Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about showing up for parties that aren't happening, addressing postcards to households, trashing promotional swag, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)
Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about showing up for parties that aren't happening, addressing postcards to households, trashing promotional swag, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)
Have a question for us? Call or text (267) CALL-RBW or visit ask.wyrbw.com
QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:
THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...
Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Hey, everybody, it's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: And we had so many great questions from you all in the wilderness ...
Nick: That we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is quote, "I am a waitress in a restaurant of about 30 people, and I was at work when my boss invited everyone to come to his house for a barbecue the next day. He had just moved into a new house with a large backyard, so he said he was excited to grill and christen the new space. The day he invited everyone, I went to him and confirmed that he was serious about the invitation, as I've only been working in the restaurant for about a month and I'm still pretty new. He said he really meant it, and that the barbecue would start at noon, but he would be grilling all afternoon.
Nick: The day of the barbecue, I baked a cake, so as to not show up empty-handed, and went over to my boss's house at around 2:30. When I arrived, his wife let me in and told me to go down to the basement, which led out to the backyard. When I got to the basement, it was just my boss, with two of his friends watching TV on the couch. No one else was there. My boss asked me why I didn't text him to tell him I was coming. But I thought that, since we had confirmed the day before, that worked as my RSVP. Was I mistaken? I'm also not sure how to proceed now with him at work. Should I pretend none of this happened? Please help me."
Leah: I wanted to say "Did I write this?" Not that this exact thing has happened to me, but ...
Leah: This feels like my life.
Nick: I mean, what I wrote down was "Do words not mean words?"
Nick: Like, I don't—what would you do differently here? I don't know where we could have done anything differently.
Leah: No, this was totally the boss. He invited you. You even then went and confirmed.
Nick: Yeah, you confirmed specifically. Yes.
Leah: I think people didn't show up. He got embarrassed, and then his go to was to be like, "How come you didn't confirm?"
Nick: I mean, I love that detail: to make it your fault.
Leah: That seems—I feel like I know these people that are like, "Why didn't you call me?" And you're like, "Well, you invited me, and then I even confirmed with you. And I didn't know I had to do a triple follow up!"
Nick: "And here's a cake I spent time baking."
Leah: "Here's a cake I baked." I mean, what a lovely, lovely person is our letter writer. I think your boss was just embarrassed, and then so they put it on you.
Leah: And I would move forward acting like it never happened.
Nick: Now an alternative explanation is that no one likes this boss and has ever showed up to his barbecues, and he was shocked that you did. You're the first person who actually ever bothered to show up.
Leah: But he still put it on her
Nick: [laughs] Right? No, it's still bad. I'm just trying to come up with some other explanation other than just like this weird gaslighting explanation.
Leah: It's just really unbelievable.
Nick: But I think you're right. I think we pretend this never happened. We don't discuss it again, and at work, that's just what this relationship is. This is a purely restaurant-based relationship. We do not socialize outside of the work context.
Leah: And moving forward, if there's any invites to anything ...
Nick: "I'm so busy. Oh, but thank you so much!"
Leah: "I'm so busy. Thank you so much!"
Nick: Thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed the cake."
Nick: Yeah. And I guess for people who do this: done something, they feel embarrassed and they try and put it on the other person, is there anything we can say to these people?
Leah: Don't do that.
Nick: Don't. [laughs] Okay, sure.
Leah: You can just say, "Oh, my goodness, I didn't—nobody came. You know, my friends are here. You're welcome to stay. Hope you don't feel awkward. Thanks so much for the cake." Just own it!
Nick: Yeah, I think owning it. And also, your host responsibilities don't change here. I think if you had a guest in your home, you should now entertain your guest. Offer you a beverage. "Would you like to watch what we're watching on television? Oh, should we get the grill going? Let's get the barbecue started now that you're here." Like, all of those would have been nice things rather than, like, "Oh, there's no party today. What are you talking about?"
Nick: Yeah. So audience, forgive us for going around in circles on this but, like, we just find it so inconceivable that, like, you RSVPed, you showed up like you said you would, and then it's like, "Oh, you're here? Weird." And so I just don't—I have no words, really.
Leah: I don't find it inconceivable just because I feel like this kind of thing has happened to me a lot.
Nick: A lot? How—what? Come on!
Leah: More than once is a lot for something like this, I think. I would say once is a lot.
Nick: And so you said you were gonna to show up to a thing you were invited to, and then you show up to the thing, the thing isn't happening and then the host is like, "What are you talking about?"
Leah: Yeah, I feel like this has happened.
Nick: That's what we're saying?
Leah: I really feel like this has happened to me.
Nick: How—I just don't understand how this has happened in the universe twice.
Leah: [laughs] And people always blame you because they're embarrassed.
Nick: Ugh! So ...
Leah: I feel like I would get a new job. I'd be like, "I can't look at this person in their face."
Nick: Yeah, it's hard to work with people you don't respect. It's true.
Leah: Yeah, I'd be like, "Why would you make me feel bad? I made you a cake. I came to your party, I confirmed."
Nick: And you know he ate that cake and you know he enjoyed it.
Leah: I would have taken my cake back with me.
Nick: You can't do that!
Leah: I was saying that. Obviously, I would not have at all. I would have been like ...
Nick: No, you have to leave the cake.
Leah: I would have been like, "What did I do?" I would have felt horrible. I would have left the cake. But inside I would have begrudged it.
Nick: That's fair, yeah. No, etiquette doesn't care what's in your heart.
Nick: So our next question is quote, "My friends and I have an ongoing debate that we need settled. We are frequent travelers and love sending postcards. When sending a postcard to a friend, are we obligated to include our friend's spouse and/or children in the address? I think since there's no privacy in a postcard, the polite thing is to include all who may read the postcard while picking up the mail. My friend's opinion is you should be able to send a postcard to one recipient in a household. We appreciate your feedback on this burning question."
Leah: I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
Nick: So I love that we get to be a tie-breaker for a debate. I mean, what a privilege and responsibility!
Leah: Unless we each come in on other sides, and then we have to bring in a fifth person.
Nick: Ooh! So I love sending postcards, first of all. Let's just, like, baseline. I actually have a big postcard collection. Like, in my travels, I always pick up extra postcards because postcards are fun because they're just, like, for fun. And when you receive one, they're like a nice little bonus in your mailbox, because they're not like a thank-you that you might be expecting. Like, they're an unexpected treat. And so I think postcards are delightful, and homework everybody: send a postcard. This week, pick a postcard, send it to somebody you know, and just like, "Thinking of you." That's your homework. So please do that, because postcards are delightful.
Leah: I also think postcards are very fun.
Nick: And also, I love that this is a burning question. Like, if this is the thing that's burning in your friendship, how wonderful that you don't have bigger fish to fry. So that's great.
Leah: I'm sure they have other fish to fry, they just want us to come in. They're not gonna give us the big life questions.
Nick: Oh, I see. We don't get those.
Leah: They're giving us the postcard. [laughs]
Nick: Oh, that's fair. So my first question is: what is this message? What is the message that we're putting out in this postcard? Like, "Greetings from Paris! But only for Chad. We are offering zero greetings for Lisa." Like, what is this greeting? Like, what are you writing on this postcard where only one person in the household could possibly receive it.
Leah: Well, I think they're saying, "Can I just write it to my friend, or do I have to add everybody's name from the household?"
Nick: Well, I think it comes down to the etiquette question of what would be the most mindful and considerate of everybody? So you know these people, so if you write a postcard to Chad and you know Lisa's gonna get bent out of shape that you didn't write her a postcard, well, then just toss her name in. Like, how hard is that? The message is going to be identical. I can't imagine it's gonna be any different. So just, like, toss in their names. What difference does it make?
Leah: But do you think a person has to?
Leah: Well, in etiquette, nobody has to do anything. You don't have to use the right fork.
Leah: So you're saying, yes, you should put everybody's name on it. That's where you're coming down.
Nick: I'm just saying that it probably won't kill you, and there doesn't seem to be a persuasive reason not to.
Leah: I think if you're not friendly with the other people, like, if you really just know Lisa and you've never had any interaction with Chad ...
Nick: Then that's fine. In which case, you know, that other person shouldn't feel aggrieved that they didn't receive a postcard. But if you know them equally, and you go out of your way to only write a postcard to one of them from your vacation, you know, then that's gonna catch the other person's eye. And then who needs that drama?
Leah: Even if you don't know them equally, but say you've been to dinner at their house, you've been out with—even if it's the whole family, I could throw the kids in there too. You know what I mean?
Nick: Yes. I mean, I think you don't have to. But I think one thing that you could be achieving if you add everybody's names, is furthering the relationship with everybody in the household. So, like, if you only know one person, but you're invited over to their house for dinner and you want to have a nicer relationship with everybody, then just tossing everybody's name on the postcard? Very easy way to achieve that. Be like, "Oh, I'm thinking of everybody in the household."
Leah: I think a caveat would be, say you're somewhere that reminds you of something you did with Lisa at one point.
Leah: Like, maybe you went to the beach in high school, and then you got this ice cream on a pier, and you were somewhere that had a pier and ice cream, and you got her a postcard and you're like, "Hey, remember? This reminds me of when we did this."
Leah: And then you sent it to her. It wouldn't make sense to have everybody else. It's to her. It's a memory, and I think that's fine.
Nick: Yes, although if you wrote the postcard to everyone and then the message was like, "Oh, I was on this pier and we got ice cream and it reminded us of high school," I feel like everybody receiving the postcard gets it.
Leah: Yeah, but it's not to them, it's to her.
Leah: So I feel like ...
Nick: Okay. No, I see. All right. The pier, ice cream ...
Leah: If you want to have a moment with your friend, I think that's fine.
Nick: That is—okay. Yes, I think it's fine. And I think if you did that, and you knew that the person who was not the recipient of the postcard wasn't going to get bent out of shape about it, then that's also fine. I guess my thing is, if someone in the household sees that a postcard was sent but they weren't on it, would they care? And if there's any doubt whether or not they might care, then just toss their name in. And if you really aren't worried about it, then leave them off. How's that?
Nick: Okay. [laughs]
Leah: I always try when I write—you know, most of my couple friends, I know both people.
Nick: Yes, as you typically would, I guess, if you have a postcard-writing relationship, right?
Leah: But I feel like if I didn't know both people and I wanted to send my friend something specific, I wouldn't feel bad leaving the other person off.
Nick: Yes. And I think on the flip side of this conversation is, if a postcard arrives at your house and you're not listed, then is this really something you get upset about?
Leah: Like, if it was a couple friend and they didn't put me, I'd be like, "So weird!" I wouldn't—I don't think I would have feelings.
Nick: Well, some time ago, we got a question about a wedding invitation where I'd hosted these people in my home, and they sent the wedding invitation to my spouse but ...
Leah: "Plus guest."
Nick: So it was like, "And guest?" Right!
Leah: Well, that's the thing where they have a relationship with both of them. They've both come over to the house.
Leah: So that falls in my category of putting both names.
Nick: Right. Okay. But you have some relationship with this other person on the postcard, no?
Leah: No, I'm saying if I have no relationship with them.
Nick: Zero relationship.
Leah: I just know that they got married or—but I haven't met them or whatever, then I wouldn't feel bad just putting my friend's name.
Nick: Fine. Okay. To summarize: it's a spectrum, and whether or not to include the name depends on the level of relationship you have with all parties. And if it's about some high school pier ice cream experience that you only had with one person, even if you know everybody and the postcard image is directly related to that anecdote, then okay, leave the other people off.
Leah: Yes! Yes!
Nick: Fine. That's the answer. Okay, great. We got there. So our next question is quote, "I know you've talked about food etiquette and what to do if you're served something you don't like. You can push it around and just not say anything, but I was wondering what to do about drinks? My friend recently brought over a pumpkin beer to try, and I tried it and I didn't like it. And then I felt pressured to finish the drink anyway and not say anything. I'm wondering what's correct in this situation?"
Leah: I was trying to think if it didn't involve alcohol, if I would feel differently.
Nick: Yes. That was my question. Yeah, for this, I just have a bunch of questions. Like, beverages do feel different than food, right?
Leah: And then beverages, it feels different when it's alcohol related.
Nick: It does, right. Because if it's alcohol and you don't want it, you just say, "Oh, no thank you," and that's the end of the conversation.
Leah: That's the end of the conversation.
Nick: There's no excuses. We don't need to give explanations, and as the host, you accept this at face value and you do not ask any follow up and you don't probe and that's the end of it. But the situation here is that you do drink alcohol, you just didn't like this pumpkin beer. And now you have a whole glass of it.
Leah: But even if you do drink alcohol, like, some people are like, "I only have a beer a day," or "I like one glass of wine."
Leah: Or if you wanted a half a beer, that's your business. It's still different in my mind because it's alcohol. Do you know what I mean?
Nick: Yes. Although I think the situation here is I now have a full glass of something I don't want. And I'm happy to drink a different beer, I just don't want this pumpkin beer. But now I have a whole glass of this, and what do I do?
Leah: I mean, I feel like I'd be like, "I'm so sorry, I just—I'm really not into pumpkin."
Nick: Yeah. I mean, once it's poured, it's a little tricky. Although the next question on my list is: if it's homemade, does it make a difference? Because there is something about criticizing something you've been served if it's homemade versus, like, store-bought. Like, doesn't it feel a little different? Like, if this was my artisanal beer that I made and I'm like, "Oh, please try my pumpkin beer I just made." That does feel slightly different than, like, "Oh, here's a can I just opened."
Leah: Yeah, but I don't think you should have—they shouldn't have poured this person a full glass. A pumpkin beer is very specific.
Nick: Yeah, that's true.
Leah: A person shouldn't be forced to drink a cup of beer that they don't like!
Nick: [laughs] You could see Leah's face right now with the disdain she has for pumpkin beer!
Leah: I mean, ideally, they just would have poured you a sip because pumpkin is a very strong taste. Also a lot of homemade beers, I'm sorry, it can go very wrong.
Nick: Yes, it is not necessarily easy to make beer.
Leah: It's not easy.
Nick: Growing up, we actually made beer as a family. Like, a lot of—we have carboys still in the garage somewhere.
Leah: My dad's made beer. It's a whole process.
Nick: Yeah, it's a whole thing. There's temperatures, there's hops, there's stirring, yeah. So for this, it's best if you aren't sure you like something to have a small taste, and be like, "Oh, just pour me a splash so I can try it." That would have been better than, like, having them pour a full glass for you.
Leah: But I mean, I don't want to make it this person's fault that they ...
Nick: No, I think this is just a "For the future."
Nick: Next time, if we encounter a beverage that we're not sure if we're gonna like, then "Oh, just give me a taste. Let me try it."
Leah: And I don't think you're obligated to drink a full glass of pumpkin homemade beer.
Nick: Are you obligated? No, you are not obligated. No, I think you would just sort of push it around the same way you would food you were served that you don't want.
Leah: Well, you can't really push it around because it's not going to—unless you slowly carve a hole in the bottom of the glass and let it run down the table. [laughs]
Nick: I mean, I know some people that if they get certain stuff they don't like and they kind of like, you know, pop into the kitchen or the bathroom to wash their hands and then they'll pour out half the drink down the sink. You know, like, there's strategies to get rid of a beverage you don't want.
Leah: It's so funny that we live in this world where, like, should I pour it into the plant when my friend's not looking instead of being like, "Oh, I'm really not into pumpkin beer. Thank you so much. It's cool you made this."
Leah: Because what's gonna happen is you're gonna get a case of this for Christmas.
Nick: Absolutely. Oh, yeah. This is your thing now. It's like, "Oh yeah, Lisa. She likes the pumpkin beer. Oh, let's crack open a new keg for her. Yeah, tap it."
Leah: How many people were like, "Whoo! This is horrible. I'm sorry, I can't drink this."
Nick: But I guess, how do we decline politely? Because now I've tasted the beer and I don't like it. And I don't want to hurt your feelings because maybe you like it or you really thought I was gonna like it. And so how do we let you down easy in a direct yet polite way?
Leah: It's just so weird that we have to—I find it weird to have to explain when you're ingesting something, do you know?
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. But it does feel like we can't be like, "Ugh! I don't like it!"
Leah: Oh, no. No, we definitely cannot. I just think it's funny that we can't. But we definitely cannot!
Nick: I mean, I guess we could say, "Oh, it's interesting. I'm so glad I got to try it. I'm not sure if it's for me, though." Like, is that it? I mean, I think you have to say it in a different way. [laughs]
Leah: I mean, I think that's very lovely. I just personally think pumpkin is a very strong taste to be drinking.
Nick: Well, it doesn't matter if it's pumpkin. Any beverage might not be your thing.
Leah: But I mean, in something like that, I feel like you could be like, "It's lovely. I'm not a huge pumpkin person, but thank you so much for letting me try it."
Nick: Yes, something in that world is great. And as a host, you shouldn't just pour a full glass of a beverage if you're not sure they want it.
Leah: Especially when it's something that's so intense, like a pumpkin beer.
Nick: But if it's not alcoholic and you don't want it, I think it's also fine. Like, I think any beverage, like, you're always allowed just to decline and say, "Oh, that's not for me." And as a host, I think it's nice to not foist beverages on people without asking. Like, regardless of what it is, Like, "Here's just, like, Sunny D I poured for you." It's like, "Well, I don't want that." Like, "Here's the pumpkin beer. I just poured you a whole glass." Like, did you ask? No. So I think in general, as a host, like, ask. "Oh, what would you like to drink?" And, like, have the conversation.
Leah: And I do think that—and we've discussed alcoholic beverages before. Different people have different—some people only want a taste of alcohol.
Leah: Even if it's like low level. Maybe they don't want the calories. Maybe, like, a whole beer puts them over, and they shouldn't have to explain that. If somebody only wants a little bit of it, that should be fine.
Nick: Yes. And it's important to remember that, like, people's drinking is a spectrum. There are people that don't drink at all, there's people that enjoy a cocktail or four Dorothy Parker style, and then there are people in the middle. Like, me personally, I love a good gin-something. I don't need a lot of it. And sometimes I don't want anything high-alcohol, I just want something low-alcohol, and I'll just drink, like, a Campari and soda. And who knows what my mood will be? And so I'd like to be able to decide that for myself each time.
Leah: Yes, I think that's what it is. You like to be able to decide it for yourself, maybe you just wanted a sip.
Nick: Self-determination. Yeah, it's a thing.
Leah: I think some people don't realize that some people don't drink a lot.
Nick: Yes, yes. And that there's something in between, like, unlimited cocktails and then nothing.
Leah: I think it's very nice that our letter-writer wants to support their friend and their beer making and doesn't want to hurt their feelings. And obviously, everybody knowing me knows that I always want people's feelings to feel good. So I totally get it.
Nick: And just to clarify, I don't think this was homemade pumpkin beer. I just sort of tossed that in as an option. I don't believe this was homemade. [laughs]
Leah: What do you mean?
Nick: I don't think it's homemade pumpkin beer.
Leah: Well, if it's not homemade, then oh my goodness!
Nick: Then definitely not. Hard pass.
Leah: To then be like, "Not my thing." I don't know why I thought it was homemade. If it's not homemade, whose feelings are you hurting?
Nick: Well, the manufacturer.
Leah: Molson? I mean, don't even worry about it.
Nick: Molson? Wow, Canadian in the house. Somebody went to school in Quebec.
Leah: [laughs] Oh, if this is not homemade, then come on now.
Nick: Then never mind. Ignore the whole conversation we just had. Sure.
Leah: Yeah, for real. You'd be like, "Oh, should I worry about Natty Light's feelings? Don't worry about it.
Nick: Natty Light. Okay, so our next question is quote, "My partner and I won a pumpkin-carving contest in our apartment building." Oh, there's a lot of pumpkin content in this episode.
Leah: Heavy pumpkin.
Nick: "The prize was advertised as a $50 Whole Foods gift card, but when we received it, it also included a monogrammed wine glass, coffee mug and blanket that each contained the building's logo on it. Now I don't mean to sound unappreciative, but there's only so much space in our apartment, and we just don't need things that we don't intentionally have a purpose for. I propose we take the items to the office, and tell them we hope someone else can enjoy them. My partner, however, says that it'll be insulting and that putting them in the trash is the best course of action. Please help."
Leah: I'm gonna go with Option C.
Nick: Oh, what's option C?
Leah: Option C is you put it in a bag.
Leah: You go across town.
Nick: Okay. Crosstown!
Leah: Not in the area.
Leah: And you drop it off at a Salvation Army.
Nick: Okay. Yeah, I did have that on my list because there has to be something in between giving it back and putting it in the trash.
Nick: There's something in the middle.
Leah: I'm voting a no on both of those options. A) they will see your trash. It's the building.
Nick: Mm. That's true, that's valid, yeah.
Leah: I don't think you can take it back. I understand what you're saying, but I do think it will be taken wrong.
Nick: Ah, okay. But before we get there, unless you're The Dakota, no one wants a building logo on stuff. Like, who wants that?
Leah: You know, I just think people do that. It's like pens with, you know ...
Nick: Yeah, and I don't think people want that.
Leah: I mean, you're trying to change all of society right now, Nick. People are doing it.
Nick: I am trying to change all of society. Oh, you're catching on. Yes, that is what I'm trying to do.
Leah: [laughs] I didn't know we were going all the way into logos, because that's a real heavy lift. I was just hoping people would start saying, "Thank you." [laughs]
Nick: Well, we have a lot of verticals to cover. But yes, I think normally, returning a gift is rude, yes. That as a baseline etiquette, yes. But is this a gift? Is it a gift? Is it promotional merchandise? And does the fact that it comes from a soulless building corporation make a difference?
Leah: It didn't come—I mean, it probably came from the building manager.
Nick: Yeah. No, it came from Lisa in the office. Yeah.
Leah: So I think probably we want to keep Lisa—we want to keep good vibes with Lisa in case maybe we want to move an animal into the building, and there's like a no-animal policy.
Leah: Or maybe Lisa made this logo. Like, we don't know.
Nick: Oh, that's true, yeah. No, the office people are probably really excited about this blanket. Yeah, that's true.
Leah: Yeah, they could be, like, super excited about it, and it could go wrong. So that's why I think we drive across town. We don't even do a local Goodwill.
Nick: Okay. So we definitely have to go outside of the area. Ideally, we also have to go outside of wherever Lisa lives.
Nick: Okay. Now what about just giving it to a neighbor? You know, because we all have those neighbors that actually probably enjoy these things.
Leah: I think that's also a great option.
Nick: Okay, so don't trash it, don't give it back. Take it to another state.
Leah: [laughs] Move it around. Move it around.
Nick: Also, what you really should do is bring it to different Goodwills, so the mug goes to this one Goodwill. The blanket goes to a different Goodwill.
Leah: I mean, with the wine glass, you could bring it over to somebody's house for a dinner party and then accidentally leave it.
Nick: I mean, what—can you imagine? Let's just talk about that. And then we get a question from the wilderness which is, "I had a dinner party, and one of my guests brought their own wine glass that had a weird logo on it and then left it in my house. And when I called them about it, they said, "Oh, no. No, you keep it."
Leah: [laughs] Then we'd be like, "We know that person!"
Nick: Right! Yeah, we got their address. Yeah, you can mail it back.
Leah: That was our idea!
Nick: Right. It was our really good idea. You're welcome.
Leah: Yeah, I would just move it around. Maybe you have a family member that loves logos and they would like something like that for Christmas.
Nick: Oh, sure. We all have those family members that love logos.
Leah: I actually do have a family member that loves logos.
Nick: You do not.
Leah: Oh, I do.
Nick: What does that mean? What does that mean?
Leah: She loves logos. She, like, collects things from places.
Nick: Wow. I mean, how wonderful! Who am I to say that's not a thing?
Leah: I mean, I'm just saying maybe you know one of these people.
Nick: Yeah, or maybe your relative would be willing to take it off their hands. Should we connect them? Send them to Leah's relative.
Leah: I'm just saying there's many options that are not trash it or take it back.
Nick: Fair, yes. No, I think we've given a lot of great ideas here.
Leah: Great ideas.
Nick: So our next question is quote, "How long before a Zoom meeting should I log in? For in-office meetings, I generally arrive at meetings one minute before the scheduled time if they're a one-on-one in someone else's office, and five to 10 minutes ahead if they're in a conference room. But for a Zoom, does it seem impatient if I jump on a Zoom five minutes early since in most of these platforms, the meeting organizer can see that someone has joined. Relatedly, if I have a one-on-one video call with someone, how long do I wait if I log on and they don't show up? At what point do I ping them that I'm waiting for them? And how long do I wait without a response before I log off and do something else with my time?"
Leah: I think, as this person said, office meetings or, like, meetings where you have regular popping on one minute before, when you know the schedule is totally fine. And then where it's a meeting, if you haven't logged onto that link before ...
Leah: ... or—and you want to make sure it works and you want to be all prepped, I think it's fine to go in a few minutes early. That way, in case something is wrong, you have time to still be on time.
Nick: Sure. I mean, I think as long as you are there when the meeting starts and you're ready to roll, that's your camera's working, you've tested the video. It's not like, "Oh, I need to reboot." Or, like, "Oh, am I muted? Is my camera working?" No, none of that. You've got to be ready to roll when the baton drops. As long as that's happening, you can be there exactly on time. But five minutes earlier, I think that's fine. Whatever.
Leah: Yeah, I don't think five minutes early is too pushy, because I like to go in, make sure everything's running and then they'll invite you in when they're ready.
Nick: And I think if you do jump on early, just make sure that you are muted and your camera is off, because you will forget that you are on camera and then that could be potentially very awkward.
Leah: Absolutely. I agree with that.
Nick: Like, I think there are a lot of stories of people who didn't realize they were on camera.
Leah: Yes, I think there are a lot.
Nick: [laughs] So there's that.
Leah: I think with a one-on-one call, if it goes past five minutes and I haven't gotten a text explaining where they are, I'm for sure texting them.
Nick: Yeah, I had five minutes down, too. And so I think you just be like, "Hey, I'm on the Zoom. Like, let me know if you're joining."
Nick: And then the question is: when do you go on with your life?
Leah: I would give it two minutes past that text.
Nick: Oh, you would give two minutes past that? Okay. Interesting.
Leah: How about you?
Nick: I was thinking that if it's a 30-minute meeting, like, we only allocated 30 minutes, I guess the question is at what point has so much time passed that we can't really actually have the meeting even if you did join again? So, like, I felt like at the 10-minute mark, that's definitely when there's not enough time to actually cover our agenda, maybe.
Leah: What if you text them at five minutes and you don't even hear back from them? You're gonna sit there for another five minutes?
Nick: Yeah, I wouldn't. Why did I think that? Because I wouldn't do that. Yeah, I absolutely wouldn't do that.
Leah: I don't even think you would wait five minutes to text.
Nick: I would wait five minutes, and it would kill me to do it, but I would definitely wait the five minutes. But here's also the thing: once you've decided to get on with your life, do not announce that that is what is happening, because it is actually impossible to send that email in a way that does not sound snitty. I have tried. It is not possible. Like, there's no way to be like, "Well, I didn't hear back from you, so I'm gonna, like, jump off Zoom now. Okay, bye." Like, there's no way to send that email. The five-minute email that you sent, which was like, "Hey, where are you?" That serves as their notice that they missed the meeting. So you do not need to send a follow up to that.
Leah: I agree with that.
Nick: But yeah, I guess I was like, "Oh, maybe just give it 10 minutes," but, like, I wouldn't do that, so I don't know why I said that.
Leah: I mean, if you're in a circumstance where, like, maybe they're—it's a work thing and they're your boss, then I think you have to—we've had that before, and that's a little different.
Nick: You'd have to jump back on the Zoom.
Leah: Or you could turn it off, keep it up and then do other work.
Nick: I guess you could also do that. Right. I mean, I think for me, when I start on a project or something, like, that's now what I'm doing.
Nick: So I don't like to contact switch back if possible. So once I've decided that, like, oh, we're done here, then I would like that to actually be definitive. I don't want to, like, actually have to shift gears again. I guess maybe the 10-minute thing was wishful thinking. That's who I wish I was. That's the patience I wish I possessed.
Leah: Yeah, I was like, "What are you talking about, Nick?"
Nick: [laughs] Leah, that feels very pointed.
Leah: No, but I mean, also, if I was meeting with you or you were meeting with me, I would assume something came—the idea that you wouldn't text me or I wouldn't text you?
Nick: No, that is why I'm always on time because I live alone, and if I'm ever late, you need to send the doormen up to check on me. Yes, that's the system I have for not being found in my apartment two weeks later. Yes, I'm always on time because if I'm not then something is wrong. Yeah, that's the system I've worked out for single living in New York City.
Leah: Yeah, if you didn't show up, I would call your building.
Nick: Yeah, absolutely. The only reason I'm ever on time is for this express reason.
Leah: And I think if you're not meeting with Nick on the Zoom, and it's just a person that you meet with and it's been five minutes, I'd send that text.
Leah: Or that email. And then I'd wait two or three more minutes, and then if they texted back, "I'm running late," I would be like, okay, I'll wait, I'll wait.
Leah: But if they don't respond at all? Wait a few minutes and then bounce off.
Nick: Okay. So we're gonna say two and a half minutes past the five minute mark, so we're at seven minutes and 30 seconds. And then if you want to be very generous, you could go up to 10, but past 10 you're totally off the hook.
Leah: You're absolutely off the hook.
Nick: Yeah. Okay, that's the answer. Great.
Nick: So our next thing is a vent and it is quote, "I haven't stopped thinking about this etiquette crime all week, so it was truly my time to finally submit a vent." Bring it! This is what we're here for.
Leah: We want it! We want it!
Nick: "I live in an apartment where I share a bathroom with two other individuals. It's not ideal, but it's totally fine 90 percent of the time. We recently had a few close friends over for a barbecue and drinks, and it was all fine until one of our friends said he was looking for a new apartment. When someone asked him what he was looking for, he loudly proclaimed that he and his roommate would quote, 'Never live in a place with one bathroom' because it was quote, 'An unacceptable standard of living.'"
Nick: Yeah, that's rude. [laughs]
Nick: And to say it to your face in your own house when you are graciously entertaining this person!
Leah: I'm gonna quote something that Nick said to me. Not to me, but that we—he offered us some fantastic advice to something that I experienced earlier in the week, and that was that I could say, "Oh, sorry, I'm not good enough for you." [laughs]
Nick: [laughs] I did tell you that, yeah.
Leah: "Sorry, the way that we live isn't good enough for you."
Nick: Yeah. "Yeah, so sorry that these conditions are not acceptable to you." Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think the solution here is that there is no need to make this person suffer in your home in the future. If your place is so unacceptable to them, like, there's no need to force them to do it again. So I think we just take them off the guest list forever.
Leah: [laughs] I love the way you said "Forever!" It's just so—do people not realize how rude they are? "Oh, I could never live like this!"
Nick: Yeah. Or the flip side, like, "Oh, how delightful that you guys managed to live in these terrible conditions?" Yeah, I mean, it's condescending and rude. Yeah.
Leah: It's so condescending and rude, and we are very sorry that you have been—as Nick said—as you were so graciously entertaining.
Leah: And then you were insulted.
Nick: It's like, you're in my house. Yes, you are my guest. That is super rude.
Leah: That's what it is. You're in my house!
Leah: You say this about my home. I'm hurt.
Nick: They're absolutely, definitively, no ambiguity, bad people.
Nick: So do you have any vents for us? Or a question? Please send them to us. You can send them to us through our website, Wereyouraisedbywolves.com, or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW and we'll see you next time.
Leah: Send them in!
Nick: [laughs] Bye!