Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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1997-1999 Archives

Jan-Jun 2000 Archive

I was flying on business on a major airline. It is a short flight, and many travellers make this trip regularly This airline does not assign seats, but instead distributes boarding passes with numbers. There are "gates", and passengers with passes 1-30 are called to board first, followed by passes 31-60, etc.

Well, on this particular day, the 1-30 passengers had already begun lining up to board the plane, when a young woman marched to the front of the line. Everyone stared at her in disbelief, and then another woman asked, "Can you not see that we are in line here?" The rude line-cutter answered , "No, I guess I can't see that." She then boarded the plane first. I was in the 31-60 group, and my goal was to sit as far away from the rude woman as possible. I ended up sitting about 10 or 12 rows behind her. She was talking very loudly on a cellular telephone, and using a lot of profanity. The flight attendant asked her to lower her voice and watch her language as there were children on the plane.

She continued her utterly obnoxious conversation through the announcement to turn off all electrical devices, including cell phones. The flight attendant asked her to turn it off, and, when this instruction went ignored, told the lead flight attendant. In the meantime, the cell phone had lost its connection, and the plane was headed to the runway. The head flight attendant came to the back and told this rude passenger that when she was instructed to do something, she would do it. Apparently, she made a very rude comment. About two minutes later, the captain came on the intercom and announced that we needed to head back to the gate. No trouble with the plane, and it would take just a minute.

When we arrived at the gate, the flight attendants told this passenger she would have to deplane. As she started to become loud, two security guards boarded the plane, and they removed her! Everyone on the flight applauded as she walked down the aisle. I wish I could tell you the name of the airline, because kudos to them.     ebusiness0501-00

I worked for a woman who was very interested in social position, appearances, who knows who, etc. She threw a "Handbag and Accessories" party at her home and made me, her secretary, copy her invitations (yeah, it was real high class), fold, stuff, address and stamp the invitations.

The invitee list included some women we knew professionally, but none of thewomen who worked in our department. As I returned the completed invitation project to her, I commented that the party looked like it would be fun. Her reply was, "Oh, well, this is a party for people who care about how they look." I guess the rest of us didn't clean up good enough for her.     ebusiness0111-00

One of my business associates has the most horrendous manners I have ever encountered - personally or professionally.

Some of her more offensive habits include belching during conference calls very loudly as she is speaking with important vendors and other VIP's. She doesn't bother to even say excuse me - she continues to speak as if nothing happened. She is also very fond of picking her nose - it doesn't matter who is with her at the time.

The topper - I had the misfortune of standing behind her as we were doing a presentation for 15 or so different clients. She kept farting! I ended up having to excuse myself from the room to step outside and get a breath of fresh air. I was joined shortly by a couple of our clients, and I have to admit that we all shared a little wordless chuckle.

Thank you for the wonderful site - it's so entertaining!      ebusiness0114(a)-00

I used to work at a community college.  Right before Christmas, two coworkers came around soliciting donations with which to buy our female supervisor a gift. I declined because I felt a crockpot was not an appropriate business gift. One girl gave five dollars even though she could not afford to buy her own mother a gift, because she was new and wanted to make a good impression. When it was time to present the gift, a card was passed around for everyone to sign, even the non donors. Even though I was present in the office all day, the card somehow never crossed my desk to be signed. It turned out that the two coworkers gave both the gift and card to the supervisor and told her I REFUSED to sign the card! Another employee (who was a longtime friend of the boss) went in and explained it all. As for the two culprits, one simply quit without giving notice and the other was fired.    ebusiness0319-00

About five years I worked at the headquarters of a national women's organization. A short time after I started working there, a group of board members fired the highly professional executive director and put one of their friends in her place. This took place shortly before the organization's national convention, which was to be held in San Francisco.

I knew we were under new management when the new executive director took off her shoes and her knee-high stockings (thank goodness she was wearing slacks for this) during a staff meeting. The reason -- she had to put her feet up on the conference table and show us that, in honor of the convention, she had had the Golden Gate Bridge painted on her toenails during her pedicure that morning.    ebusiness0505-00

For a short time last summer I worked for a group of psychologists as their office manager. I had three interviews with the owner before I was hired and he was 20 minutes late for each one. "Dan" came breezing in each time, no apology for keeping me waiting, nothing. I was hired and soon found out what I was dealing with.

Dan was an organizational nightmare and had the biggest ego I've ever seen. He would habitually come in to the office late (never less than 20 or 30 minutes) and keep his appointments waiting while he checked his mail and phone messages (he never answered them), got his coffee, chatted with the girls in the back office and made a few non-business related phone calls. He often did really inappropriate things..... once he took a photocopy of his bare butt (on the office copier!) and sent it in a birthday card to one of the other psychologists (a woman).

The man was difficult to work with and but the final straw came after I'd been there for about a month. One Friday about 2:00 p.m. I got a phone call from a man who said he was a new patient and wanted to see one of the psychologists that day. I told him that there were no openings that late in the day and asked him if he felt this was an emergency. The man said "I have a gun". My heart started pounding and I could feel my face go white.  I was so scared I'd say something that would make this guy go over the edge and shoot himself while he was talking to me.

I calmly said "Sir, you need to call 911 right now....." and then the guy started laughing hysterically which really confused me. I thought I was dealing with a real psycho. Well, it turned out I was. It was my boss Dan......Mr. Practical joker.

I quit shortly after that and gave him a two page list of my grievances.  Of course, he turned it around and made it about me.... said I wasn't a "team player" and that I really wasn't fitting in with the office that well anyway.

I wonder if he's gotten counseling yet or if he's still out there terrorizing his staff.    ebusiness0515-00

A close friend and I recently attended a wedding for another close friend (who happened to be a cousin of this friend). It was being held at fundamentalist-style christian church, to which the groom's family belonged - as the bride's family had no particular religious tradition. Well, everyone was seated, and the service began.

Everything seemed to go off perfectly - the bride was lovely, the soloist brought tears to everyone's eyes - and then the pastor began the "message" part of the program. He proceeded to begin what eventually turned out to be an hour-long "rant" (as I can only describe it as such) on the evils of modern day marriage, building up to a ten minute crescendo of how those couples who chose divorce were doomed to an eventual hell. Which might have been fairly ignorable, if it weren't for the fact that sitting in the front row were the now cringing parents of the bride, who are, of course, *divorced*.

That might have been ignorable, even, for perhaps only a small portion of the guests were aware of this fact - until, of course, he leaned forward in the pulpit and addressed them personally, and assured them that he was not referring to them specifically, but other sinners generally. Which may have even been ignorable by those in the far back of the church, who may not have heard him, were it not for the grooms' parents, loudly yelling "amen" and "hallelujah brother - tell it like it is!". Needless to say, the poor bride was red for the rest of her ceremony, but managed to recover when the reception went off beautifully.    How's that for tact?     ebusiness0614-00

I was working in a small advertising firm at the time, sharing a small office space with a few other junior staff members. Our office was across from the boardroom, where client meetings, internal meetings, etc. were always held. Often, these meeting would be catered, and there would frequently be sandwiches, muffins, juice, coffee, squares, etc. left over after the meetings.

Since most of the junior staff was just out of university, had horrible student loans, and were working for a pittance, our boss graciously let us scavenge whatever we could carry away for our own lunches, or to take home once the clients had left, and the people had cleared out of the meeting. A real favorite were the bottles of juice that were left behind, because it always seemed that too many had been ordered - the staff usually popped them in the staff fridge in the kitchen, so everyone could have cold juice on their breaks.

Well, after a few months, we noticed there was never any juice left. We assumed that whoever ordered the catering had just learned to order less. Then, one day, our office manager came into our office to ask us if any of us had seen a certain client file - she needed it for billing purposes. I said that I was pretty sure Jason, one of the senior staff working on that account, had had it last. She went into his office to look. Jason was notorious around the office for being horrifically cheap, and liked to point out to the Junior staff (as often as possible) that he made at least five times as much as we did, as well as having his own consulting business on the side.

We heard the office manager call us to Jason's office down the hall. When we went in, she pointed to the filing cabinet drawer she had opened looking for the file - inside was several months worth of excess meeting juice! The whole drawer! Full of bottled juice! Stolen from our starving student hands! We laughed so hard, several of us had to run to the bathroom. I never thought anyone could be that horribly cheap - or nasty.     ebusiness0614-00

Hi! Here's my story... My boss who made about $50,000 per year while I made $15,000 per year LOVED my children's clothes. She incessantly bugged me to pass my kids' clothes on to her for use for her own children. It annoyed me as they made well over $120,000 per year where we made about $28,000 per year. I could hardley afford to clothe my children and she was living in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Texas.

Finally, I got fed up with her bugging me and embarassing me about it, so I gathered my kids clothes up for her.  I told her I was NOT done having children and I would be willing to LOAN them to her, but I wanted them back. Well, about a year later we went to lunch and she was telling about this great resale shop. She told me it was right around the corner and let's go after lunch.

When we walked in, the lady behind the counter told her that she had a check for $100.00 sitting there. I was browsing, and realized that MY KIDS CLOTHES were all over the store!! This woman then bragged to me about how she had just dropped the clothes off the day before and already got $100.00! We then went to her home and she was telling me about all of the lame clothes her mother in law had gotten her for the baby she was pregnant with. She started pulling these "lame" clothes out of her closet, and one of them was MY DAUGHTER'S outfit!

I was devastated as my Mother had given me that outfit and it had some sentimental value (I THOUGHT I was getting it back!). Because I am such a weiner I just didn't say anything to her about any of it, but the next time she begged me for clothes (yes, she had the audacity to ask again!) I told her I had to give them to my husband's sister, who really needed them! The lack of couth among some folks just blows me away!     ebusiness0628-00

Page Last Updated May 18, 2007