Newport Manners & Etiquette: Huge Decline In Presidential Standards, Apologies + Phone Safe Box
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Didi Lorillard, GoLocalProv Manners + Etiquette Expert
The fall and decline of presidential standards, speech preparation tips, trending phone safe boxes, and why the sorriest word should not be sorry were all questions to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners.
Really awful downfall of Presidential standards and behavior
Q. It wasn't that long ago when Republicans were bashing Obama for not having presidential manners. It appears that they've lowered their standards for the current occupant of the Oval Office. The alt right press used photos of Obama and his aids playing pickup games of basketball or touch football on the White House lawn to illustrate his lack of appropriate presidential behavior.
It's true whether shooting pool or bowling, Obama cannot contain his competitive nature, but at least he works it out in a healthy manner. And when photos of him in shirt sleeves appeared, Andrew Card, President George W. Bush's chief of staff, criticized Obama to the press saying, "Wear a suit coat and tie." Do you agree that it is disgraceful how this country has lost dignity through its deterioration of manners and etiquette spiraling downward in this current administration? MC, Washington, DC
A. The standard of presidential behavior has deteriorated in the disgraceful Trump administration to rock bottom when the president of the United States gets away with mocking foreign leaders and calling them despicable nicknames. He's not even criticized for calling for the firing of a "son of a bitch."
Don't get me started:
- While playing golf Trump criticizes the mayor of a city underwater from a catastrophic hurricane for "poor leadership." The rest of the world refers to it as a "Medical Crisis," because "The Whole Island Is Critical."
- To make it worse, without compassion Trump adds insult to injury by complaining that the victims of the hurricane "want everything to be done for them."
- Further to the insult, after throwing paper towels at the victims, he tells them they should be "very proud" that only 16 victims died already.
- Whether he's attacking a senator battling cancer or making reference to a supreme court justice as a "judicial prostitute," his behavior is despicable.
- He stoops so low as to call transgender children part of "Satan's plan." Come on...
- What's presidential about calling the White House "a real dump"? And inviting to the Oval Office a friend who threatened to assassinate President Obama and called him a "subhuman mongrel"? Don't forget, Trump called his opponent a "worthless bitch?" Really, who talks like that? Certainly not the president? Even if he is calling for an investigation of his opponent seven months after winning the election.
- At tax payers' expense, Trump spends one day in three promoting his properties where a photo of him on the cover of Time magazine applauding his business successes is hung on the walls. How tacky is that?
- He shows no respect whatsoever for the survivors of victims of 9/11 and the 20 school children who were massacred in Newtown, CT., by awarding press credentials to a website that claims both incidents were "a hoax."
- Mocking the mayor of London for his cautious, serious reaction to a terrorist attack, doesn't win us friends abroad.
- Nor does hogging a photo opportunity with another head of state by shoving him aside during a NATO meeting in Brussels.
- Did you know that it is a known fact that Trump is caught in a lie on an average of more that five times a day?
Between the tweeting addiction, compulsive lying, firry war and peace rhetoric, meddling with prosecutorial independence, incendiary campaign rallies disguised as presidential addresses, etc., all are breaches of the unofficial etiquette of presidential manners.
*Many thanks to the New York Times for recent editorials on this subject.
8 great tips for what to do when a speech is interrupted
Q. In preparing to make a speech, what should I be anticipating? I've made the speech before, but afterward, I wondered if I would be as lucky next time. My sympathies are with British Prime Minister Theresa May, who certainly hadn't planned on having an allergy attack while making a speech recently. Edwina, Chicago
A. Not much more could have gone wrong during a recent conference event that made international headlines, but I have to give Theresa May a lot of credit for soldiering through by keeping posed and not losing her wonderful sense of humor.
A good speech needn't turn bad. Be prepared for the worst possible case scenario by planning accordingly:
- Don't freeze up or panic.
- Accept whatever interruption happens.
- Don't think about how you look, your audience really does want you to succeed.
- Throw your shoulders back and keep them that way while smiling.
- Acknowledge the interruption and when your audience is ready continue.
- Find out who you would turn to if something did go wrong, such as the sound system and remember their first name. Publicly thank them for their help.
- Never blame anyone for the distraction. Just be polite. Grace under stress is an endearing quality.
- At the end of the day, you want to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Look at interruptions as distractions for an opportunity for levity and a blessing in disguise to show adaptability, humor, and most of all, that you're human.
- A really great two minute warm up you can do before any presentation or entrance is to practice Amy Cuddy's Power Pose. View Ms. Cuddy's TED talk on body language here.
Trending phone safe boxes at the best restaurants
Q. At our upscale restaurant we are investigating the possibility of adding phone 'safe boxes' to assure a more pleasant ambience for our most valued customers who have been complaining about the annoyance of cellphone activity in our restaurant. What do you recommend? Name Withheld
A. Better restaurants have recently been exploring the trend of installing 'safe boxes' for diner cellphones to enable customers to give up their cellphone for the duration of the meal. Certainly, I would be willing to give up my cellphone while I eat, but I've made a habit of turning it off when I enter a restaurant, just the way I would turn it to off when arriving a someone's house or office.
These days restaurant dinner tables ring out with buzzes, pings and jingles and one wonders what happened to good old-fashioned conversation. If the business dinner or date is too important to be interrupted by your cellphone or theirs (which may have cost up to $1,000 to replace), a 'safe box' might be a brilliant idea to explore. Here's what we've discovered:
- Only the wait staff will know the combination to release your phone from the 'safe box,' which apparently is disguised as a book so it won't look too weird and out of place on your table.
- Additionally, restaurants will be able to make a lock box available for diners to buy so they can try the social experiment at home
Let's ask readers for their input by having them leave a comment below after scrolling down. You can then see for yourself what the climate of the culture around cellphone use while dining really is.
The sorriest word in the universe should not be sorry
Q. I need to apologize to someone and I just can't bring myself around to making the actual apology. It doesn't help that I'm being pressured by others to apologize. The walls are closing in. Any advice? Name Withheld
A. Never underestimate the power of a straightforward apology. Even when it wasn't personally your fault. As tiresome as it might be, verbalizing your regret and sympathy for another's adversity demonstrates benevolence and helps to cool a heated exchange -- often preventing unfortunate consequences.
- Nor does an honest apology mean telling the person that you're "sorry that they feel that way," or that you're "sorry that you've chosen to take offense," because, of course, that puts the blame on the other person.
- Saying you're sorry is only the first step. Next you've got to make it alright by rectifying the mistake.
- With a family member, lover, friend or colleague:
- Don't procrastinate a moment longer, because bad feelings fester.
- Ask if you can meet in person. When that's not possible, pick up the phone. Remember that a voicemail, text, or email saying that you're sorry won't have the backbone of a one-on-one conversation.
- Make sure that the apology takes places in private.
- No matter how awful you feel, do NOT turn the blame around onto the other person.
- Reiterate with a follow-up message. Sending a gift shouldn't be necessary unless you've inadvertently destroyed something irreplaceable.
You've got the essentials, however, if there is contributory blame, find out if the aggrieved person would help you analyze what went eschew. In going over the incident, during the process their own shortcomings are identified as are those of the person making the apology.
Lastly, it goes without saying that if the incident stemmed from a comment you made or something you did that others were witness to, you probably want to apologize again in front of that same audience.
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette for her upcoming book at NewportManners.
There are some great walking and hiking paths behind the Audubon Society on Massasoit Road in Worcester to visit this fall.
Want to be at peace and escape the city without really leaving the city? Take a brisk walk through the Bird Sanctuary. If you don't feel better by the time you leave there...then turn around and go back in.
The bird sanctuary is located on 414 Massasoit Road in Worcester
The fall season is all about pumpkins. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie and most of all pumpkin picking.
Pumpkin picking is a timeless event for families, especially those with young kids who will love to just run around and grab whichever pumpkin looks good to them.
The 2017 Vermont International Film Festival takes place from October 20 to October 29.
The festival will feature more than 70 films from all over the world as well as panels and discussions.
The Boston Children's Museum has two special exhibits to celebrate the fall season.
The first is a dinosaur exhibit titled "Explor-a-saurus," and there is also a "Bubbles" exhibit and a "construction zone."
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a daily basis.
Arguably the coolest thing about the fall season is the changing of the leaves. You will want to go up to the Berkshires and stroll through a park or just down a street and take note of all the colors, it's a must do fall activity.
How many colors can you see?
The festival will feature more than 130 artists showing off their work ranging from photography oil, watercolor, mixed media and much more.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hello grape season!
It may be getting colder, but for wine lovers, this is the best time of year because it's grape season.
There are many great Vineyards around New England but Newport Vineyards is among the best.
Enjoy the wine.
Not one, not two, but three corn mazes all in one spot.
The famous triple maze at Coppal House Farm in New Hampshire is fun for all ages!
This year's theme is honey bees for all three mazes.
Built in the mid-1700s, Coppal Farm has horse-drawn carriage rides, pumpkin picking, and tons of other activities on its 78-acre farm.
Across New England
Nothing says fall like drinking nice warm glass of apple cider, or maybe multiple warm glasses of apple cider.
Head over to your local market and buy some, or maybe you know how to make your own or have your own recipe. Either way, drinking apple cider is something to look forward too.
While it may not be summer anymore and you may need an extra shirt or light jacket, there is still time to get some end of season swings in at your local golf course.
The fall season presents some of the best golfing weather that we have all year in New England.
Hit them straight.
Visit Vermont and take a gondola up Mount Mansfield. Once you get to the top, look back at the spectacular view. There are not to many views like it.
For travelers, be sure to bring a jacket.
Across Southern New England
The Coastal Wine Trail is a nonprofit group of 14 wineries that are spread throughout Southeastern New England.
Vineyards on the trail include Preston Ridge Vineyard in Preston Connecticut, Travessia Winery in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery in Westport, Massachusetts and Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
The heart of the trail is less than three hours from New York City and 90 minutes from Bosto
Check out five attractions at the super spooky Factory of Terror! Clown College, Zella's Hideaway, Zombie Alley, 3D Nightmare and the 13th Haunt all in one place.
This indoor haunted house offers a frightening and spooky experience with realistic, detailed rooms featuring cutting edge special effects and horror creatures at every turn!
Enter at your own risk!
The views of Mount Hope Bay are unparalleled. Enjoy some wine with a snack or three while watching the sunset. The chef is known for a well-balanced menu of seasonal treats that uses locally sourced seafood in creative ways.
Celebrate the fall season and eat outdoors one last time.
Across New England
The fall selection of beers is unmatched.
Whether it's Octoberfest from Sam Adams or a pumpkin pie beer from Newport Storm, it's time to get out to your local bar or store and pick up some of the great fall beers on tap or in stock.
The fall season is Plimoth Plantation's busiest time of year and it is a great time to bring the family.
Visit the Wampanoag Homesite, the 17th-Century English Village, Nye Barn, Craft Center, Plimoth Bread Company, Mayflower II, and the Plimoth Grist Mill!
A great way to learn and have fun at the same time.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is a one of a kind fall event taking place at Roger Williams Park Zoo and runs from October 6 - November 6, 2016 and tickets are only sold online.
The display features more than 125 carved pumpkins, featuring designs such as the laughing tree and several others.
New to this year’s spectacular, Friday – Sunday nights now feature timed ticket entry starting at 5:30 p.m. These tickets will only be sold online.
Caffe Espresso Trattoria has been open for more than 20 years as a family owned and operated restaurant. Trattoria offfers authentic Italian home cooking.
East Providence, RI
International Oktoberfest will take place over Columbus Day weekend at Bold Point Park.
The festival will include seasonal beer, German cuisine, and live music.
Put on a comfy sweater and take a fall run or bike ride down this 14.5 mile long path that stretches from India Point Park in Providence to Independence Park in Bristol.
The path connects many towns while providing waterside views nearly the entire way.
Dive into history at King Richard's Faire, New England's oldest and largest Renaissance Festival and most beloved annual fall event. Dress up, play games and learn alot at a faire that is a great fall event for the entire family.
The faire ends on October 23.
Block Island, RI
As the fall season rolls on, trips to Block Island are winding down.
But at the moment, there is still great weather ahead and great opportunities to get on the ferry and head over to Block Island for the day, or maybe even multiple days.
A fall trip to Block Island is something ou must do this fall.
Restaurants will offer a three course price fixed meal at $15 for lunch and $25 for dinner.
Participating restaurants include Venice Restaurant and Lounge, Pleasant View Inn, Amigos and more.
Take a break, getaway from the daily grind of life and go on a weekend getaway to Twin Farms in Vermont.
While you are there, there are great opportunities for hiking, biking and just relaxing.
You will not regret this trip.
New Canaan, CT
Construction began on the Glass House in 1949 by architect Philip Johnson and is now a National Trust Historic Site.
The house is on 49 acres of land which holds 13 other structures and features a collection of 20th century painting and sculpture.
The foliage surrounding the house makes the fall season a great time to go visit.