Not for my husband to read

I love my husband. He’s handsome, hard-working, smart … he should also stop reading here.

For the rest of you, I have a minor marital issue to discuss.

Ever see the Everybody Loves Raymond episode showing Ray and Debra in a battle of wills over who would put Ray’s suitcase away? They let it sit on the stairs for days instead of being the one to give up and put the suitcase away – to the point where Ray hid a block of stinky cheese in the suitcase. I feel like I’m reliving that episode in my home.

My cheese-in-the-suitcase issue surrounds the all-too-often ignored, yet potentially devastating topic of laundry. More specifically, the pile of laundry that’s been sitting on a chair in our family room for the past three days.

My cheesy suitcase

A little background – my husband does his share of housework which includes the occasional load of laundry. Yet, for some reason, I seem to have exclusive rights on folding and putting away laundry.

 Research shows that 82% of marital fights stem from unfolded laundry.*

So, I decided to conduct a little marital experiment. I decided not to fold the laundry to see how long it would be before he folded it. (I know – maturity defined. My book on how to communicate with your spouse will surely be out soon.)

Let me give you some insight about this laundry pile. It consists of Keith’s white t-shirts and a set of sheets. That’s it. It pretty much ranks as the easiest pile of laundry to fold, other than kitchen towels. I’m not even picky about the fitted sheets. I normally just pick up the sheet and move my hands in a Kumbaya or “the wheels on the bus go round and round” movement until the sheet resembles a cylindrical blob. (Yes, I’m sure my book on the art of domesticity will be immediately following the one on marital communication). The point being that, I have low laundry folding standards – I’m not hard to please!

So, here sits the laundry pile. I’ve watched Keith take shirts from it for the past couple of days. This doesn’t seem to bother him. What truly bothers me is that he seems to be unaware that we’re in the midst of a battle of the wills, which will make my victory a bit hollow should he ever fold the laundry.

On a positive note, during the extensive research that I always conduct when writing, I found this YouTube video on how to fold a fitted sheet:

 Who knew! My favorite part is her intro when she says, “One of the biggest challenges you’re going to face in your life is how to fold a fitted sheet.” Ha! Words of wisdom.

*As with 97% of the statistics given in my blog, this stat is completely made up.

Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter

I have an eight-year old son named David.  I’m sure he’ll be appearing in this blog frequently.  The things he says are smart, insightful, sincere, and hilarious.  So, oddly enough, I’m kicking off my Corporate Etiquette series with David.   

I recently told David I was going to be his Cub Scout Den Leader.  His response to me was, “Mom, that’s okay, I’d really rather a professional do it.”  That’s my David.  I can’t say I blame him in this case.  I didn’t know the difference between a Bear, Wolf, or Tiger.  (The Cub Scout ranks, not the animals – I’ve got those down.)  I didn’t have a uniform.  I didn’t know The Promise, The Law of the Pack, the handshake, the salute, or the Motto.  (Yes, it’s almost as bad as pledging a sorority.)  Nothing about me or my statement of den leadership gave David confidence in my ability to actually lead these boys.  

Can you relate to that feeling?  The feeling that the person you’re talking to isn’t up for the challenge?  Something about them doesn’t feel quite professional.  You lack confidence in their ability to deliver.  It reminds me of why corporate etiquette is invaluable.   Knowing corporate etiquette sends a message of professionalism – it lands the client, it impresses the boss, it instills confidence in colleagues.  

Corporate etiquette is about the details that matter!  Not understanding how to communicate, look, and act in the corporate world will send people looking for a “real professional.”  In my upcoming series of blogs, Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter, I’ll be covering the rules of etiquette that allow people to view you as a competent, successful, and confident professional. 

This series will cover: 

  1. How to communicate like a professional  Email, texts, social media, smart phones … our means of communicating have changed dramatically from twenty years ago.  The good news is that there is nothing new about the etiquette of communication.  Just like the manners we were taught twenty years ago, today’s communications need to be thoughtful, effective, and clear.
  2. How to look like a professional  In a recent Newsweek article, The Beauty Advantage, a poll of corporate hiring managers found that, “When it comes to getting hired in the first place, 57 percent of managers believe an unattractive (but qualified) job candidate will have a harder time getting hired; 68 percent believe that, once hired, looks will continue to affect the way managers rate job performance.”   Depressing news? No! We can choose an image that doesn’t distract from what we have to offer professionally.
  3. How to act like a professional  Beyond the boardroom, our actions at networking events, working lunches, office parties, etc. are all important.  From dining etiquette to the art of conversation, once again, details matter!

 These are the topics I’ll cover in Corporate Etiquette: Details that Matter.  I will also be busy doing my best as a den leader.  Did you know that “Do Your Best” is the Cub Scout motto?  (Corporate Etiquette Lesson #1: Learn the lingo and culture!)  

Cub Scout David
Do you have a boss who's difficult to impress? Try impressing this guy!