These poor manners and actions of some are shore to ruin a good beach day. Don't let this be you!

The Negligent Neighbors . . . 

Even though space on the beach can sometimes be tight, these annoying neighbors never notice that they spread out right on top of your towel.  There might be a few inches of golden sand peeking out between the towels, but this is not enough to give people the privacy or elbow room they deserve. Personal space is sacred for many people; be mindful of others around you.

The Sandman . . .

This is the guy who wanders off the beach with wet feet, coated in a thick layer of sand, and then walks up to the hotel, leaving a trail of abrasive crumbs behind. Or, even worse, the person will jump into a nearby pool, depositing all that sand at the bottom of the pool – an unwelcome surprise for other swimmers! Beach-side establishments usually have showers readily available to prevent this mess; use them!

The Oblivious Swimmers . . . 

The Oblivious Swimmers jump into the water with a blatant disregard for the posted warning signs. Whether it’s a strong riptide, high populations of jellyfish, or inclement weather, nothing stops these Swimmers from their splashing. Respect the signs and the warnings from lifeguards; they’re there for a reason!

The DJ . . .  

DJs certainly love their music, and they make sure that the rest of the beach enjoys it too. However, not everyone shares their passion for the techno music genre. Sound travels easily on the beach, so keep volumes low or invest in a good set of fashionable headphones.

The Exhibitionists . . .  

We’ve all seen these types of Beachgoer; they make sure that we do. The Exhibitionists wear skimpy swimsuits or get too comfortable with their significant others on the beach. Beaches are public places – so save the string bikinis and loving kisses for private.

The Dust Devil . . .

Nothing is worse than getting an unexpected face-full of sand when these Sandstorms decide to shake out their towels. They’ll also whip up sand by running through dunes or wearing flip-flops through the sand. When cleaning off your sitting space, make sure that the sand returns to the beach.

The Beach Bully . . .

The Beach Bully is the worst kind of beachgoer. They needlessly destroy sandcastles, throw their trash onto the beach or into the water, and even steal beach furniture and chairs. This type of behavior does not need an explanation of why this is improper etiquette. They might be on a well-deserved break, but kindness and consideration for others never go on vacation!

Sand Castle Smash

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At The American School of Protocol®, we are fortunate to host students from around the world during each Etiquette Certification Training class.  This month, we had attendees from Canada, China, Bahamas, India, The Virgin Islands, and the states!  What a wonderful opportunity to share our individual cultures and traditions during a week of exciting etiquette education.

There are many simple ways to broaden your cultural knowledge:  Seek out an unfamiliar ethnic restaurant each month.  Focus on local hangouts when traveling, as opposed to popular sightseeing destinations.  Read books by authors of different nationalities.  Attend a worship service other than your own.  Regularly share a meal with someone from another nationality.  Any and all of these simple steps can promote understanding and appreciation among the many cultures that make up the world in which we live.

Enjoy this short True/False quiz to test your Cultural IQ.

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1. Over 6000 different languages are spoken throughout the world.

TRUE: Approximately 6,500 languages are spoken around the world.

2.  Aloo Gobi is a popular Vietnamese food.

FALSE: Aloo gobi is a vegetarian Indian dish made with potatoes, cauliflower and Indian spices.

3. One of the Five Pillars of Islam is called zakat and means almsgiving.

TRUE: The five pillars of the Islamic faith are shahada (confession of faith), salat (prayer), zakat (almsgiving), sawm (fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan), and hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca).

4. English is the most common language spoken in the world today.

FALSE: The most common language in the world is Chinese with 1,197,000,000 speakers. This is followed by Spanish (414,000,000) and English (335,000,000).

5. The currency of Nigeria is the Naira.

TRUE: One (1) Nigerian Naira = .00315 US Dollar

6. If you keep Kosher, shrimp is on your menu.

FALSE: The term ‘Kosher’ refers to biblical laws governing which foods a Jewish person may eat and their preparation. Only fish with fins and scales are allowed, such as tuna, salmon, and herring. Shellfish such as shrimp, crab, mussels, and lobster are forbidden.

7. In Nepal, you could greet someone with the word “Salaam”.

FALSE: ‘Salaam’ is from the Persian language (also known as Farsi). You could greet someone this way in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, as well as parts of Uzbekistan and Bahrain.

8. Christianity is the most commonly practiced religion in the world.

TRUE: Christianity is the largest form of organized religions in the world with approximately 2.1 billion believers. It is followed by Islam (1.3 billion).

9. In Korea, it is considered impolite to hold the bowl of soup or rice with your hands.

TRUE: Holding the rice bowl with your hands is acceptable in in other Asian countries like China or Japan, but not in Korea.  Another tip for dining in Korea: wait for the oldest person to sit down before taking your seat.

10. The United States has the most educated populace in the world.

FALSE: Over 50% of Canada’s population has been educated at the post-secondary level, making it the most highly educated country in the world.  Canada is followed by Israel (45%) and Japan (44%).

How did you do? Post to Facebook to let us know!

The American School of Protocol is proud to claim graduates from over 40 different countries. In October, our Corporate Etiquette Certification class included an attendee from South Korea and provided a unique opportunity to celebrate and appreciate diverse customs and traditions.   All of our attendees came away with improved skills in the art of cultural inclusivity and acceptance.

Being knee-deep in the holiday season increases the likelihood of exposure to new people and unfamiliar beliefs and practices.  Good etiquette demands that we are prepared and able to avoid offending others.

The phrase ‘politically correct’ has gained a lot of criticism recently. Politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC, is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to particular groups in society.

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‘Can you state your feelings today and still be politically correct?’ was a segment on a prominent news show this week.  The host stated that it is hard because people take offense to so many things these days.

With many people tired of hearing how to, and why to be more ‘politically correct’, we saw this as an opportunity to turn it around.  Instead of being more ‘politically correct’, we would like to encourage you to be more conscious of others feelings and try to understand different religions and cultures.

We have listed a few simple tips that can help make interactions with others easier - - especially at this time of year.

In short, we must rid ourselves of all assumptions and be more aware of our words and actions. This isn’t the end of hearing about being ‘politically correct’, but we are hopeful that it might be a shift in the right direction.

Which hand do you use to hold your fork?

In the United States, there are two styles of dining: American or Zig-Zag and Continental.

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The very thought that the American dining style may be preferred over traditional British table manners has caused a firestorm among some British journalists.

One writer referred to the new trend as a “ghastly revelation” and “simply too hideous to be tolerable,” while another blamed cell phones as the reason young adults needed to use the American dining style to keep one hand free.  No matter your opinion, it is important to know both.

L2_CDThe American School of Protocol® teaches mastery of both dining styles. When eating Continental, the fork remains in the left hand with tines pointed down and the knife is held in the right hand.  Between bites your utensils rest on the plate in a triangle, fork tines down at the 8’ o’clock position and the knife at the 4 o’clock position.

When you are finished, or to close out in Continental style, the knife and fork are placed side by side on the bottom of the plate in the 6:30 clock position.

L2_ZZWhen eating in American or Zig-Zag style, the fork is in the left hand to hold the food while the right hand uses the knife to cut. Once the food is cut, the knife is placed at the top of the plate with the blade facing your throat. The fork is then switched from the left hand to the right for eating.   The resting position for America is to place the knife at the top of the plate with the blade facing you and the fork in the 4 o'clock position with tines up.

When you are finished or to “close out” your meal in American style, the knife moves down from the top of the plate to the 3 o’clock position. The fork moves up from the 4 or 5 o’clock to 3 o’clock.  If you are right handed, you will use the above close out. If you are left handed, close out will be on the left side of your plate at the 9:45 clock position.

Once you begin the meal, your utensils never touch the table again whether you are using the Continental or American method. Knives and forks are placed together in close out to show the server you are finished eating.

Knowing how to use your knife and fork with confidence is an important part of dining etiquette. The American style is only used in the USA. The Continental method is well known throughout the world. It takes a little practice to master Continental style but it is worth it. If traveling abroad, you will want to master Continental dining.

The key is to be comfortable with your choice. Today our society is multi-cultural and major business dinners are international. Cultural dining styles are mixed and the lines are blurred. It is important to know both dining styles so you will be confident no matter where you go.

IDSC_0014n early October, students from Malaysia and London traveled to Georgia’s  American School of Protocol  to learn to teach etiquette to young children and adults. Both styles of dining are taught to adults as well as children.

The American School of Protocol offers unparalleled training for individuals who want to teach etiquette to 1st through 12th grades and collegians.  Our 5-Day Children’s Etiquette Certification provides not only curriculum, but training on how to start your etiquette business journey.  This nationally recognized five-day intensive Etiquette and Life Skills program gives you hands-on training and thoroughly prepares you to teach your own classes.

The etiquette certification training program is taught in Atlanta, Georgia by Founder and President, Peggy Newfield and her knowledgeable staff of professionals, all giving you first-hand lessons from the company’s 30+ years of experience.  Ms. Newfield has traveled extensively and offers a wealth of information on international and cultural differences.

Whether you use the Continental or American style of dining, good training allows you to be able to easily adapt and feel comfortable to any situation at home or abroad.

Pool Etiquette SplashingAlthough the summer days are winding down, our high temperatures still seem to be holding strong. With Labor Day right around the corner, many of us will be heading to the water to cool off. To make the most out of your pool experience, keep discourteous behavior to a minimum by truly thinking of others and how your actions can affect them.

Music: Listening to music makes a pool day more enjoyable. Respect the enjoyment of others and keep the tunes to yourself by using your headphones. When you’re at a public pool, you’re in public space.

Food: There is nothing better than a cold drink with lots of ice on a hot day. Everyone loves to enjoy treats at the pool. However, problems arise when people leave their trash laying around. Please pick up your drinks and food trash so that others don’t have to. This also will discourage ants and other pesky bugs.

Follow Rules: If the sign says, “no glass” make sure that you obey it to avoid the chance of broken glass landing in or around the pool and hurting someone. The rules are in place for the safety of everyone.Swimming Pool Rules

Mindful of Space: When you’re at a public space, only take up as much space as you need. During these hot summer days the pool can fill up fast. Use minimal space so that everyone can enjoy the pool.

Bring a Towel: Whenever you go to a friend’s house for a swim or swim party, bring your own towel. How would you like to be the host and be left after the swim with tons of wet towels that your guest borrowed from you when they came?

Pool Space: People use the pool for many different reasons ranging from water aerobics to lane swimming. While in the pool respect the space of others. Unless you are swimming laps in the lanes, try and stick to the other areas of the pool.  If you would like to learn more about the Rules of Conduct for Lap Swimmers click here.

Group Of Girls Jumping Into Outdoor Swimming PoolWatch your Children: Public pools are not daycare facilities. Children always need to be watched. Teach your little ones the importance of not disturbing the peace of others by screaming and loud laughing.

Proper Attire: When choosing what to wear for your swim, think about what is suitable for your audience. If you are going to a public pool save that itsy bitsy bikini for another time and place.

Keep these tips in mind when heading out for some fun in the sun!

  1. The Sandman.  This Foot in thongsis the guy who wanders off the beach with wet feet, coated in a thick layer of sand, and then walks up to the hotel, leaving a trail of abrasive crumbs behind. Or, even worse, the Sandman will jump into a nearby pool, depositing all that sand at the bottom of the pool – an unwelcome surprise for other swimmers! Beach-side establishments usually have showers readily available to prevent this mess; use them!
  2. No SwimmingThe Oblivious Swimmers. The Oblivious Swimmers jump into the water with a blatant disregard for the posted warning signs. Whether it’s a strong riptide, high populations of jellyfish, or inclement weather, nothing stops these Swimmers from their splashing. Respect the signs and the warnings from lifeguards; they’re there for a reason!
  3. The Zookeepers. Some of the excitement of the beach comes from the diversity of its flora and fauna. However, the Zookeepers take it upon Birds Eating At Beachthemselves to care for the seagulls by feeding them leftover snacks. Seagulls have a special place in the coastal ecosystem, but they do not need your Chex Mix or Pretzels. Feeding them propagates their aggression; next time, they may take food from a not-so-willing beachgoer.
  4. The DJs. DJs certainly love their music, and they make sure that the rest of the beach enjoys it too. However, not everyone shares their passion for the techno music genre. Sound travels easily on the beach, so keep volumes low or invest in a good set of fashionable headphones.
  5. Dollarphotoclub_2981619The Exhibitionists. We’ve all seen these types of Beachgoer; they make sure that we do. The Exhibitionists wear skimpy swimsuits or get too comfortable with their significant others on the beach. Beaches are public places – so save the string bikinis and loving kisses for private.
  6. The Dust Devil. Nothing is worse than getting an unexpected face-full of sand when these Sandstorms decide to shake out their towels. They’ll also whip up sand by running through dunes or wearing flip-flops through the sand. When cleaning off your sitting space, make sure that the sand returns to the beach.
  7. The Negligent Neighbors. Even though space on the beach can sometimes be tight, these Nosy Neighbors never notice that they spread out right on top of your towel. Their impressive collection of sand toys often finds its way onto your towel and will be discovered upon rolling over a plastic shovel during a nap in the sun. There might be a few inches of golden sand peeking out between the towels, but this is not enough to give people the privacy or elbow room they deserve. Personal space is sacred for many people; be mindful of others around you.
  8. The Beach Bully.  The Beach Bully is the worst kind of beachgoer. They needlessly destroy sandcastles, throw their trash onto the beach or into the water, andSand Castle Smash even steal beach furniture and chairs. This type of behavior does not need an explanation of why this is improper etiquette. They might be on a well-deserved break, but kindness and consideration for others never go on vacation!

 

????????????????????????????????Definition: ug·ly A·mer·i·can noun An American who behaves offensively when abroad.

Traveling can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. If underprepared and unsure of the region’s customs, it can also be a very stressful time for you and annoying for those around you. Read on for how not to be mistaken for an "Ugly American".

•Before you decide to jet off to a country, do your research. Learn as much about the culture and people before you arrive.  If you do not speak the language, learn a few key phrases and invest in a translation app or book.

•Money makes all trips possible.  So before you make landfall, be sure you are aware of the currency used by the country you will be visiting.  Typically, if you exchange your money before you arrive, you will be able to avoid a higher currency exchange fee. Banks offer this service for a small fee or even free.

???????????????????????????????????????•Traveling to a different country means long flights and little leg room. If you have been on a plane in the last decade, then you know that your personal space on a plane is decreasing as you read this.

•Airlines are trying to figure out how to add more passengers onto every flight, so it is really important to respect other’s space.  Have your luggage neatly tucked away and leave as much room as possible for others.  Just because you have someone sitting next to you, that does not mean that you have an open invitation to talk to them. Respect other’s privacy and make sure that if you are in a conversation that it’s mutual.

•When you arrive at your destination, most likely you will need a taxi to take you from point A to point B.  If you encounter a reckless taxi driver and you feel unsafe, immediately ask the driver to pull over and let you out. Do not yell at the driver, but record the car number and get out safely. Once you are out, call the company and let them know about the awful experience.

Dollarphotoclub_55850402•One of the greatest joys in traveling to new countries is the chance to take in the sites. Respect the fact that these sites hold an enormous historical and cultural value and should be left as you found them.  Don’t carve your initials on anything or leave litter for someone else to pick up.  When the museum says “No Pictures”, please obey and put your camera away.

•Dining out is definitely something that you will be doing.   Know what the culture’s dining customs are and what times are set aside for lunch and dinner. Or is it called supper?  What local cuisine should be a “must a try”?

•If you end up disrespecting the culture or their food, it is highly likely that you will be labeled as an “Ugly American”.  If you want to learn more about dining styles abroad click here.Paris

•If the menu is in a different language or you do not recognize certain dishes offered, then ask. It is ok to be unsure.  When asked politely, most wait staff persons are so happy to help.

•Every country has a different policy in regards to tipping. Do yourself a favor and do research on the tipping customs and the percentage that is customary to that country.

•If you happen to run into some inconsiderate neighbors in your hotel, take the appropriate actions. If the problem escalates, call the manager on duty and have them resolve the problem or get you a new room. Avoid taking matters into your own hand, which usually intensifies the problem.

•It is also important to know about the government and laws.  Not every country is a democracy and laws can vary drastically in different nations.

For years, we have been known as the "Ugly American.”  It is an image that we, unfortunately, deserve.  Please keep these tips in mind next time you travel and do your best to show kindness and consideration for all people you meet.  Be a “Role Model American” not an "Ugly American".

Airplane PassengerIn the news we are constantly hearing stories about fights and disagreements on airplanes. Recently, a plane landed due to a dispute between two passengers over reclining in a seat. Their argument quickly escalated from an exchange of words to objects being thrown. Airplane etiquette has become a hot topic  due to limited passenger space between seats. Here are a few ways to avoid an airplane disagreement.

Armrests: Typically in a three-person seating arrangement, the person in the middle has the right to both armrests. In a two-person seating arrangement each person has one armrest all to themselves and the other armrest is considered shared. Whoever first claims that armrest has the right to the armrest; typically people take turns in who has claim over it.

Reclining Seats: If you are going to recline your chair, look behind you first to see how much room you have. While reclining, make sure to go back slowly so you do not scare the person behind or abruptly disrupt them. Also, when you are trying to get out of your seat, please don’t grab the headrest in front of you for leverage,  This can cause surprise and discomfort to the passenger in front of you.

Carry- On Luggage: Make sure the amount of carry-on luggage you bring does not exceed the airplane’s limit. Before you get on the plane try to consolidate any extra shopping/ food bags you may have acquired.  This allows smoother travel for yourself and others.

Personal Hygiene: Remember that a flight is a tight compact space. Always be aware of your body odor.  If possible, eat smelly foods before the flight rather than on board. Keep up with personal hygiene before you board the plane, and avoid using too much perfume. Make sure to wear your shoes at all times, taking off your socks and shoes can give off a pungent smell to the passengers around you.

Headphones: Headphones can make a flight more enjoyable, however it is important to remember two things. First, if you are wearing headphones make sure that the music can only be heard by you. Secondly, if you see a person using headphones, respect their space and quiet and allow them to rest.

Keep these tips in mind next time you travel, to ensure a peaceful and pleasant traveling experience!

If there is one place where courtesy is necessary, it is our streets and highways.  We tend to forget that the vehicles we drive can maim and kill if we do not use them responsibly.

Although traffic fatalities in the United States are on a decline, they still totaled over 7,500 in 2012.  The reasons for these accidents vary greatly, and there always exists some situations that are unavoidable.

But the one method of prevention we can all implement is to be aware of our surroundings, remain calm, and show courtesy to the many other people with whom we must share the road.

Using a vehicle to threaten others is not only rude, but unsafe.  If someone cuts you off in traffic and you decide to get revenge by tailgating them, you set yourself up for possibly an even more uncomfortable situation.

We never know what someone else may be dealing with when they get behind the wheel of a car.  Are they upset after having just been fired from a job?  Are they rushing a sick child to an emergency clinic?  And the one that always makes the news is when a woman gives birth in a car.

Even though we have our own issues, and reasons for traveling by vehicle, we need to be fully aware that everyone else does, too.

Let’s work together to make life on our roads and freeways more pleasant and manageable.  Have a heart, and show a little courtesy.