This is a link to a recent happening in Toronto, Canada. An employee of a government owned utility company was fired either because a) he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and behaved in an idiotic fashion or b) he showed blatant disregard for a fellow human being and his behaviour was in direct violation of his company’s code of ethics. You decide after reading the article or my summary below!

For those who don’t want to read the entire article, the story went something like this: at a sporting event a female reporter was heckled by some hooligans using the ever more popular phrase: FHRITP. If you’re curious, please google it as I’m not sure the actual words are appropriate for this site! (Admin note:  I’ll spare you the effort…it means “F**k her right in the p**sy”. )   Following this, the offenders began laughing and eventually left. The agitated reporter began interviewing bystanders asking whether they thought it was appropriate and one of said bystanders was the man who was fired. He may have been drunk and he told her he thought it was hilarious and that he was laughing. She kept asking him questions including: “What would your mother say to this?”. The answer was something to the effect that she would also laugh and find it hilarious. At the end of the segment, he added that she was lucky there wasn’t a vibrator on the scene (referring to an old incident in which a male British reporter had a erm…blue vibrator pressed to his ear).

There’s no question that the phrase is derogatory and only funny to idiots but I’m curious about what everyone thinks of the firing. On the one hand, the man in question is a complete jerk but the fact remains that he didn’t start the whole thing, was off the clock and gave his opinion only when asked for it. I will reserve my opinion for the comments in an effort to keep this piece as unbiased as possible! 0513-15

 

The phrase came about last year when TV reporter John Cain was reporting on the case of a missing 20 year old woman and he thought his mic was not live.  Unfortunately for him he was not only caught on camera but live news broadcast saying that he would “f**k her right in the pussy”, referring to the missing young woman.   He was promptly fired from his job.   Subsequently an anonymous man named “Fred”, having seen the John Cain video clip, interrupted a live news report by a female reporter by jumping in front of her, grabbing the microphone from her hands and saying “FHRITP”.   It has since gone viral and the phrase now used to disrupt live news reporting which was what occurred in the Canada to form the basis of this submission .

I don’t see anything remotely humorous about this whatsoever.   John Cain deserved to be fired for what appears to be a grotesque reference to a missing young woman who may have been been assaulted or dead. It is a grave indecency to the woman and her family and shows an almost pathological disdain for the feelings of others in a time of crisis.   And a burning question I had after watching the John Cain comment was, “What kind of man thinks of sex with a woman who has become newsworthy because she has gone missing?”  I mean, shouldn’t there be other more important, pressing issues on the mind than sex?

And “Fred”should be outed by someone so that news media and police have him on their radar during future live news casts.   Because what Fred has started is a viral campaign against female reporters thus creating a hostile workplace for them. potentially limiting their exposure on the news, and demeaned their work by ruining the shot.   He thinks it’s all a big joke and apparently fired Shawn Simoes thought so, too.

Dear Mr. Simoes,  Just because someone asks your opinion does not mean you are obligated to actually give it.  Etiquette certainly provides us with a number of suitable ways to demur from answering questions that would be imprudent to respond to.   But respond you did and by doing so, you made a choice to validate behavior that any reasonable, civil person views as reprehensible and threatening.   There is no doubt as to where you stand on the issue and I do believe there should be consequences for the choices one makes because I would not want to interact with you as a representative of your previous employer knowing that you have such a profound disdain for women and a poor moral compass  in regards to what is considered humorous.

Stupid man, you had the opportunity right in your hand to become a viral hero to tens of thousands of women internationally. If only you had responded like this, “I think the phrase is disrespectful to women and indecent.   I’m sorry you were the recipient of that verbal insult, Ms. Hunt.”   But in a crowd of like-minded men, you went along with the pack mentality lest your man card get revoked and you became the unemployed poster child of insensitive, disrespectful, cretinous men worldwide.

 And this isn’t entirely about freedom of speech or the consequences of speech but more so about the disappearance of common decency and respect in the public arena.   Why would anyone think a sexually charged phrase is an acceptable joke?   Where is the sense of decency that restrains behavior and not bring shame upon oneself?  This is another of those “jokes” where if you do not play along with the viral “joke’, you are viewed as a spoil sport so the tables have been turned where the target of the “joke” is under greater social and peer pressure to tolerate indecency than those using the phrase.

 

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Fired Bridesmaid, Fired Up Drama

by admin on May 20, 2015

I’ve written and rewritten this letter several times over the past week, as the situation just keeps getting worse! However, now I really do need all the help and advice that I can get. My very best friend – practically my sister – “Ann” is getting married one week from today in City B, where her family, fiance, and the groomsmen live. She has…well, now I have to say that she HAD four bridesmaids. Now she has two: myself and the maid of honor, “Autumn”. Autumn lives in City C, about 12 hours’ drive away from both City B and City A, where Ann, myself, and the two now-ex-bridesmaids “Elizabeth” and “Danielle” live.

Danielle, Ann, and I spent most of the last year as roommates and we thought that it would be good for us. However, Danielle would be difficult for anyone to live with (demands attention, expects others to clean up her messes, leaves notes around the house about not being respected, etc.) and in particular feels very left out because of how close Ann and I are. While we used to get along very well, she has invested so much effort into a) trying to push Ann and me away from each other and b) trying to get Ann to be “her” friend instead that it has ruined the mutual friendship we used to share. Our lease extends through July, but a month ago I decided that the best thing for my sanity was to pay her my rent in advance and find my own place, swallowing the extra cost of living. I have not regretted this at all; however, Danielle’s behavior has only escalated since I moved out. After six months of Danielle complaining that I was “stealing her best friend”/”making her  life miserable” and regularly threatening to drop out of the wedding when Ann wouldn’t do things her way, Ann decided at the beginning of this week that enough was enough. On her request, Autumn (acting in her role as MOH) let Danielle know that due to her behavior, Ann would welcome her at the ceremony as a friend, but no longer wanted her to be involved in the wedding party.

Danielle responded by making a post on social media that she felt betrayed and that Ann was now her EX-best friend, and she didn’t know how Ann expected to have a wedding because she was sure that Elizabeth and her(D’s) boyfriend who is a groomsman were going to drop out as well after seeing how she was being treated. She did this not on Facebook, but on a site that is totally public, and she used everyone’s real names. I was just amazed! This was before she actually called Ann and Elizabeth to tell them how she felt. To top it off, now Elizabeth has decided that due to all the drama flying around, she no longer wants to be in the wedding and may not attend at all as it’s a 6 hour drive one-way from City A to City B. Danielle’s boyfriend has been the best of friends with Ann and her fiance for many years before they introduced the couple just six months ago, but he has let us know that he may or may not pull out of the wedding, too. All this with less than seven days to go.

Danielle is a 27 yo woman and I don’t understand how any grown person can make everything so thoroughly about herself. Ann is considering cancelling the wedding now because she never wanted this kind of stress, planned a ceremony under duress to begin with, and is quickly becoming miserable at the thought of standing up at the altar at all. How does etiquette say Autumn and I should handle this situation? It’s hard on her since she’s so far out of town. We have been doing what we can to encourage Ann to go forward and quietly inform people who know us that contrary to what Danielle says, Ann is not doing this out of a desire to hurt her. I don’t know what we can do if Danielle does come to the ceremony and makes a scene, beyond asking one of the groomsmen to handle it (they are already serving as “bouncers” in case an abusive ex decides to crash the ceremony.) Please, please advise – so far, our use of the Polite Spine seems to be only making matters worse. 0516-15

There is more to this story than we are privileged to know.   Long time friends do not drop out of a wedding a week before out of solidarity to a fired bridesmaid friend.    I’ve never seen it happen in 30 years.

And I would disagree that Ann, the bride, has a polite spine.    What jumped out at me reading this submission is the statement that Ann requested the Maid of Honor, Autumn, to inform Danielle that she had been dismissed as a bridal party attendant.   Anyone who has read this site for years or my books knows I firmly believe that conversation must happen in person with the news coming either from the bride or groom.    Ann involved a third party to do a task most people would find to be awkward and uncomfortable.  Being the bearer of bad news to a fellow bridal party attendant has never been within the sphere of responsibility bridesmaids have.    What should have been a drama solely between Ann and Danielle, and possibly you, has now been extended to Autumn needlessly.    Regardless of your attempts to assure people that Ann is not intent on hurting Danielle, nonetheless Ann failing to have that conversation with Danielle herself was disrespectful to Danielle. I just imagine the rants Danielle made on social media about that.

And yes, I know Danielle was being a butt head and probably deserved to be “let go” as a bridesmaid, but irrespective of what other people do, we must always strive to do the right thing in the situation so our conscience is clean or for no other reason than to stifle the potential drama.   Ann should have informed Danielle herself that it would be better if she were a guest at the wedding instead of a bridesmaid.   Autumn should have politely declined to do Ann’s dirty work.  I can see why Elizabeth is now hesitating to be involved because the drama levels are rising.

So Ann is considering cancelling the wedding because of the actions of a few people?   Nothing dramatic about that (sarcasm off).  Should Ann carry through with her threat, her actions will now involve her fiance who appears to be out of the picture so far. He should be negatively impacted because Danielle has a tantrum on social media and one of his groomsmen has taken sides with the fired bridesmaid?  What of Ann and fiance’s families/parents?   How many bought wedding gifts or made travel plans to attend the wedding?   Ann’s circle of people drawn into the drama could keep expanding.

What should you do?  I suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself and let Ann, her fiance, and family decide what to do.   Extract yourself from the drama.   Do not be Ann’s spokesman for news or information Ann has a responsibility to own and disseminate herself.

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I have a story that I was reminded of while going through your lovely archives!

In high school, some of my friends and I sat at a table with “Deanne”. None of us were that close with her, but she had lunch at that hour and eventually decided I was her close friend. I didn’t feel the same way, but was polite and friendly to her because high school is a rough place when you don’t have many friends, and it wasn’t as though I was mega popular myself!

Deanne met a male friend of mine, “Jason”, one day when he came and talked with me at lunch. Jason had a sweet and lovely girlfriend with whom I was also friends. Deanne, however, ignored this fact and decided she would openly and rather bluntly flirt with Jason at every opportunity, including in a class they shared together in the second semester. He would tell me various things Deanne would do and say, including glare at his girlfriend or make snide comments about her, touch his arm or chest, etc. Typical high school drama. I started trying to distance myself from Deanne, since I don’t like to be friends with people who don’t respect relationships.

Her birthday rolled around and, since she was a twin, she and her sister were having a shared party. Deanne, for her portion of invitees, invited two people that I knew of – me, and Jason. Not Jason’s girlfriend, which in itself was a bit inappropriate. I politely declined her invitation – which I am not proud of – by saying I had a family event. Again, I didn’t wish for her to keep thinking we were such close friends when in fact I disliked her, and the thought of watching her flirt with Jason all night while also being surrounded by strangers was not an appealing thought.

Jason, however, could not turn her down so easily. Deanne told us about the party early on, and kept at him all the way leading up to the party. The kicker and focal point of our tale came about a week before.

In class one day, he handed me a piece of paper Deanne had given him. On it in her handwriting was listed several items, such as “earrings”, “necklace with green stones (emerald)”, and “perfume”. Things a guy would usually buy for a sweetheart. At the bottom she had written, “Please circle the thing you would like to buy me and then give me back this paper”.

Firstly, Deanne had invited Jason but not his girlfriend, after making it very clear that she was interested in him. Secondly, she “suggested” gifts that, to me, seem inappropriate for an acquaintance of the opposite sex. Thirdly and most horrendously in my mind, she had expected him to buy her one of these gifts and inform her beforehand which gift she was going to receive. After that, I spoke to Deanne as little as possible, and Jason rarely ever came to talk to me at lunch since she would be around.

In case you were wondering, Jason told Deanne that he had lost the paper and gave her some leftover Halloween candy as a present. 0515-15

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Feel Good Friday- Message To Space

by admin on May 15, 2015

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Chopstick Chaos

by admin on May 13, 2015

This event occurred years ago but has stuck out in my mind and I wondered if I should have done something.

Maybe 4 years ago (I was 17 or so), I had a tradition in that my friend Ann and I would go out for food once every two weeks, usually Vietnamese because it was so cheap.
Because we would go right after school, we would often be alone at our favorite restaurant because we would be eating in the lull before dinner.

The day that the event occurred, we had been waiting for our food when a mom and her two children came in. I am very terrible about guessing children’s ages but maybe 7 or so?  Anyways, they were really disruptive. It wasn’t so bad in terms of noise because we were the only other customers in the restaurant but they were running around, and just generally getting in the way of the staff who had received some sort of shipment. The worst though was that they began to throw things. Like most Vietnamese restaurants, there were containers of chopsticks on the table so you could just grab a pair. The two kids began grabbing handfuls and playing with them. They also began to throw handfuls of chopsticks on the floor, including the ones they had been splashing their soup with (their food had arrived and they had been given forks and spoons),  with the mom doing nothing while watching them.

One of the ladies who works at the restaurant came over, picked up all the chopsticks and began to clean the floor. Another one quietly removed the box of chopsticks from the table.  When the kids asked why the mom was angry (she had become huffy at the removal of the chopsticks), the mom replied the the restaurant was discriminating against her because she had kids and that she wouldn’t be coming back.

My friend and I looked at each other astonished. We didn’t say anything at the time as we were seventeen, but we did specifically thank our server (the same woman) loudly, complimenting her, and left a big tip.  Should we have said something? 0415-15

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The Competitive Thank You Note

by admin on May 12, 2015

I have an Etiquette Hell story regarding Thank You cards, but not the typical story about never receiving one.

About one or two weeks after we brought our baby home from the hospital, my husband’s dad and step-mom visited us and gave us a gift from one of their friends in the community who we had never met. This was not abnormal. We actually received quite a few baby gifts from their friends we had never met before. My in-laws are very involved in their community, especially with the school, and I guess the couple that gave us the gift were higher-ups in the school. It was a toy for 2+ so I stored the gift and did not immediately write up a Thank You note as I was caring for a my first baby and it wasn’t top on the priority list!

Maybe a week later, I received a text from my step-mother-in-law saying, “Did you ever send a thank you note to Mr and Mrs Smith?” I responded “Not yet, I’ve been busy.” She proceeded to tell me, “Make sure you do it pretty soon.” Now, please note this was not 3 months after I received the gift, it was no more than one week. She then told me that she had just attended this couple’s daughter’s baby shower and, “I received a thank you note from her 3 days after the shower!” Wow! This was exceptionally rude in my eyes because when my step-MIL had thrown me a baby shower, I promptly got 20-30 thank you notes out within the week. And, all the while my daughter was in the NICU and had been for some time! And here we are, after just bringing baby home, and she is ragging on me for not sending a thank you note out to this couple within a week, and then bragging that THEIR daughter sent her a thank you note within 3 days of her baby shower!

I think the worst part of the whole ordeal was that it was all about image to step-MIL. If her daughter-in-law didn’t send out a thank you promptly, it would (in her eyes) reflect badly on HER, especially since this couple were “higher-ups” in the school/community. That probably hurt the most. No matter that my daughter had just had a 2 month stint in the NICU and I had JUST brought her home, no no… It had to be about her and how she appeared to other people! 0511-15

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Feel Good Mother’s Day

May 8, 2015

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Missy, Missy, Oh My!

May 7, 2015

My youngest son is graduating high school this year and wants to invite all the family. The invitations have been sent except for one, my brother “Steve”. My son would like to invite his Steve, his wife “Missy” and cousin “Madison” (Madison is Steve’s daughter from his first marriage). The reason for the hesitation is […]

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