Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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Business Etiquette 


  • I am a lawyer in Dallas and have worked for a couple of prestigious, large downtown firms. At one of these, I had the pleasure of working for two of the foulest male specimens I have ever encountered. "Reginald" was the lead trial attorney on a high-profile personal injury case. He was only able to refer to anyone of the female persuasion by the terms "bitch," "slut," "whore," and "cunt." Once, as we were in the courtroom preparing for a pretrial conference, he cleared his sinuses and spat whatever came up onto the floor of the courtroom right in front of the judge! Another time, as we went to get some materials on the case from the file room, Reginald asked the file clerk, "How's it going?" She answered, "I'm fine, Reginald. How are you?" He stared at her and then said, "I don't give a fuck how YOU are! How are my FILES?" One of our paralegals was 7 1/2 months pregnant by the time we got to trial. Reginald forced her to carry files boxes behind him, and then would let the door slam in her face as he trotted through first! The other delight with whom I worked, "Johnny," picked his nose almost every time I was in his office discussing a case. And I mean, these were first knuckle digs. He later picked up the lovely habit of dipping, so in between nose picks, he would spit tobacco juice into his trash can. These are the same guys that are being billed out at $250 an hour! On my first day of work, Johnny called a meeting for our group (all males, except for me) and announced "Now, we've met our quota! Don't have to worry about sex discrimination anymore!" I thought suing wasn't even worth the effort on such lame brains.

    Fortunately, my new law firm has a little more class. I recently was appalled, however, after the women in my firm gave a joint baby shower for three female lawyers. Each of the female attorneys in the firm (and there are about 45 of us) was asked to give about $25 for the shower and gifts. I was happy to give that and would have been happy to contribute more. Friday morning after the Thursday night shower, each of the honorees sent out a group e-mail to the attendees basically saying "Thanks for the loot." Yeah, well, thanks for the thanks. Sorry, that my contribution wasn't worth a personal note and 33 cents to you.

  • Found your page and LOVED it. I have a boss to add to your business tacky.

    I worked for a large, prominant, non-profit health organization. Our director had a rather big idea of himself. At our regular Monday morning meeting we were all required to give a report of what we had done the week before and what our plans for the week were. This was his regular place to "perform." We could expect any of the following to occur every week.

    1. He demanded we all be there at 8AM sharp under penalty of being fired. He would then sit in his office until 8:30 or so, reading a magazine, leaving us all sitting at a conference table waiting on him.

    2. He'd bring in the newspaper and as soon as he'd given his weekly report, he would flip open the paper, turn it to the comics and then sit and chuckle to himself while the rest of us presented our reports.

    3. He'd bring in his personal mail from the week before, open it all, then sort it and read it, complete with verbal comments, while the rest of us gave our reports.

    4. He would give his report and then, in the middle of someone else's report, he'd pick up the phone and make a personal call, right there at the table.

    5. He'd simply get up and walk out while someone was giving their report.

    He was a gem. I'm not sure how I managed 3 years with that group.

  • Hello! Your "Etiquette Hell" page is hysterical!

    My story is about a baby shower held at my office. First, we were told instead of gifts, the mom-to-be wanted money. An envelope was passed around to donate money for a money tree. The day before the shower, the shower planner, (let's call her Bev) walked around the office to all of the women who had not signed the envelope (not donated money) and stood there while they all gave money.

    On the day of the shower, it was understood by management that if you attended the shower, you had to forfeit your lunch hour. People also had to bring food, because nothing but decorations was provided. After the shower, the women who did not attend for whatever reason were told that they were not team players, and were chastised for not going.

    The thank you note was just the tackiest thing. The mom-to-be had ONE preprinted thank you card, signed her name, then passed it around the office. You were "thanked" as long as you saw the card, initialed it, and passed it around to the next person.

    So basically the women of the office were forced to give money, bring food, help set up and clean up, loose a lunch hour, and thank themselves for the shower. If you didn't, you were not a team player, and got in trouble.

    How's that for a "fun" shower??!

    Thanks for letting me share my story!

  • A couple of years ago, a department in our company decided to have a staff breakfast. Everyone was asked to bring an item - juice, eggs, bacon, bread, hashbrowns, etc. When everyone began to sit down to eat - one of the coordinators came around to collect money. One employee - and also appalled - asked why they were collecting money when he had donated food - namely very expensive bacon. "Oh, everyone has to pay - this is a fundraiser for [name any office charity]. To top it off, the coordinators also began to approach other workers in other departments to ask them to come back and eat breakfast. All in an effort to trap them in the fundraiser.

  • Right after graduating from college I took the first (short lived) job that was offered to me - as an event coordinator for a small, small company that planned fundraisers for non-profit organizations. My boss ran the business out of her home and we all worked in a cramped "office" family room. My boss knew no etiquette boundaries -- we were in home office hell! Clients would be forced to wait for meetings while she'd blow dry her hair in the bathroom. She'd pull her employees into her bedroom for fashion consultations before getting dressed (I really DIDN'T need to see her in her underwear!!) She even told us to take the portable phone to her if she was using the restroom and received a call! She had two small dogs that peed on everything, and had free range of the office and clients' portfolios. But, her home office hell turned on her one day during an important meeting. She had just settled the clients in at her dining room, ummm, conference table, when her littlest dog came running out of her bedroom -- with a pair of her lacy hot pink underwear stuck to his head! As he raced wildly around the room she started screaming for us to chase him down. It was hilarious, and the clients, while they didn't hire a new event coordinator, at least got a good laugh.

  • I worked for a company where the Boss/Owner would become offended when you would leave for a break or for a lunch. He would make everyone wait for HIM to be ready to break or lunch, and then he would lock the whole office out of the building. Anyway, I digress here.
    His faux pas were these:
    1. During meetings in his small cramped office he would refer to the impending flatulence that he felt, and then when he released it, he would turn off all of the small fans in the room, so that we could "appreciate the smell of mother earth". Needless to say, I lasted there less than a week.
    2. Whenever he wanted to he would eat at his desk and speak with his mouth open, food sometimes running freely from his chin.
    3. As the need struck him, he would smoke in the office and blow the smoke directly into peoples' faces. One lady had asthma, and she began to have an attack. He told her that if she left to go to the hospital that she was fired. (I drove her and that was the day I quit)

    Page Last Updated May 18, 2007