Nov. 23, 2020

Hanging Wind Chimes, Questioning People's Choices, Being Overly Competitive, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this bonus episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about hanging wind chimes in your back yard, questioning people's life choices, being overly competitive about a dog costume contest, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)


  • Is it rude to have wind chimes in your yard?
  • What do you say to people who question your choice to take a "gap year"?
  • What to do about someone who's being overly competitive about a dog costume contest?
  • Should you tell someone that they're on speakerphone if there are other people in the room?
  • Is it OK to not hand-write the addresses on my holiday cards?
  • PSA: Show up for your job interview on time




Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian


Nick: Hey, everybody, it's Nick Leighton.

Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: We had so many great questions from you guys in the wilderness-

Leah: [Howling]

Nick: -that we have a bonus episode. So, here we go. Our first question is: "I love the sound of wind chimes and have a few hanging in my backyard, but I've begun to wonder if my neighbors are bothered by this noise. Would you say it's rude because, technically, I'm forcing a sound on them, and I don't actually know if they like it?!"

Leah: I thought this was so funny because I'm pretty sure I brought up wind chimes-

Nick: Oh, yes.

Leah: -in our Dream Catcher episode.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Yes. You have an issue with decorative objects and wind.

Leah: It's just... I'm sure our letter-writer is so lovely, and I think it's nice that he or she is just thinking about their neighbors.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I personally immediately associate wind chimes-

Nick: With evil [Giggling]

Leah: -with evil. You're at home, and you're quiet, and then you hear the wind chimes blow at nighttime, and then there's a person at your door with a big knife.

Nick: I mean, you're from Maine, and so, that actually is how life is. [Laughing]

Leah: I'm also a light sleeper.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: So, a random noise, like a wind chime-

Nick: That would do it for you?

Leah: That would wake me up. It would wake me up, and then, I'd also have to be like, "Oh, is that the devil's breeze blowing?"

Nick: [Giggling] For me, I grew up with wind chimes. I mean, in Marin County, we have wind chimes, and redwood hot tubs. Everybody has these things. That's just very common. For me, the idea of wind chimes does not even hit my radar. I actually YouTubed a bunch of videos of wind chimes - because, obviously, I don't have wind chimes here in New York City - just to remind myself of the different types of wind chimes there are in the world. I did decide there are certain wind chimes which are terrible. Glass wind chimes-

Leah: Oh, yeah.

Nick: -and bamboo wind chimes-

Leah: The bamboo ones are-

Nick: I'm really, really not into those, but the deeper, metal, sort of pentatonic-scale wind chimes, more Enya-ey, I'm into that. I guess I'm not into it, but I just don't mind it.

Leah: That's why I love this country. There are so many people with differences of opinion.

Nick: [Giggling] Yeah, there's wind chime people, and not-wind chime people, but I get-

Leah: You also have a backyard. It's your backyard.

Nick: No! Nuh-uh! No. Because a wind chime is a device that is designed to make noise.

Leah: I was trying to be supportive of something I clearly hate ...

Nick: Its whole raison d'être is that it makes noise.

Leah: She may have a very quiet wind chime.

Nick: Its whole reason of being...

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: So, I get that it's a problem for some people. I think if other people can hear it, then you probably shouldn't have a wind chime.

Leah: I also think it's a possibility that your- I don't know what kind of a setup we [have] here, you know what I mean? What kind of a neighbor situation it is...? There's yards where they're very far. I think you could go over and be like, "I was just realizing that I've had these wind chimes, and..."

Nick: Plural. Plural wind chimes!

Leah: I should have thought about how many wind chimes there are? Then, you should just go over and ask them if they- see how they feel about them.

Nick: That's a tough neighbor question, though, because she says she has a few. That's not two. That is three or more, and it's a gateway. Once you've got a few wind chimes, I mean, what's five? What's 10? Once you've got three, it's logarithmic.

Leah: It's a horror movie writing itself.

Nick: [Giggling] If your neighbor comes over to your house and is like, "Hey, I just realized that I've had 90 wind chimes in my backyard for the last five years, and I wanted to know - is that a problem for you?" What is that neighbor supposed to say? Like, "Actually, it's been driving me mad, and we listed our house on the market because of it. We're actually selling."

Leah: I would be like, "Thank you so much for asking. I would love it if you could take them in at night."

Nick: Take them in at night? I mean, that's not a thing [Giggling]

Leah: If you could take them in at night, so I don't wake up in with sweaty terrors-

Nick: Uh-huh?

Leah: -that Michael Myers is walking through the backyard!

Nick: Yeah, I mean, you don't take wind chimes in. That's not a thing.

Leah: I was thinking that was a nice middle ground.

Nick: That's actually a nice sort of etiquette response, which is like, "Oh, is there some compromise here?" Which is you take them in at night, meaning always.

Leah: [Giggling] That's what I thought. I thought it was a nice-

Nick: Yeah, no, that's not bad. Yeah. I kind of don't mind that.

Leah: Because if you love your wind chimes during the day, I kind of feel like its noise during the day. People listen to the television; people drive their cars... I think we've all agreed on this sound after 9:00-

Nick: Yeah, all right. So, it's nighttime wind chime that's the problem.

Leah: Well, I feel like daytime wind chime, I'll just have to get over it because things make noise.

Nick: Right. Yeah, so it is more considerate to not make noise at night with your wind chime. Okay. All right.

Leah: As with anything, I'm putting wind chime into the category of everything.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, don't have your leaf blower at 10:00 p.m.

Leah: Yeah. Don't have your dogs, when you take them out for a walk, barking at 10:00 p.m.

Nick: Right. That's true. What is quiet hour for you? What's the point at which it's too late to make noise?

Leah: Well, for me, I'd say 11:00-

Nick: [Giggling] Okay...

Leah: -but I'd say, for other people, my guess is 8:00.

Nick: Yeah, I'm an 8:00 to 8:00 kind of person. Yeah.

Leah: Oh, yeah. Don't put them up at 6:00 a.m.!

Nick: Right. Yeah, you can wait to put out the wind chimes.

Leah: Yeah. Put them out at 9:00 a.m.

Nick: I did see, though- I just got this app that makes rain sounds to help calm the demons when I go to bed. There is one of the choices for sounds, which is just wind chimes.

Leah: Right, and that one's called Bring the Demons!

Nick: [Giggling] For some people, they do find wind chimes calming. I just want to say that there are two types of people in this world.

Leah: I also have a rain app.

Nick: Yeah?

Leah: There's definitely no wind chime. Mine has rain, and then, it also has a lovely little babbling brook.

Nick: Oh, that's nice. Oh, mine has lots of options. It has Rain in Milan, and Space, and Airplane,and Laundry. Yeah, it's very elaborate. If you want to go to bed to the soothing sounds of the gentle cycle-

Leah: Which I would.

Nick: -you can.

Leah: I do.

Nick: [Giggling] Our next question is: "I've just graduated high school this year and have decided to take a gap year before college. What would be the best thing to say to people who constantly interrogate me regarding my decision? I don't want to be rude and not explain, but I also feel like I don't owe them an explanation, and I don't need their unsolicited advice. Is it rude of them to do this to me, or should I just brush it off and be lighthearted?"

Leah: I think it could be both things at once. A) It's rude, and B) you could brush it off.

Nick: Yeah. It is rude to offer unsolicited advice. Right there, that is rude.

Leah: And to interrogate people that aren't your close family members!

Nick: Oh, so, if they're close family members, interrogation is okay?

Leah: I mean, if your mom is interrogating you on why you're taking a gap year, that's just life.

Nick: Oh, yeah, no, that is fair game. That's fair. Yeah.

Leah: Or your grandma, or whatever, you know what I mean?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: That's different than... I get this 100 percent, and I wrote: "I think the easiest thing to do would be to brush it off." I've never once been able to do that.

Nick: Brush it off? Yeah.

Leah: The unsolicited advice makes my eye twitch. I just... Why people think they have any right! But, if you could just let it go, it would be so... Because it's about them! You could be like, "A) it's rude..." and then, in your mind, you could be like, "So rude. It has nothing to do with me." If there's a place in your brain you could put that and then just shake it off... But I've never been able to find it!

Nick: Um, yeah. It's a skill that has to be learned. I'm pretty good at it. One thing to keep in mind, though, is why this feels rude is because it's patronizing.

Leah: It's patronizing.

Nick: Because they basically are substituting their judgment for your own, and they want you to know it.

Leah: It's condescending.

Nick: That's why they're interrogating you.

Leah: Any time people explain things to you- they question you, and then they explain it?

Nick: Yeah, shut it down.

Leah: Shut it down. But it's impossible to shut down because that's who they are as people.

Nick: Yeah, so I think the best thing you can do is just say, "Oh, this is the best decision for me. Thank you for your interest, and let's change the subject..."

Leah: I think that's great. I love that. That's perfect. I wrote: "You could just start saying while..." These were my options. "You could just start saying wild things."

Nick: Like, "Oh, I'm going to go swim with dolphins?"

Leah: I wrote: "Visiting the unicorns." Very similar. [Laughing]

Nick: Oh, okay. Really wild. "Well, I'm going to be doing a gap year in Narnia."

Leah: "I'm just going to go visit unicorns for a while."

Nick: Mm-hmm. Okay.

Leah: And then people will go, "Really?!" And then you go, "No!" and then move it along.

Nick: Right. Yeah. You definitely don't owe a real explanation to these people. I think this is a good reminder that having back-pocket sentences is really helpful.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Those are those sentences that you keep in your back pocket that you whip out for all of these sorts of awkward encounters because every time this happens to you, you just feel a little discombobulated. You're a little off balance. You're like, "Oh, that was rude. I'm in shock by that." If you have this in your back pocket ready to roll, you can whip it out as you're still processing this rudeness, and then you can solve this etiquette problem. I think the back-pocket response here is just, "Thank you for your interest. This is the best decision for me."

Leah: That's so good.

Nick: Right.

Leah: I'm going to write it down, actually.

Nick: Yeah, write it down [crosstalk] Although, what are you going to use this sentence for?

Leah: You wouldn't believe the things that people come up and volunteer to comics.

Nick: [Giggling] Our next question is: "I work at a small store where we're on a first-name basis with most of our customers. We recently hosted a pet costume contest for people to enter and the winner would get a gift basket. Two of our regulars entered the contest with their dogs. One person - we'll call her Lisa - got very upset that this other person - we'll call him Chad - asked her to vote for his dog in the contest knowing full well that Lisa had also entered the contest. Lisa thought this was very rude, and I'm inclined to agree. Chad did end up winning, and we suspect he went around getting all of the other regular customers to vote for his dog. Is this rude or just in poor taste? Is it possible that something can be in poor taste but not rude?" Hmmm.

Leah: I did a Nick.

Nick: Oh, what does that mean?

Leah: I looked up the definition of poor taste.

Nick: Okay, and what did you discover about violating societal norms?

Leah: Well, poor taste is offensive, unseemly, lewd.

Nick: Okay, yeah. So, I feel like those things are inherently rude, right?

Leah: Well, I think that this is more childish.

Nick: Can you be lewd and not rude?

Leah: I think some people... This seems like an existential question.

Nick: Bring it!

Leah: I don't think this behavior is lewd.

Nick: Well, we'll get to that in a minute, but I think just the question of is it possible to be in poor taste, but not rude-

Leah: I think that if you're a great comic, you can slide some things in that are in very poor taste, but somehow delightful. [Giggling]

Nick: Okay, that is a loophole. That's true.

Leah: That's a loophole, but I do think, in general, when people are just lewd in public [crosstalk]

Nick: Yes, civilians shouldn't attempt this.

Leah: No.

Nick: You need to be a trained professional.

Leah: This is years of trying to get things across that that's the whole point that you know you shouldn't be getting them across. [Giggling]

Nick: Okay, so, fair enough. For this story, I don't know what etiquette crime has been committed.

Leah: Well, he's being childish.

Nick: Oh, is that what you get from this, that Chad-

Leah: I get that he's being child- I can't tell whether or not Chad knew that Lisa had a dog. Does he know that Lisa had her dog in it? Did Lisa say, "I have a dog in it!"?

Nick: I mean, our letter-writer says that Chad asked for Lisa's vote knowing full well that Lisa had also entered the contest.

Leah: Oh, knowing full well.

Nick: I mean, it's a bold, cheeky move. He'd be like, "Vote for me, Lisa!"

Leah: Well, it's also childish and sort of razzing. It's like how people-

Nick: Ah!

Leah: -message you about their-

Nick: Talking smack on the court.

Leah: Yeah. It's like people will razz me about the Steelers, especially Eagles people, when I didn't even bring it up. It's like this kind of digging-

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: -and you're just like... I think of it as childish.

Nick: Oh, okay. Yeah, I mean, how good is this gift basket that Chad was so desperate to win at all costs?

Leah: Well, I think it's more that Chad went around and asked everybody to vote for his dog, which is just... Are we in high school?

Nick: But what are you supposed to do? If you want to win this contest, you've got to campaign.

Leah: Well, I think that Lisa, and our letter-writer were thinking that people would just win it on the merits of their dog costume.

Nick: I see. Okay.

Leah: Chad went full *Election."

Nick: Very Tracy Flick.

Leah: Very Tracy Flick!

Nick: Uh-huh. Okay, what was the etiquette crime here? Just that Chad was being childish?

Leah: I feel like Chad knows that Lisa had a dog, and they should all be like, "Oh, we're all..." This is supposed to be in good fun, and-

Nick: Okay. Yeah. That's where we kind of went off the rails is that Chad sort of didn't act in the spirit with which the contest was conceived.

Leah: Yes!

Nick: He didn't have the right levity and attitude.

Leah: He took something that was supposed to be a fun group event and-

Nick: And was like, "I'm gonna win!" [gruff voice]

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Okay, so is that rude?

Leah: It's very, like, go back in the cave. You know what I mean?

Nick: Okay. Yes, it does sound he ruined the fun, and that, I guess, is the etiquette crime here, at the end of the day, because he was not considerate of everybody else's feelings, and the fun of the contest was part of the feeling we were trying to create. He sucked the fun out. That, I think, is the crime.

Leah: Yeah. He's being super competitive. He's treating like it's-

Nick: Right. Okay. I'm just trying to get my finger on exactly what the crime was.

Leah: I think that's what it is.

Nick: Yeah, okay. It's the hyper-competitive nature of Chad which sucked the fun out for everybody else.

Leah: Yeah and made it all about him.

Nick: Okay, so I think, for Lisa, you can feel aggrieved. We will validate you.

Leah: Yeah, feel aggrieved.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I think this Chad person, you could poke this Chad person and be like, "You know, next time, can we just have good fun looking at animals' costumes?"

Nick: Yeah. I mean, you've got to work really hard to make a pet costume contest. Not fun. Yeah.

Leah: Yeah, I know Chad.

Nick: Oh, we all know Chad.

Leah: Chad, honestly, would be like... I feel like I see Chad going, "What? I thought we were all just having fun!"

Nick: Yeah. Chad is oblivious.

Leah: That's what Chad is going to say.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Yes. He doesn't realize what he's done here and will do it again.

Leah: I have a few Chads in my life, and I've become more heavy handed with them.

Nick: Is that the solution for a Chad? You basically just need to set clear boundaries about how things are going to go down?

Leah: I don't know how often this Chad is going to be around. If you have to deal with Chad on a regular basis, I think Chad is someone that you just have to be more ... I have a Chad that I work with a lot, and I have to be much more direct because there's so much... I realize they can't see the hand I'm making at home.

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: He's literally just like, "What? I thought we were having fun."

Nick: Yeah, that is the attitude of a Chad. Yeah. I think, if we're going to have another pet costume contest, and Chad wants to enter, I think the store owner would need to pull Chad aside and be like, "Hey, Chad, your dog's great... This time, gotta take it down a notch."

Leah: Yeah, and no... Just be like, "You know what? You don't need to walk around and pay off people on the side to vote for your dog. This is just fun. Calm it down."

Nick: [Giggling] Our next question is: "Should you let someone know they're on speakerphone, when other people are in the room?" Yeah...

Leah: Yes! I mean, immediately!

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: Immediately!

Nick: Oh, yes, absolutely-

Leah: You pick up the phone? "Hey, Leah, you're on speaker."

Nick: Yep. "I got Leah here with me. Say hi, Leah." Yeah, immediately. Right up top.

Leah: Immediately.

Nick: It makes me sad that someone has written this into us because what this says to me is, they're a victim. They were on speakerphone with somebody, and there was somebody else listening, and they didn't know it, and they probably said something that they would not have said, had they known that another person was listening.

Leah: Yeah. The person who didn't tell you that you were on speakerphone?

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: Muy malo!

Nick: Right, but I think our letter-writer is a victim here and wants validation that that was not okay, and it was not okay.

Leah: It was not okay.

Nick: Mm-mmm [negative] Let's explain why. Can we even articulate why? It just feels so inherent.

Leah: It does feel so inherent. Let's take a moment to see if we can explain why.

Nick: It feels like a-

Leah: It feels like a setup!

Nick: Is it an invasion of privacy?

Leah: It is. It's because people think they're having a private conversation.

Nick: Right. I guess it feels like a betrayal. There's a feeling of betrayal when you discover this at the end if you discover it at all.

Leah: Yeah, because I was telling you. I wasn't telling you, and whoever else is in the room.

Nick: Right. It feels like being lied to. I guess it's a deception.

Leah: Yeah, it's a deception.

Nick: It's the flavors of deceit, and deception, and betrayal. Well, these are very serious emotions, yeah.

Leah: They are serious, and I think that's why we both so quickly responded to it.

Nick: We're like, "No!" Yeah. That's what happened. You should definitely just, right up top, be like, "Oh, hey, we also have this person here with me in the car."

Leah: I've been in cars with people when they made a call and didn't tell the person that they were on speaker in a car with other people.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: I piped in because I was so uncomfortable.

Nick: At what point did you pipe in?

Leah: As soon as I realized that this person was not going to say it, I was like, "Hey!"

Nick: Because there is a point in that conversation, where it's too late to pipe in.

Leah: No, right in the beginning, right after the first two intros, and I was like, "Oh, this isn't happening." Obviously, this isn't somebody who was calling their doctor's office to make an appointment. This was like this person was going to have a conversation.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: The other person didn't know, and I did not want to be a part of that offense.

Nick: Right. Yes. I think jumping in is good; although, I think there is a point where it is too late in the conversation to jump in, where then you would have to keep quiet if you didn't say something soon enough.

Leah: Yeah. You've got to do it up top.

Nick: Within 10 seconds, I guess. Yeah. Very quick.

Leah: I just don't want to be a part of that.

Nick: Yeah, and, in general, I don't like being on speakerphone. If you are too busy with your hands; you're rolling out a pie? Call me later.

Leah: I agree 100 percent.

Nick: I just don't want to be on speakerphone.

Leah: I don't even want to be on the phone, so if you're going to put me on speaker-

Nick: It's too far.

Leah: Let's just text.

Nick: Okay. Our next question is: "I am planning on sending holiday cards this year and the merchant I will order from offers the option to upload a spreadsheet of your recipients, and they will print the addresses for you on all the envelopes. Of course, this is a wonderful time saver, but I do hesitate not to handwrite all the addresses. I've no issue with a preprinted return address but the recipient address gives me pause. Your thoughts? For context, this would be around 100 cards, and I am planning on a specific handwritten note in the card, itself, for each recipient."

Leah: I wrote in capital letters-

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: -with exclamation points-

Nick: Uh-huh?

Leah: "PRINT THEM!!!"

Nick: Print them, meaning use the spreadsheet, have them preprinted?

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: I mean, Leah! Come on...

Leah: They're writing the notes.

Nick: What?!

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Why not print the notes? I mean, where's the line? Why even send them at all? What is the point of this holiday card?

Leah: I disagree entirely.

Nick: I mean, I got that. I am going to say that you are incorrect. I would like you to handwrite these addresses because here's the thing about the holiday card. It is already super impersonal. The holiday card, you open it; it already has a preprinted greeting. Most people write, "Leah- -" and then, at the bottom, it's like, "Have a great New Year! Nick." Then, the greeting in the middle, it was like, "All the best from all of us to all of you," and for a happy holiday season is already preprinted. Already, you've put in very little effort!

Leah: No, she's saying, "I'm writing a specific handwritten note in each one."

Nick: I mean...

Leah: Which isn't just thank you, and their name.

Nick: I mean.

Leah: That's a note for each person.

Nick: I think that the idea of sending handwritten correspondence is that it's not easy and quick. The fact that it did take time and effort is part of the je ne sais quoi of the card. When you suck out some of that labor, it becomes less, and less personal. I would like for the address to at least be handwritten because that shows some thought. Also, if I got a letter in the mail that had a printed address, it looks corporate. It looks like one of those cards I get from my dentist at the holidays. That doesn't feel like correspondence I get from a friend.

Leah: Some people also have garbage handwriting.

Nick: That doesn't matter, as long as it's legible.

Leah: Well, it may not be legible.

Nick: I mean...

Leah: People always print things out on labels and put them on.

Nick: Oh, now we're putting labels?!

Leah: No, I'm saying that used to happen all the time.

Nick: [Giggling]

Leah: Let's talk about my age. When it came out of the printer, and it had the two sides that you...

Nick: Oh, dot matrix! Oh, okay. Half of our audience has no idea what you're talking about.

Leah: [Giggling] You see it in movies!

Nick: Right.

Leah: If the difference between you getting these out at all and feeling overwhelmed is print...

Nick: Oh, okay.

Leah: If it makes it so you can get them out, then do this.

Nick: Okay, yes. I don't want perfect to be the enemy of good. If my choices are no card, or card that they've done the printing on it, okay, fine, buuuuut... Come on. I think you can handwrite the addresses. I think it's a nice gesture. It will feel more personal to the recipient because the idea of these cards is also to say. "Hey, Leah, I've been thinking about you, and I want you to have a nice holiday, and I spent some time doing something nice." When you have done very little of that, it loses that flavor for me, but I think we will, uh, agree to disagree on this.

Leah: I think this is an appropriate place to use 'agree to disagree.'

Nick: Okay, we'll do that.

Leah: I mean, if you maybe do it to the 50 percent of your people who aren't going to be bothered by it, and you know which friends those are, and do the 50 percent that are going to be bothered, you can handwrite those.

Nick: [Giggling] Um, okay. I mean, I like that sort of idea.

Leah: I wouldn't even... It wouldn't even cross my brain.

Nick: Yeah, it would cross my brain.

Leah: No, I know. I know it would.

Nick: [Giggling] Yeah. My point is just - what is the point of sending these cards? Why are we bothering at all? What is the point? I think we want to do whatever that thing is with how we send them. If it's just a FYI that you are still alive, okay, then send a form letter preprinted, mimeographed, with a printed envelope with a metered postage. Don't even put a stamp on it.

Leah: Oooph! I think that since you are planning "a specific handwritten note on the inside," that often, the holidays get overwhelming, and if this lightens your load, have at it, since you are writing that little note inside.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: This is, I think, maybe the first one where we have been on divergent sides.

Nick: And to think it was about something related to stationery!

Leah: [Laughing]

Nick: That is a twist for me. Was not expecting Leah Bonnema to come in hard on a stationery related question.

Leah: I was so passionate about it; I didn't even write out the whole word "them." I wrote, "PRINT EM!"

Nick: I was just expecting you to be like, "Nick, what's your answer to this one?" That's the answer. Wow. Okay.

Leah: You want to get them out? Print it up!

Nick: Leah Bonnema - the student becomes the master.

Leah: [Laughing] This year has been long! Get it out!

Nick: Fair enough. Our next thing is a PSA. "I work for a corporation with seven businesses, and I handle most of the hiring for all of them. My schedule is strict, and precise, and frankly, hectic. When I schedule interviews, I always make sure to confirm a few days in advance. I also make sure they have my personal phone number, my email, and the physical address where we're going to meet, and my name, and I always make sure to say that, 'IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW,'" and she wrote that all in caps. Then, she says, "I mean, I don't use all caps [Giggling] because I'm not a psycho, but you get it. [Giggling] Despite everyone having all that information, people still show up late, and I'm not talking two minutes late. I'm talking 10 to 15 minutes late, and this isn't a one-time occurrence. People do this all the time, and it's appalling.

Today, I had someone come in 20 minutes late with no warning, or excuse, and when I said I wouldn't be giving her an interview, she seemed confused and upset. When I explained I have another interview, and also a phone conference that I need to be on, she was still not content with that, and said that she didn't mind waiting. I told her I don't really have time for her now, and she was offended, which made me question myself. Am I in the wrong? I don't want to waste her time, but the reality is, if you show up late for an interview, I'm already going to mark you as a no. Therefore, the interview is a waste of time and a stubborn formality. Am I just being a picky person, or are people just not raised correctly?" Well, you know how I feel about this.

Leah: Oh, I also- I couldn't believe that someone would show up to an interview 20 minutes late and not be ashamed!

Nick: [Giggling] And be like, "Oh, it's fine. I'll wait for you." Yeah. No, no. That was the interview.

Leah: That was the... It's a job! 90 percent is you getting there on time.

Nick: Yeah. "I know everything I need to know about you, as an employee, based on what we have so far. Thanks so much. We'll call you if we need you."

Leah: Which was going to be never!

Nick: Definitely never.

Leah: Unless the job is for people who are inconsiderate of other people's time.

Nick: Then you'll really nail the qualifications. Yeah.

Leah: [Giggling]

Nick: I mean, this is upsetting and maddening. I think people don't realize that lateness is definitely a thing that grinds a lot of people's gears.

Leah: As it should!

Nick: It's something that really holds you back in life, professionally, romantically, friendship-ly... It's something where people really do respond to you differently if you act this way, and I think it really will affect your opportunities, and your relationships, if you are just somebody who is not considerate of other people's time. This person will have a hard time getting jobs if you act this way.

Leah: When I first moved here, I cater-waitered, and I temped, and without exception, I was offered every single job at every place I temped. I couldn't quite get it because you're not really... People aren't giving you the big jobs when you're temping. You're like, "What is...?" People almost always were like, "Oh, you always get here on time."

Nick: [Giggling] That's it!

Leah: Because, I guess, so many people don't show up on time!

Nick: Yeah! Showing up is 99 percent of it. Yeah. It's unbelievable.

Leah: Also, how rude that you would have somebody waiting for an interview, and then... I just ... I can't.

Nick: I can't. It's like, what do you say to this? Of course! And, the thing that bothers me in this letter is this letter-writer's like, "Wait a minute. Did I do something wrong?" No!

Leah: Not you.

Nick: You didn't. No. No. That's the thing with these etiquette crimes. It makes good people think that they've done something wrong, and they haven't.

Leah: You haven't!

Nick: You are innocent.

Leah: You're innocent, and these people are being disrespectful to you. You have every right to be like, "You're disrespecting me, and this is not on me."

Nick: Yeah, "That's the end of the story. Thank you so much. Bye."

Leah: Bye!

Nick: So, yeah... We all know how I feel about people who are late.

Leah: Yep.

Nick: [Giggling] Not a secret, but it's also not a secret in society that you have to be on time, and there are etiquette consequences. The fact that it keeps happening... People seem to know the 'elbows on table' rule more than the 'don't be late' rule. I think we've got it all backwards.

Leah: [Giggling] I don't even have anything to say. I just... It's crazy to me that this is happening so often that multiple people think it's okay to show up late. Obviously, it happens that you would- something crazy would happen. I've been on the subway where it just broke. We had to crawl through the back window on the E train. Obviously, there's nothing I could have done about that, and I called three people, and I apologized.

Nick: Yes, stuff does happen.

Leah: We all understand that happens. These people are always late!

Nick: Yeah, this is not that. Yeah, this was just somebody who was like, "Oh, I'm late. It's cool." Yeah. No. Shut it down.

Leah: The few times that I've been late because something like that happened, I got so anxious, and I obviously texted people, and they let me off the hook because I've always been on time every other time.

Nick: Yes, when you have a reputation for always being on time, you actually can actually get away with being late, once or twice. Yeah, it's true.

Leah: Yeah, because people know that you're not just like, "Oh, the train was..." like, oh, no, every time, they've made the effort. I always leave extra time for a train break.

Nick: Yes. We'll make the time for you. Send us your questions. Send them to us through our website,, or you can leave us a voicemail, or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW (267-225-5729) and we'll see you next time.

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!

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