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When you work in fast food, you often end up switching off your brain. Here's my story of when that happened to me:

I worked in a Chinese restaurant in the mall's food court. One of the items for sale is sweet and sour chicken balls. They are battered and deep fried, and can be served with or without sweet and sour sauce on them. As some people prefer theirs plain, we always have to make sure to ask before we pour any sauce on the chicken.

So one day, a man orders the combo that comes with said chicken balls. I get to the pot of sweet and sour sauce and ask him, "Sir, would you like sauce on your balls?" A second later, I realized how that sounded, and quickly said, "I mean, CHICKEN balls". Of course, it was too late by then, everybody had heard what I'd said. It was hard to say which one of us had the redder face--me or the customer! We quickly laughed it off, but boy, was I embarrassed by my Freudian slip!


Hi   Never thought I would have a story for you - but here goes. To give you a little background - I and my husband had been married about 4 years and trying to have a baby - but only my best friend knew that we were trying and were having some issues. Anyway - at a gathering of some friends at my best friends house - this friend "TF" - who I went to college with - came up to me (TF had been married about 7 years at that point and everyone knew they were trying to have a baby for a while and had problems and finally after about 4 years of trying were pregnant with there first child) making small talk. Finally she says, " I think you should relax your mind and talk to friends who have gone thru infertility before. I know husbands don't understand - so you can call me whenever you want. Don't worry, sometimes conceiving takes time," and then starts giving me tips about what to do and how. I was SHOCKED. She was not a close friend, I had never talked to her about trying to have a baby and my husband is a very sweet man who is my dearest friend in the world. She just assumed that as we were married 4 years that we were trying and had problems and wanted to get details from me. I have 2 wonderful kids now and no idea where she is .


This happened many years ago when I was an associate attorney in a law firm of about 14 lawyers with about 16 support staff.  One of our secretaries got pregnant and left for maternity leave a week before her due date, as is typical.  She had a girl, her first child, and as soon as she was able phoned in to the office to share the good news.  She talked to the Office Manager, the 2 lawyers to whom she was assigned and then the call was forwarded around the office to the other secretaries.  When the call was forwarded to a middle-aged secretary she used a line she apparently always used when talking to new mothers: "Now did you count up all the fingers and toes and make sure they're all there?"   Guess what.   Yes, you guessed it.  The baby had a severely deformed hand and the digit count came up a couple short of twenty.  Warning to EHell readers: do not use that line.  I know one woman who will never use it again.



Jeanne, as a teenaged girl, I was friends with a lot of guys. We would hang out and look and cars and play video games. Once four of my guy friends and I were standing around looking under the hood of a friend’s sports car. He had just made some modifications and we were admiring them. The neighbor then shows up and walks past us. He says, “What did you put in there, nitrous?” The one friend nods and we go back to looking at the car. The neighbor then says, “Yeah, I can always tell when there are four people standing around a car.” I looked at my friends who seemed oblivious and then looked at the neighbor. Maybe this was rude on my part, but I jumped up and down screaming, “I’ve done it! Finally all my training has paid off! I’ve become invisible!” The neighbor seemed really confused and walked to his house. Apparently I didn’t count as a “person.”



My mom and I were walking to a grocery store. We like to take in the grocery carts that people have abandoned in the parking lot on our way into the store (it’s my biggest pet peeve). Well, as we’re walking in and pushing our carts, we see a guy struggling with his purchases. He’s got a plastic bag in one hand and three items cradled in his other arm. He accidentally drops the three items as he’s crossing the street to the parking lot and stops to retrieve them. I see him and start walking over. I start to say, “Let me give you a hand,” but stop short when I see him. He has a prosthetic metal grip for a left hand. He sees me coming (and maybe heard what I was about to say) and abruptly said, “No thanks, I got it,” and scoops up his things. I have stunned myself into silence. My cart meanwhile is rolling into the road. My mom had to snap me out of it before it hit a car. I can’t believe what I almost said and have since been practicing other ways of offering help. “Can I help?” “Do you need help?” “Let me get that for you…” so many options.



 To set the scene, I am a librarian in a tertiary institute in Australia; and I am currently pregnant. (At the time of writing, I am *very* pregnant. At Easter, I was somewhat less so, but still visible and noticeable- complete strangers had been congratulating me on the pregnancy.)

Now, my institution was to shut down over the four days of Easter, and then to reopen with limited hours for two weeks for the term holidays, and so there had been many people in to borrow books to tide them over. One of these was a young teacher who came to the desk with an armful.

“Have a happy Easter!” I said, as I checked them out to her. “Enjoy some chocolate eggs!”

She laughed, and said, “You might find this useful”, handed me a leaflet and left.

What was the leaflet?

“New Herbal Slimming Treatment! Lose 12kgs in 6 weeks!”

I decided not to shell out for the treatment. :-)

I've seen her since; she's been very gushing over the pregnancy. And I haven't brought up the slimming leaflet. Although if she returns her books late, who knows... ;-)


A number of years ago my uncle’s mother passed away. (He was my uncle by marriage). The services were held during the middle of the work day with a gathering at my uncle’s sister’s house afterward. I attended along with my mother, my other aunt, and my 5 month old cousin. Since the services were in the middle of the day during a work day, my aunt didn’t have anyone available to baby sit. They sat in the back and when my cousin got a little fussy, my aunt quietly took her outside to not disturb the services. Afterward, she needed to use the restroom so I held the baby while we waited for her before going on to the cemetery. I was about 20 at the time so it is possible to mistakenly think that my cousin was my baby.

I was approached by my uncle’s brother-in-law and his mother. We politely greeted each other, talked about what a lovely woman my uncle’s mother was and how we were all shocked by her unexpected death at the age of 62. Then the attention turned to the baby. My uncle’s brother-in-law’s mother asked me the usual questions, what is the baby’s name, when was her birthday etc. When I answered that her birthday was February 13, she looked at me and said ,“What was the matter? You couldn’t keep your legs closed one more day?” I smiled politely and told her she would have to take that up with my aunt since the baby wasn’t mine.



Back in high school I was very much the good little girl - not the least bit inclined to use profanity or innuendo. Therefore my more worldly-wise friend was greatly shocked and amused by the words that left my mouth during a particular shopping trip. We were in a bookstore at the mall one day, perusing the Star Trek novels (I was, and still am, a major geek) when we ended up in a protracted discussion with the salesperson about William Shatner. I happened to know an anecdote about one of his past performances at a horse show, where the horse he was riding bolted just as the actor was about to climb aboard, then ran out into the parking lot where it did a great deal of damage to several parked vehicles. The clerk commented that the horse mustn't have been very well trained, to object so strenuously to being mounted. "I don't know," I replied, not really thinking, "I wouldn't want to be mounted by William Shatner either." I'm sure I blushed bright red as my friend burst out laughing. We left the shop very quickly, her cackling in glee all the way.




Page Last Updated September 18, 2008