Flexing That Polite Spine Muscle

by admin on November 24, 2015

Just wanted to give a quick thanks to everyone at Etiquette Hell for giving me the knowledge of a polite spine… and the courage to use it.

I work at a gas station, and one of the last things I do before closing shop for the night is turn off the lights and pumps themselves for the fueling island. The breaker for these is located in a back room, which you cannot see the pumps themselves from.

Recently while closing up shop and going about my normal duties, I had a confrontation with a man who decided that he didn’t have to abide by store hours to get gas. At some point between when I left the front counter and when I turned off the gas pumps, he pulled into our parking lot and attempted to start pumping gas… and became notably outraged that the pump had been shut off. While I was getting ready to leave, I heard knocking on our front door and went to investigate.

This man demanded that I stop inconveniencing him and turn the fuel pumps back on. I told him that wouldn’t be possible, as once the system is shut off for the night, it takes several minutes to get started again. He tried to claim that I should have checked if anyone was fueling before shutting the pumps off, to which I said that was not possible.

Then he set me up for the perfect polite spine opportunity.

“But I’m on fumes!”

I smiled as sweetly as I could manage and shook my head. “Sorry, sir, but lack of planning on your part is not an emergency on mine. I cannot restart the system once it has been shut down for the night.”

Had he stuck around I would have given him directions to a different gas station not too far away, but that statement made him storm back to his car and leave. Funny, being “on fumes” didn’t stop him from gunning his engine and screeching his tires out of our parking lot.

Since I work closing and not opening, I don’t know how long the system actually takes to start up after being shut down. What I do know is that he obviously had to use a credit card at the pump to get it on in the first place, and our pumps have a safety feature that prevents a credit card from being used outside more than once per day. So, even if I had turned the system back on for him, he wouldn’t have been able to use his credit card to pump gas. And the other thing I know is exactly what I said–his poor planning isn’t my emergency.    1122-15


Update on Guatemala Libraries Project

by admin on November 23, 2015

A few weeks I alerted Ehell blog readers of the opportunity to directly impact a rural Guatemalan school and community by donating books.   With an extremely high illiteracy rate and few Spanish language reading materials,  the Agua Viva Libraries Project Amazon Wish List was created to facilitate donations to establish libraries in the children’s home, school and local community.

I am happy to report  that after that blog post was published, Misi (the libraries project coordinator) reported a large and unexpected (Misi did not know I had published the school’s need) upsurge in book donations from people who had not previously donated and which we attribute to Ehellions.

There are still 98 books on the Wish List so you would love to introduce a child to the wonders of reading, there are still opportunities for as little as $4.00.    Amazon Wish List


Gossiping Rude Guests

by admin on November 23, 2015

This incident was the first time I had met many of my partner’s friends, and boy oh boy did it leave an impression. I’m still fuming about it 2 years later!

We were invited to a wedding in a resort town that, while in the same state, is too far away for most attendees to make a day trip. It was an expensive city to stay in, so the groom’s cousin opened his home to anyone who needed accommodations. My partner and I accepted his offer very graciously along with a few other good friends of my partner. It was a great deal and they would all be able to carpool from the venue.

We arrive at house and see a couple (who are close friends with my partner and supposed to be staying at the house) speaking on the lawn. They say that we shouldn’t even go inside-that there is no way they can stay in this house and they will be staying in a motel 2 hours away from the venue. They go on to say the house is dirty beyond belief and they cannot imagine how anyone can live there and that they would never be able to sleep in that house without vomiting. We were shocked. What could be in this house that people would want to stay 2 hours away??

We walk inside to the house and find that it is…. perfectly normal. Someone obviously lived there; it wasn’t a hotel, but it was very clean, well-cared for, and they had taken pains to make sure guests would be comfortable. All personal items were tucked away out of site, every bed had new, pressed sheets, and each bedroom had extra blankets, towels and toiletries neatly arranged. It was cleaner and smarter looking than the house I grew up in. We tried to spread the word that the house was just fine but the offending couple had already called everyone else who was supposed to stay and told them not to go!!!!!

Unfortunately it didn’t stop there. Then they spent the entire wedding reception gossiping about the groom’s cousin and talking about his “pig-sty of a house.” I was furious. I didn’t know these people but they were friends of my partner so I bit my tongue and curtly said, “I think the house is very comfortable and it was very kind of him to let us stay there.” In the end, of the 8 people who were supposed to stay at the house, only my partner and I could “stand sleeping in the stable” (their words). The house became a running joke of the wedding.

After the wedding, we bought our host a lavish gift and promised to host them any time they are in our city. Crybaby that I am, I broke down weeping on the ride home and told my partner that I would never socialize with the gossiping couple again. He wholeheartedly agreed and we politely refuse any invitations they extend to us. Now I just have to avoid them at group functions. 1117-15


Christmas Give-Away #2

by admin on November 23, 2015

My mistake is your good fortune.   Last year I realized I had bought a Nordic Ware cake pan I already  owned.   I’m not getting senile, it’s just that I have a good collection of Nordic Ware’s specialty baking pans and I forgot what I had in inventory.   So, this week’s prize is a brand new, never used Nordic Ware Yule Log Pan.

Allow me to rave about how great this pan is.   A Betty Crocker Golden Yellow Cake Mix fits perfectly in this pan and bakes up beautifully.   If you prep the pan with Baker’s Joy (or butter and flour), the cake comes out of the pan in pristine condition.  Paul Hollywood would be proud of the bake.   For a party last year, I needed to bring a dessert and I didn’t have a lot of time that day.   So I used the cake mix, bought two cans of frosting, chocolate and vanilla, and made a decorated yule log cake in record time.  I frosted the cake with the chocolate icing using a fork to create the wood grain and mixed in some chocolate to the vanilla to create a lighter tan icing that I used on the cut ends of the log and branches which I swirled to get that tree rings effect.   I outlined the holly leaves with a small , store bought tube of green icing and used red sugar to highlight the holly berries.   Guests thought it was great.    I haven’t tried it yet but I bet pound cake with do well in this pan and even banana bread.

The rules are simple.  Reply to this post using a valid email address by midnight EST on November 27th 2015.  You do not need to put your real name or email address in the comments but using a valid email address when you comment will make sure you receive notification if you win.   Each reply comment is automatically assigned a number based on the order in which replies are received.  Winner will be chosen using random.org random number generator and notified by the following Monday November 30th.   Failure to respond within five days to notification of winning means you will forfeit the prize and another random drawing will determine another winner.   So check your spam filters!


Feel Good Friday – Fred Astaire Funks It Up

by admin on November 20, 2015

This is the best mash up of Uptown Funk I’ve seen yet. Great punctuation of the dance moves to the music.


Hiding The Temptation To Comment

by admin on November 17, 2015

Miss Jeanne, I have had a series of confusing interactions and I wonder if I am unintentionally committing a faux pas.

I am a young woman on “The Pill”. I have been taking it since before I was “active” for medical reasons and I do not see it as an embarrassment at all. In fact, I see the pills more for the medical reasons than for sexual ones.

As with most Pills, I have to take it at about the same time every day for it to be effective. They come in a blister pack about the size of a credit card, and for convenience I store them in one of the credit card slots on my cellphone case so I can take them when the little reminder I have set up on my phone goes off. This also means that if I show people something on my phone, they will probably end up seeing the pills too – something I don’t even think about at the time. When the pack is stored in the phone case, a line of pills and “SAT” is visible (the pack is marked with days of the week to keep track).

I have had some mixed reactions when people see the pills in my phone case. One coworker pointed them out and said “That’s a good pill to take”, which was a bit weird but I dismissed. Other people act noticeably embarrassed, go “Ummmmm” or “Oh, okay, wow, uh, okay” and then point to the pills when I ask what is wrong. This includes people I know are non-religious (so they wouldn’t have the reason of believing that birth control pills are wrong for Godly reasons).

Is it bad etiquette for me to store the pills in a place that people can see them? Are people embarrassed because they see it as the equivalent of me having condoms or some kind of feminine sanitary product?

I’m not personally offended by the comments, but I don’t want to be committing a faux pas. 1014-15

If you don’t want people to make untoward comments about your birth control pills, you need to hide them better.   They cannot comment on what they do not see.

So, why would this not work?


Or this?   http://www.skandium.com/credit-card-holder


First of the Christmas Give-Aways

November 16, 2015

I said there were only two Autumn give-aways this year but that was Autumn!   Time to get ready for Christmas! This week’s prize is the book, Christmas, by Williams-Sonoma. Williams-Sonoma Collection Christmas offers an array of more than 40 time-honored favorites and tempting new ideas. An impressive roast beef or savory rack of lamb will […]

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Feel Good Friday – Gold Medal Performance 2015 World Synchronized Skating Championship

November 13, 2015

I’ve followed figure skating for many decades but until recently I was unaware of the sport of synchronized figure skating.   This is Canada’s Nexxice team and their Gold Medal performance.   Music is “Mud” by the Road Hammers. Click to share:

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