Book Review: “Excuse Me, But I Was Next…”: How to Handle the Top 100 Manners Dilemmas by Peggy Post

This book covers the easy-to-follow solutions to the top 100 manners/etiquettes dilemmas that we face in our life, mostly common senses. But there were times when I could use these tips. The basic principles I read from the book:
1) Be in control of your emotion – no screaming or yelling,
2) Be firm. If all fails, get away fast.
3) Be truthful. Don’t lie and don’t be brunt either. Better to say nothing or just state you’re not comfortable talking about it. A good tactic is ask the question back: “Why you asked?”
4) Be considerate of the other’s position,
5) Avoid surprises and embarrassing others,
6) Don’t say “I know how you feel” because we usually don’t.
7) Use hand written notes if at all possible to be personal (I think I’ll fax or email scanned copy of the notes, if that counts 🙂
8 ) Use common sense.

I didn’t care for the dining arrangement (like where to put the salad plate or the “charger” plate) – sounds too complicated and excessive. The tipping etiquettes also sounds too generous (constitutes nearly 15% of the annual spend for Xmas gift) – or I’m just cheap. The author really stretches the dilemmas to add to up 100. There are some obscure ones like how to deal with others’ happy and sad events at the same time, like a mother giving birth to a twin but loses a baby to stillborn. Wow, that’s a dilemma all right.

This is an easy listen (audio book). Having 100 distinctive chapters allows a few items to be missed without losing the continuity. This book epitomizes the “algorithm” of the Golden Rules in this book – a good bet that if you practice them, you won’t get yourselves in trouble – most of the time.