Dear Miss Manners: I greet people at the airport for an elite limousine company that drives very rich people and celebrities. I am expected to be cooperative and gracious.

The first situation I have trouble with is huggers. Occasionally a client insists on hugging me. I'm a gregarious person, and I understand that in some cases this could be cultural, but I just met these people and may never see them again. How does Miss Manners deflect unwanted hugs?

The second is unwanted or inappropriate touching. (Sexual touching has never happened, and that's easier to reject. You're allowed to be rude in that case.) Here's an example. I'm female, and a man once complimented my curly hair. I responded with a thank-you, but throughout the 10 to 15 minutes we were together, he touched my hair repeatedly.

I moved to put the luggage between us, but he moved around it so he could comment on and touch my hair again. I'm still kicking myself for not being more assertive, but I can't think what else I could have said or done.

Actually, rummaging in your hair is sexual, and while Miss Manners condones neither rudeness nor violence, she would look the other way if you’d whopped him with his own luggage.

Try fending off those perhaps more innocent, but still presumptuous, hugs by holding the client’s name placard in front of you and reaching out for a pleasant handshake. Anything more intrusive should be met with the firm request that the client not try to distract you while you are doing your job.

Dear Miss Manners: I love going to the movies. I love watching films on the big screen, and I understand that attending a show with an audience is part of the fun of cinema.

I also find myself getting annoyed with other patrons in the movie theater who feel compelled to be loud or rowdy during the show. I don't attend midnight movies or teenage horror flicks or anything, where that kind of thing would be expected.

Is there a polite way to ask someone to keep it down? I try a stern look, and on occasion I've moved seats. How much noise made by someone in a movie theater is too much noise? My mom tells me that I'm being sensitive and that I should just ignore the people around me, but I have a hard time doing that.

When you speak of the pleasure of sharing a movie with an audience, Miss Manners believes that you refer to the collective laughter or gasps indicating that everyone is having the same experience. What you are experiencing, instead, is the distraction by people who are having their own, unrelated fun, whether with one another or through their devices.

As you have noticed, that is not much fun for others present. Many people have noticed this, and it must be one of the reasons that movie theaters are declining.

Watching at home has made it possible to assemble others who want to observe the same standard — whether rowdiness, silence or something in between.

Miss Manners doubts that your mother really wants to desensitize you to the need for considerate manners in public places. Rather, she seems to be warning you that the situation is hopeless, as you cannot take on a crowd, and the usher who used to deal with disturbances is nowhere in sight.

Miss Manners recommends a discussion with your mother, in which you both defend your sensitivity to public rudeness and, if you share her residence, request a movie-streaming account that will enable you to enjoy films with like-minded people.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website,

2018, by Judith Martin