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Neighborhood Watch

No doubt your nanny loves the baby dearly and wouldn't miss the party for the world. But hard as it may be for you, as parents, to imagine, she also has her own life and other ways to spend her free time.

Furthermore, she is not going to stand staring out the window if the baby needs something while you are not in immediate attendance. So there she would be, giving up her free time to work free of charge.

Miss Manners would consider the most gracious solution to be first merely to ask the nanny to be there and to pay her for that in advance or offer a compensatory day off, but then, at the event itself, to say, "I'm sure I can manage -- please just consider yourself a guest and have a good time."

Dear Miss Manners:

Today we received the following admonition in our office e-mail. The gentlemen who sent it is new to his supervisory position in our office and was transferred to his position from a former post in computer services. "Please do not send any e-mails in all capitol letters. This is very rude and unprofessional. Much like we don't allow yelling in the office, we should not be yelling in our e-mails."

Aside from the misspelling of "capital," is this statement true? Not that any one would type in capital letters, but if she did, is it truly seen as yelling, rude and unprofessional?

Well, as a matter of fact, YES, IT IS. (You see? And do forgive Miss Manners for dramatizing the point.)

Feeling incorrect? E-mail your etiquette questions to Miss Manners (who is distraught that she cannot reply personally) atMissManners@unitedmedia.comor mail to United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

2007Judith Martin


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