with noble composure and professionalism.  No rescue or interference was required.  It also would have been professionally unwise.  The rest of the group stood there with an expression my daughter aptly…

The Invitation: Sans Child

Posted on May 9, 2012

This posting will be painful for some of you, but necessary.  Please try to remember that what does not kill you just might make you stronger.  At least, it will enlighten you.  Ignorance might be bliss but it isn’t if you step on the toes of another person. You’ve received an invitation. You’ve studied it for hours.  The invitation does not list your child by name nor does it mention that children are invited.  The invitation may be in written form or verbal; it does not matter.  The rules apply for each scenario.  What do you do?  In the midst of your bewilderment you will recall these words:  THEY ARE NOT INVITED.  You are now plotting… You are considering bringing your bundle of joy,…

Airport C.O.P. – Phone Call Faux Pas #2

Posted on May 6, 2012

I’m self-appointing myself a C.O.P. (Cellphone Opposition Policewomen).  I don’t have a badge yet but this is the mental picture I have of myself.  I recently returned from a business trip where the business took five hours and the time spent in the airport, 14 hours.  There is nothing glamorous about business travel.  What awaits the weary business traveler is bad food, long lines, security checkpoints, erect nap times and personal space invasions.  I can muddle through all of these with a minimum amount of whining.  What I cannot seem to overcome however, is my hypersensitivity to cell phone usage in the airport.  This cannot be overstated. I personally chose to carry a regular cell phone.  It is not a smartphone.  It does not…

Phone Call Faux Pas #1

Posted on April 25, 2012

Phone Call Faux Pas;  Say that six times after a glass of Pinot and a 12 hour  work day.  Today’s posting will be short and to the point.  No need to beat around the bushes here.  While engaged in an active call, please use the following as your guide.   Avoid or Do Not… Eat Chew Gum Talk to Someone Else Cough, Sneeze or Blow your Schnoz Multi-Task* Make Unnecessary Noises Hang up in Anger or Frustration While one could assume that these need no further explanation, I’m going to expound anyway. Eating while on the phone is rude and crude. Stop it. Listening to someone chew gum on the other end of the receiver may not bother you but it irks me to death. …


Posted on April 10, 2012

faux pas [foh pah] noun, plural faux pas  [foh pahz; Fr. foh pah] a slip or blunder in etiquette, manners, or conduct; an embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion.   There are as many words for a social blunder as social blunders. My personal favorite (aside from Faux Pas) is peccadillo; a very minor or slight sin or offense; a trifling fault.  The word is just flat-out fun to say. Years of silently and sometimes not so silently witnessing social errors lead me to purge through blogging.  I can’t possibly be alone in my frustrations!  Misery loves company… Not only are there a zillion words for etiquette, there are a zillion more possible subjects just waiting for juicy comment. BUT… comments are not enough. As…