Newport Manners & Etiquette: Bullies, Rumormongers + Pizza Manners
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Bullied in the workplace
I have a part-time job in a restaurant on weekends as a bus boy. One of the other guys in the kitchen whacked me twice with a wet towel. I need the job to help pay for college and my mom is a single working mother, so I don't want to cause trouble. I don't want to get anyone fired, but I don't know how to work this out. Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
Guys have been snapping towels at one another forever. It is supposed to be playful. Nonetheless, it is a form of harassment, especially when the other person doesn't engage in the "game" by snapping a wet towel back at the predator. Talk to your supervisor. Ask him for advice. Say you don't want to be a complainer, but the situation is intolerable. Chances are he's bullied others and, unless he's the owner's son, the supervisor has gotten wind of his bad behavior.
As to how to work it out, the next time that wet towel comes at you clasp your hands behind you and step away. That's the signal that you're not fighting back. You're taking a non-confrontational stand. While calmly but sternly saying, "I don't appreciate being snapped at with a wet dishtowel. Please, don't do it again." Keep your hands behind your back and wait for his reply. He'll probably walk away. ~Didi
Squelching a rumor
At a party on Saturday, a 12th grader was making fun of my best friend, trying to ruin her reputation by telling people she's pregnant. I stood up for her and said she wasn't. I said as her best friend I would know if she was. He laughed and said she was. I went outside and texted her. She texted back that she wasn't. I went back and told him. He laughed again. Then I asked my date to get me out of there. What should I have done? Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
Actually, you did everything possible perfectly. You confronted the upperclassman with his allegation and then confirmed that you were right. You took the drama out of the rumor and left the party. The rumormonger will no doubt be looking for verification of her unborn baby bump. When he doesn't see her looking pregnant, he should apologize. ~Didi
Meeting her parents
I've been invited to my girlfriend's house for pizza to meet her parents. Pizza is so messy. Do I use a knife and fork and cut it into bite size pieces? Or do I fold it over and eat with my hands. I want to make a good impression. Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
When you arrive at your girlfriend's home introduce yourself so they clearly get your name. Especially if your name, for instance, is Rob and some people think it is Bob, O'Connell when it is O'Donnell. Look them in the eye as you shake their hand, with your right hand vertical and thumb pointing upward. Hold for one second, two seconds, three seconds as you say, "My name is Rob O'Donnell." Let go. Then say, "Thank you for inviting me." When eye contact seems being too familiar, focus on the tip of his nose or chin. He won't know the difference and you'll feel more comfortable.
If the table is set with a fork and knife, cut away. Otherwise grab a couple of napkins and tuck one in under your chin, fold the slice, and bring it to your mouth. Don't put your head in your plate, elevate the pizza to your chin and dig in. A slice of pizza isn't heavy. You only need one hand to maneuver the slice up and down.
Make conversation with the person to your right and then the person to your left between bites when it isn't a group conversation. But don't talk with your mouth full. Ask about sports. Always an icebreaker, even when they don't like sports. Don't forget, out of respect for the women in the family, put the toilet seat back down.
Ask if you can pitch in, "What can I do to help?" Be sure to thank everyone, and you'll be invited again. Exiting: open the door, but leave facing the family to say your goodbye. Never turn your back to anybody, whether you're sitting next to them or leaving the room. ~Didi
Bullies in the mall
What do I do when I'm at the mall and harassed by upperclassmen, who pick a fight or try to argue some stupid point? Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
Whether in the mall or the halls at school, agree to disagree. Say, "Let's agree that we can see things differently. Let's agree it is OK to disagree." Again, with your hands clasped behind your back, make "Eye contact" on his chinny-chin-chin as he walks away. ~Didi
Do you have a question for Didi? Visit her at NewportManners.com. We can withhold your name and location. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book,"Newport Etiquette." Previous weekly GoLocalProv.com columns may be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above righthand search. Or scroll down for a list of topics below.
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Introduce yourself to the Providence art scene by exploring Providence’s Gallery Night. Every third Thursday of the month from March to November, galleries in Providence open their doors so you can enjoy everything from contemporary art to one-of-a-kind pieces. Guided tours start at One Regency Plaza at 5:20 and leave every 20 minutes. The best part? The bus tours are free. For more information, click here.
Gallery Night: One Regency Plaza, Providence, RI, 02903
Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio
Feeling artsy? Get your creative juices flowing at Weirdgirl Pottery studio. There is no need for an appointment, just stop in and start painting. The prices of the ceramics start at $8 and there is no sitting fee or hourly fee. For more information, click here.
Weirdgirl Creations Pottery Studio: 33 Kent Street, Suite B, Barrington, RI, 02806
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Sky Zone: 70 Pawtucket Ave, East Providence, RI, 02916
Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
If you are looking to enjoy live music but do not want to dip into your savings account for concert tickets, check out all of the different shows that Lupo’s has to offer. The shows at Lupo’s are constantly changing and there are plenty of tickets for $20 when bought in advance. For a list of upcoming events, click here.
Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel: 79-81 Washington Street, Providence, RI, 02903
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Cassarino’s: 177 Atwells Avenue, Providence, RI, 02903
Located on Providence’s Thayer Street, the Avon Cinema is known for showing independent and foreign films. Tickets are only $10.50 or $8.50 for matinee shows. Check out their website to see what movies are playing and get ready to have a unique movie experience. For more information visit, click here.
Avon Cinema: 260 Thayer Street, Providence, RI, 02906
The Providence Athenaeum
The Providence Athenaeum is an independent library located on Providence’s Benefit Street. This library, founded in 1836, has welcomed many illustrious visitors throughout the years including Edgar Allen Poe. The library is open to the public and many of their programs are free. Check out their website for upcoming programs.
The Providence Athenaeum: 251 Benefit Street, Providence, RI, 02903
Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
The Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park is home to the largest indoor display gardens in New England. The Botanical Center includes two greenhouses with over 150 different species of plants. The Center is open Tuesday- Sunday from 11:00am -4:00pm and admission is only $3 for adults and $1 for children. For more information, click here.
Roger Williams Park Botanical Center: 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI, 02905
Though Waterfire doesn’t start this season until the end of May, Waterfire is one of Providence’s most popular and cultural events. It is also free. So when the weather gets warmer make sure you see the bonfires glowing at Waterplace Park. For more information, click here.
Waterfire Providence: 100 Canal Walk, Waterplace Park, Providence, RI, 02903
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Swan Boats: 4 Charles Street, Boston, MA, 02116
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