Dear Miss Manners: My personal office door opens directly to the passage between the lobby and the rest of the office (break room, other offices, etc.), all of which are in close quarters. I prefer to keep my door open so that anyone can walk in for their needs relating to my department.
However, because of this, everyone walking by naturally looks into my office with me sitting sideways, facing my computer. I do not particularly mind this, except that some of my co-workers might find it rude when I neglect to greet them when they pass by. (Of course, I greet anyone who knocks or steps into my office.)
Am I rude not to greet each person passing by? Should I just close my door? Unfortunately, the door does not have a glass panel or anything that would make my office a little more accessible.
Your office would be accessible if, when anyone knocked on your door, you answered, “Come in.” Why do you want to leave yourself open to hallway traffic?
Miss Manners knows why. You have the popular idea that this shows openness, if not warmth, to human contact, although that might not be relevant to your work. What your closed door shows is that you are hard at work and should not be disturbed other than for work-related matters.
Dear Miss Manners: I'm unable to attend a distant relative's wedding and bridal shower. I am wondering what your thoughts are on if there is the need to send monetary gifts and proposed amounts.
You do not have to pay to stay away, even if the couple proposed that — and if it would be worth it.
Dear Miss Manners: We are renting rooms in our home to two temporary boarders. I have noticed that one of them does not wash their hands after urinating.
I don't mean to notice, but their bathroom is beside the couch, and the water does not run after I hear the flushing. I have also not needed to refill the soap yet in that bathroom.
This person uses our kitchen and barely washes before handling dishes or food.
As a person who works with young children, I am more germ-aware than many people. I am not sure how to best communicate my discomfort. Would it be rude to ask someone to practice basic hand hygiene?
Yes and no. It is not just rude but creepy to monitor other people’s bathroom noises, so you should at least not admit to doing this. And you should not instruct your boarders about their behavior behind closed doors, as you may with the young children whom you supervise.
Nevertheless, Miss Manners realizes that you are not likely to forget what you have heard. So what you can do, if you do it gently, is to establish a general rule in regard to your kitchen. Just tell all your boarders, regardless of the ill-gotten information you have about them, that you ask everyone to wash hands before using the kitchen.