Jan. 18, 2021

Wearing Sequins, Flirting Politely, Thanking Good Samaritans, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this bonus episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about wearing sequins during the day, commenting on appearances when flirting, thanking good Samaritans for their help, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we had your address.)


QUESTIONS FROM THE WILDERNESS:

  • Is it rude to invite people to a party when you're not the host?
  • Is it rude to wear sequins during the day?
  • Is commenting on appearance still rude if you're intending to flirt?
  • What do I do about a coworker who says mean things and then says "just joking"?
  • How do I properly thank good samaritans who helped me get back into my car when I locked my keys inside?
  • Vent: People who don't make an effort to be helpful in their email responses

THINGS MENTIONED DURING THE SHOW

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO...

CREDITS

Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian

Transcript

Nick: Hey everybody, it's Nick Leighton.

Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And we had so many great questions from you guys in the wilderness.

Leah: [howls]

Nick: That we have a bonus episode. So here we go. Our first question is, quote, "Full disclosure, I'm writing this in a state of rage. Two weeks ago, I invited my boyfriend and my friends Lisa and Chad to a dinner, wine tasting and games night. I made a witty invitation and sent it in a group chat. I told them I'd take care of everything, and that all they'd have to do is bring their, quote, 'empty stomachs and appetite for competition.' One day after the three confirmed, Lisa privately messaged me, asking if it was possible she could invite another person. She apologized for this ask, and said she'd never do it in any other circumstance, but she's having a surprise houseguest and doesn't want to leave her home. I, of course, understood and said her guest could come. Now today, two days before the event, Chad messages the group chat with, 'My uncle was wondering if he could join on Saturday. He wants to have some fun. LOL.'"

Nick: "What in the name of absolute worthlessness is this? This is the deepest level of garbage behavior of an invited guest to an intimate dinner party I've ever seen. You want to invite your uncle—whom I've never met—to my house for a night I've offered to completely host, feed and entertain? You phrase that like somehow your uncle happened upon this invite and he wants to come. On top of that, you have the nerve to message the entire group chat to make me look like the witch who has to say no, because not only do I not want him there, but the game has a max of five and my wallet has a max of four? I just can't right now. I can't with Chad. And I sure as France can't with this uncle. I'm off to send this 'No, sorry' text and then burn his theater seat, kindly. Would you tell me how you would have dealt with this?"

Leah: I would also just like to give this a round of applause. I like the structure of the message. I like that it starts off with a full disclosure. "I'm in a state of rage." You know, I just like to know where people are at. I also like—and this is genuine. I love—there are phrases in here that I'm going to try to work into my everyday life. "What in the name of absolute worthlessness?" That so well encapsulates how I feel.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I also like, "And I sure as France can't with his uncle."

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I just really enjoyed this. And I know that—and not to trivialize it, but I want to say up top that this letter, I got all the feels. I don't have to be like, "I wonder what the tone is?"

Nick: Yeah. We're not quite sure how she's coming down on this.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Yeah, I feel confused.

Leah: Yes. Because sometimes it's really hard to figure out how a person feels. Like, are they feeling—and I just appreciated ...

Nick: It's all in there.

Leah: I knew in the first sentence. And then "Burning his theater seat." I love it. I'm off to burn a theater seat.

Nick: So I think, generally speaking, hosts are allowed to have the parties they want to have. So hosts get to decide where and when and who and how, and the host has full discretion over all of that. So I think you can be aggrieved that one of your guests was trying to maybe change the event that you had planned, yes.

Leah: [laughs] Seems like a real gentle—a gentle walk into these waters.

Nick: Well I mean, I get that this person has rage. I mean, of dinner party crimes that I have been witness to or a victim of, this is pretty mild. So ...

Leah: I think what happens with me, I feel their feelings, and then I'm like, "Burn it down! Burn it down!"

Nick: I mean, here's the problem, though. If you have this level of rage for this etiquette crime, you have nowhere else to go when the crimes are really serious. So, like, I feel like you want to give yourself some emotional runway left here.

Leah: This person has planned a special event for a certain amount of people, and they're paying for everything. So, like, that's their money.

Nick: Well, as a host does, yes.

Leah: And then they have a game, and then this person just group texts, "Hey, this person I've never met." So it's kind of makes this person feel pooh-poohed. Like, they feel pooh-poohed because all this effort they put in and money they put in ...

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Oh, is your uncle gonna be paying for his own dinner? Because I can't feed the world. I get how—why this person is upset.

Nick: Yeah. No, I totally get that. And I actually think that everybody should host a dinner party once in their life, so they see how much work it is, and they get what happens when people arrive late or don't RSVP or show up unannounced or, like, all of the things that bad guests do. Like, until you've hosted a dinner party, you may not realize, like, how much it really affects you. So I feel like everyone should do that once in their life so they have a little compassion for other hosts. I think that would be nice.

Leah: I agree. Just like I think that everybody should have to wait tables.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I also get why the group text. Like, Lisa messaged and was like, "Here's a thing I'm going through." And they could have that private conversation.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: And then to group text it, I've had people group text me things and I'll be like, I'll text back. "Let me call you."

Nick: Hmm, yeah. Can't subpoena that.

Leah: There's no records.

Nick: Mm-mm.

Leah: Especially if you're going to burn anything down, you want that in a call, not written. [laughs]

Nick: That's true, yeah. Yeah, don't need any screen grabs from Leah Bonnema, that's for sure. [laughs]

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: But yes, so I think putting our letter writer on the spot in the group, that was not nice. That was not nice because that does put you on the spot, yeah.

Leah: Not nice.

Nick: But I think it is perfectly valid to basically say, like, "Oh, unfortunately won't be possible for your uncle to join, but I look forward to meeting him at another time." Like, that's fine. You could just say that.

Leah: I think that's a lovely response.

Nick: Yeah. You're not obligated to add this person to your guest list.

Leah: I think sometimes it's just mind blowing how people don't think of other—we had somebody bring somebody to a holiday dinner—not this year—and then that person that they brought was rude. And I was more irritated ...

Nick: Well, of course they were. Of course they were.

Leah: I was more irritated with the person who brought this person. Like, what were you—but it genuinely wasn't in his mind that it would be weird to just—so that's why I think Chad has never experienced not being able to just ask for what he wants.

Nick: Oh, that's what you see from Chad here? I just get that Chad has never hosted a dinner party, and thinks that what he did was fine.

Leah: Well, that's—I mean, in the same thing, I think Charges thinks that—my guess is that Chad is like this across the board.

Nick: Now benefit of the doubt, this seems like a relatively casual evening. Like, come over, I'm going to make dinner, we're going to do games night. So I could see a world in which Chad was like, "Oh, this is a casual-y type of thing. So maybe it's fine to ask if, like, my uncle can also come." Like, I'd see a world in which that is vaguely possible.

Leah: Okay.

Nick: I mean, these were not hand-engraved invitations. Like, this was a text message. Even though apparently there was some effort made to have a witty invitation over text. So I appreciate that. But yes, in general, you do not invite people to parties for parties you are not actually hosting. So if you're not hosting that party, you are not allowed to invite people to it.

Leah: And maybe if we're doing benefit of the doubts, Chad was like, well, Lisa asked. What's the difference between Lisa asking and me asking? And well, there's a huge difference. But once we're gonna start throwing benefit of the doubts in.

Nick: Right. Then that's a slippery slope. But also Chad doesn't necessarily know what Lisa did because Lisa did it privately.

Leah: Oh, I understood that Chad and Lisa were a couple.

Nick: Oh! I mean, who knows?

Leah: You know, I just got so swept away with the emotion of the message that I felt very angry at Chad. But I absolutely see what you're saying that we'll give benefits of the doubt, and we can just say, no Chad. As my therapist always says, "They can ask and you can say no." And that's that.

Nick: Right. Yeah, and I think as the host of this event, this is not going to be the last time you're going to encounter this problem. So I think you just need to be very comfortable saying no to people like, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I can't have them join, but I look forward to another occasion." Like, that is a good back pocket sentence. Have that at the ready, because, you know, if you're actually known as a good host, people want to crash your parties, and people want to invite other people to get in on the good entertaining that you're known for. So it's actually a blessing and a curse when you actually become a great host. So the better host you are, the more likely you'll actually have to pull this out of your back pocket. So just have it ready.

Leah: I think it's great.

Nick: Just have it ready.

Leah: I, as somebody who struggles with saying no to people, I understand feeling angry because you don't want to have to say no.

Nick: Yes. If everybody followed proper etiquette, this would never be an issue, but unfortunately it is. So welcome to the world we live in.

Leah: So she should just feel fine saying ...

Nick: She should absolutely feel fine saying no. No, she's not obligated to invite people to her party. No, absolutely not.

Leah: I would feel so obligated to have the uncle and then I'd be angry.

Nick: Well then, this show is for you. [laughs]

Leah: [laughs] Thank goodness!

Nick: Our next question is, quote, "Is it rude to wear sequins during the day?"

Leah: Mm! I wrote next to this in capital letters and underlined, and I actually went and got a different color pen to write next to it than the rest of it.

Nick: Oh, I see.

Leah: "Live your dreams."

Nick: Oh! I mean, first of all, what a great question.

Leah: Yes, just a delight.

Nick: I was so delighted to have this come across the transom. So I think, first of all, there are many different types of sequins in the world, you know? So I think not all sequins are created equal.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: But I did consult the etiquette greats on this topic because I thought, surely Miss Manners has something to say about this. And you know what? She does.

Leah: Oh, wow!

Nick: And so she says, quote, "Sparkly things should not be worn by grownups during the day." And she also includes diamonds in this. Unless the diamonds are an engagement ring or a wedding band, you should not wear them during the day. And you shouldn't wear rubies or sapphires or emeralds either. Those are evening only. So if you want to go the Miss Manners route, that's what she says. She does allow you to wear semi-precious stones during the day, though, if you're wondering.

Leah: I'm hoping that with this segment, you can—we can take a picture of my facial response to that. What a downer! If you—life is hard.

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: If throwing a little sequined shirt or little sequined hat keeps you above the fray emotionally, you do it.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I was thinking, like, another way to think about this is, is it rude to wear a tuxedo to the supermarket, right?

Leah: How would that be rude? How does it affect any other person?

Nick: Well, yeah. I mean, I guess it's the same as, like, is it rude to wear white after Labor Day?

Leah: Right. Which we've covered.

Nick: We've discussed. Yeah, I feel like sequins are not created equal, so it depends on the garment. Like, a little sequined trim on a sweater set from Ann Taylor, like, that's different than plunging neckline, miniskirt, all-sequined dress.

Leah: How is that rude, though? How does that affect another human being, except for you expressing yourself?

Nick: I mean, I guess "rude" is the wrong word here. It's like, is it appropriate to wear sequins to a job interview? I mean, I guess that's sort of where we're going with this question.

Leah: "Appropriate" is a very different word than "rude."

Nick: Yes. Yet rude—yeah, yeah. Although I mean, Miss Manners was willing to weigh in on this, so I guess there is some etiquette involved.

Leah: Let me say, you know, I feel a little more edgy than I normally do. I don't know if it's the copious amount of cheese that I've had, but I feel like Miss Manners, what a Debbie Downer! Don't wear sequins during the day? Okay, you live your boring life.

Nick: Oh, and don't get her started on tennis bracelets.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: I mean, she has things to say about tennis bracelets.

Leah: The idea that you would spend time being offended by somebody else's outfit is mind boggling.

Nick: Well, here we are. So I think if you want to wear sequins during the day, yeah, live your truth. Yeah.

Leah: Haven't you seen the person at the store that's like dress—I saw a guy in a cape. This is a real conversation I had yesterday.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I saw a man—I own a cape, but I own a cape that's like tie-around-your-neck type. Like a hobbit, like a hobbit cape.

Nick: I see.

Leah: And I saw a cape and I started thinking, "I'm going to start wearing capes, but not the kind that you tie around the neck. I want to kind of come out of the shoulder, like, with some shoulder pad.

Nick: Oh!

Leah: And I'm just gonna wear that cape. And people were like, "For stage?" And I was like, "No for, like, the grocery store." You know what I mean? And if I want to wear a cape to a grocery store, I want to live in that world. The idea that somebody can't show up with a sequins dress because it makes them feel happy at the grocery store and Miss Manners is gonna be like, "That's inappropriate."

Nick: [laughs] Our next question is, quote, "Is commenting on appearance still rude if you're intending to flirt?"

Leah: [laughs] I was excited for Nick's ...

Nick: Uh-huh.

Leah: Also the range of comments on an appearance.

Nick: Yeah, yeah. No, this is a—and this is all we got from this question, so we don't have examples, we don't have follow up, we don't have any context. It's just, is it rude to comment on people's appearance if you're flirting?

Leah: We would assume that because this person is a conscientious letter writer or listens to Were You Raised By Wolves?, and is interested in our podcast and wrote in that they would be meaning like a lovely compliment. That was not like, "Watching you walk!" You know what I mean? Just like really upsetting, and making someone uncomfortable. That it would be like more of a "You're looking lovely."

Nick: So I also thought, like, oh, this is coming from one of our listeners, so therefore the question must be—but then I had the other idea, which was, oh, this is a victim who received a very awkward, inappropriate comment, and wants to know whether or not that comment that they received was okay.

Leah: Mm.

Nick: So I took it from that direction.

Leah: I didn't think it was that direction just because—but I see how that could also be true. Like, I know when someone's trying to flirt with me. That actually makes me even madder, you know what I mean? I'll be like, oh, so because you were trying to compliment me then—and you were flirting, then that makes it okay? You know what I mean? That's makes me even more angry.

Nick: Wow, you're a peach.

Leah: [laughs] You caught me on a cheese day, Nick, and I'm riled up. I got riled up from the earlier question. I'm carrying it all the way through.

Nick: So I think, what is the general rule about why we don't comment on people's appearance, right? I mean, like, why do we not do that? And it's like, we don't want to make people feel uncomfortable. So I think the same rule applies, which is you shouldn't comment on people's appearance—even if it's for flirting—if you think you might make them uncomfortable. So I think if there's any doubt, then you shouldn't say the thing you're about to say, and come up with something else.

Leah: I agree. And then this little voice inside of my head goes ...

Nick: Uh-oh.

Leah: Mm, I love compliments.

Nick: Well, you like appropriate compliments.

Leah: Appropriate compliments. That's why—not knowing what it is this person is specifically speaking to, but like a lovely, appropriate—but as you were saying, if there's a voice inside your mind thinking maybe this isn't appropriate, it probably isn't.

Nick: Yeah. And I think when in doubt, we always want to compliment people's accomplishments rather than some attribute. So like, "Oh Leah, your new book is amazing." That's a nice compliment, that is about an achievement. As opposed to, "Leah, your hair looks nice today."

Leah: But I do see the difference between a—I guess. I think, though, if you were—these are muddy waters.

Nick: I mean, if they were easy, we wouldn't be necessary.

Leah: But like, if we were out on a date and you were like, "I love your hair."

Nick: Yes. Well also, part of it is when you receive a compliment from someone, if you are interested in that person, you will receive that positively. But if you are not interested in that person, the same comment will be received negatively.

Leah: Yeah, it'd be creepy. It would be so creepy. So that's the problem. It's like, are you in a mutual flirting, or are you harassing this person?

Nick: Right. Which just comes down to, will the thing make the person uncomfortable or not? So I think if you're not sure, then don't say it. But if you're having a mutual flirting thing and it feels like, oh, this will be received in the way it's intended, then have at it.

Leah: I think that's perfect.

Nick: I think that's how we would answer that from an etiquette perspective.

Leah: I think that's absolutely perfect.

Nick: Okay, good. Our next question is, quote, "One of my coworkers has a tendency to say mean things to me in a teasing way, as in I'm not allowed to take it seriously because he's, quote, 'Just joking.' But he's not. His latest jibe, out of the blue, was that some people in the building would be happy if I retired. My daughter advises that I just don't talk to him. But that feels rude, given that my demeanor 'til this point has been to greet him warmly, celebrate his birthday, etc., but she says, I'm just asking to be trod on. Do I say anything to him about his teasing? Do I just forget it and move on? If so, how do I shift my relationship with him without it being uncomfortable in the office?"

Leah: I want to say that probably I've been riled up since the beginning because of this question.

Nick: Oh, you've been anticipating this.

Leah: This one bothers me into my deepest, deepest cellular level.

Nick: Yeah, there's a lot that I don't care for with this.

Leah: I would like to find this office and show up, I want an address.

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: I want a name.

Nick: I'm interested in some names, yeah.

Leah: I'd like a phone number.

Nick: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I mean, what I don't love is that this is obviously not okay. So it's not.

Leah: So not okay.

Nick: It's not okay. And just saying "Just joking" does not inoculate you from whatever it is you just said. That is not a get out of jail free card. So that doesn't do anything for me.

Leah: It happens to me all the time as a comic, and it happens to other comics, too. I see it. People think that we take it because we're comics. "Oh, I thought you were funny. Oh, I thought you were a comic." And then people just use it as an excuse to say incredibly mean things.

Nick: Hmm.

Leah: And you're like, "Oh, but I'm making jokes. You're just being personally mean." There's a huge difference. And to see it happen to somebody who—like, why would you think you have a "just joking" relationship with a person, and then to say something like, "People in the building would be happy if you retired?"

Nick: What is that?

Leah: In what world ...

Nick: So, I mean ...

Leah: ... would that be funny?

Nick: And that's not even just rude, that's just mean.

Leah: It's straight out mean. It is so mean. Nick and I are coming. Nick and I are coming. Give us an address.

Nick: Yeah. No, we're gonna start the car.

Leah: This one hurts my feelings for her.

Nick: Yeah. And I don't like that she's so conscientious. She's like, "Oh but, you know, I've been nice to this person, so should I continue being nice?"

Leah: Also—and this speaks back to what you said earlier, and we've said multiple times, they're making you uncomfortable, and then it's our letter writers who are like, "But I don't want to make people uncomfortable."

Nick: Mm-hmm.

Leah: You didn't do this.

Nick: Yes. You have not done anything wrong here.

Leah: I wrote, "Be uncomfortable," and then I underlined and circled it. Like, not you who should be uncomfortable but, like, don't feel bad to make that person aware that what they are saying is absolutely 100 percent egregious and inappropriate.

Nick: Right. So what do we do about it? And I think you've got two choices. You can either say something or you can ignore it. I think those are your paths.

Leah: And by ignoring it, I would also ignore them.

Nick: I think I would still be cordial, but cool.

Leah: Well, I'd be cordial but I would move along quickly. I don't want to—wouldn't want to be putting myself into ...

Nick: Oh, I'm not interested in any long conversations, it's just a hello at the office, hello in the elevator, hello in the break room. I'm not gonna show up for cupcakes when it's your birthday.

Leah: Yeah. The celebrate his birthday? Let's not do any more of that.

Nick: Mm-mm.

Leah: This person is mean. That's not just kind of joking in a mean way, That's mean-mean.

Nick: Yeah. So I would just keep your distance, and you don't have to announce that you have changed your demeanor, but I think you can just live your life that way from now on and just be like, oh, this person is no longer on my radar and we're done. So say hello, be polite, be cordial. And that's the end of it.

Leah: And there's the other option—and I've said this to people, because it happens to me so often—"Oh, that didn't seem funny to me. It seemed mean."

Nick: Yes. Or you can call them out in a polite way, but you can be direct and be like, "Oh, that actually did not feel like a joke to me and that hurt my feelings. So I would appreciate not hearing that again."

Leah: I think that's—you're well within your ...

Nick: Absolutely.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: Yes. So I would do that. And I think you can shift your relationship without it being uncomfortable in the office. Or if it's uncomfortable, it's only uncomfortable for him. Or it might be uncomfortable for you, but I think you have to live with that uncomfort because that's the cost of doing business.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: In an etiquette world.

Leah: And if you want to send Nick and I the address also.

Nick: Yeah, we actually will show up.

Leah: This bothered me so much.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Who makes a joke about well, people would be happy if you weren't here? What—sorry?

Nick: Yeah. I mean, that cuts real deep.

Leah: That cuts real deep.

Nick: Like, "Oh, actually, we've all been saying that we would rather you not exist." So terrible.

Leah: Terrible!

Nick: Terrible.

Leah: And I really do hate it when people are like, "Oh, it's just joking." Or they'll be like ...

Nick: "Oh, just kidding!"

Leah: "Lighten up!"

Nick: "Oh, don't be so sensitive!"

Leah: Yeah, you're like, "Oh, then you're really bad at making jokes." That's what I always say.

Nick: Leave it to the professionals. Our next question is, quote, "Last week, I locked my keys, phone and spare key inside my car at a small gas station in a small town. I was about an hour from home and knew no one in the area. Several locals graciously offered their assistance, and after an hour of fetching tools and multiple failed attempts and calling in reinforcements, my car was finally unlocked. I tried to show that I was deeply grateful by thanking all the people that helped me, but they seemed to kind of shrug it off and started to leave. So I did, too."

Nick: "As I was pulling out, one of the bystanders flagged me down to say that he had paid the man who unlocked the door $5. I was horrified at the thought that I must appear ungrateful by not offering to pay. So I quickly handed him $5 for a reimbursement, as well as $10 more to give the man later. However, I was then unsure as to whether or not it would have been appropriate to pay some of the others, particularly the man who spent an hour helping me and who did most of the work. The man who actually managed to unlock my door was only there for five minutes."

Nick: "However, I only had about $7 left, and it seemed almost insulting to offer him such a small tip. Since I really did want them to all know I appreciated their help, I wrote the nicest thank you card I could and mailed it to the gas station. Is it appropriate to tip strangers who help you out of predicament? Is it ever rude? I worry that someone who helped me could feel insulted because they just wanted to do a good deed. On the other hand, they did spend time and effort to help me, and it seems thoughtless to simply thank them and leave. Any advice on what I could do better next time?"

Leah: This one also made me very sad. I found this whole round of questions an emotional roller coaster.

Nick: I mean, I don't know what else you can do here. You wrote a thank you note to the gas station?

Leah: You wrote a thank you note?

Nick: That's pretty advanced.

Leah: I don't actually really like this person who flagged them down to say that he had paid a man who unlocked the door $5.

Nick: What's your issue there?

Leah: It doesn't ring as honest to me.

Nick: Oh, because the way I read that was that, whoever unlocked the door, like, had a $5 fee for that service, and somebody just paid him that and was looking to get reimbursed by the driver.

Leah: I just don't understand why, if somebody came to unlock the door and there was a $5 fee, why they wouldn't just go to the person whose car it is?

Nick: True.

Leah: And who charges five dollars for anything?

Nick: I mean, who knows how much anything costs?

Leah: I don't know. I mean, I obviously would have given this person the $5, and then I would worry. I would go through the same process that our letter writer went through. Should I—I want people to feel like I appreciate their time, but then I would worry that trying to tip people is somehow rude.

Nick: But back to the $5 thing. You think something nefarious is with this $5 thing?

Leah: I think quite possibly that person was being untoward.

Nick: Oh! And me, the suspicious New Yorker, I just took that at face value. Interesting.

Leah: Because if I was helping somebody with a car, which I've done before.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And somebody came to me and said, "Hey, I'll unlock that for $5," I would go to the car owner and I would say, "Hey, this person's willing to help, but it's $5—or can you—do you want to do that?

Nick: Interesting. Okay.

Leah: And then if I accepted that responsibility without asking the driver, I would then eat the $5.

Nick: Oh, I see.

Leah: Because it wasn't my car to give permission for the $5.

Nick: Okay, true. I mean, it does feel like the $5 is a little mysterious.

Leah: I mean, that's neither here nor there, because our letter writer was just trying to be a wonderful person, and was in a situation where I know how it feels when a lot of people show up to help and then you don't want to put these people out. And then I don't want to make our letter writer feel what else were they gonna do? Say "I don't believe you?" You can't do that.

Nick: Right, yeah. No, at that point, it's too late. Okay, so there may be a scam involved, we'll put that aside. I think the general question, though, is like, what else could this person have done? Yeah, I think you really cover the base with the letter to the gas station. I feel like that was very nice. And I think if you thanked everybody in person, I think that was nice. So I think she did that. So that covers their base there. I don't think you need to ask people for their home addresses to send them thank you notes later, you know?

Leah: And I don't think you have to tip out people. I think people want to help.

Nick: Yes, people do want to help. I think what you could have done is bought coffee for everybody. You know, like, “Oh, can I get anybody some beverages, you know, coffee, soda, anything?” That would have been nice, as people are there for a long time. So that could have been one opportunity missed. But I think she did a very nice etiquette
thing as I see it.

Leah: I visualize this person as being very gracious to everybody who helped.

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: Since they're so invested in it. And also, often you're flustered. All your stuff's in the car. You're like, oh, you know.

Nick: Oh, this is the worst. To be away from home, have your keys locked in your car. Yeah, this is terrible.

Leah: And your phone?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You can't even ask anybody. And I have, like, three phone numbers memorized, and one of them is 1-877-CARS-FOR-KIDS, you know what I mean?

Nick: [laughs] Not "Mattress? The extra 'S' is for savings?"

Leah: [laughs] Yeah!

Nick: So, yeah. Yeah. No, this is a terrible situation. I guess at the end of the day, people really do just want to help, I think is our natural state for most of humanity. So I think we can take that at face value, that we don't have to, like, pay them off with tips.

Leah: I think they wouldn't stay. They'd be like, "I can't—I got to go," you know?

Nick: Yeah, that's true. Nobody here was under any obligation to help at all, whatsoever. Like, this was all voluntary.

Leah: I've also—I think people like to feel that they were a part of an effort to help a person, you know?

Nick: Oh, yeah. Like baby Jessica and the well? Yeah, it's a happening.

Leah: [laughs] I mean, that was a huge leap. I feel like I have to Google it, I don't remember all the facts. I just remember there was a baby in a well.

Nick: Oh, baby Jessica? Yeah. So she fell in a well. That's kind of all you need to know.

Leah: Terrifying! But I do think that people, you know, they're like, "Oh, I was able to help this person today," and then they—you know, they go home, they tell their friends, "Oh, this lady got caught in the key and we all came together and we got—"you know what I mean?

Nick: Yeah. And I can also see, like, in a small town, this might have been, like, the most exciting thing all day.

Leah: I remember I sat with somebody in the subway once who—anyway, this story of course is gonna go very, very dark—but they jumped off the steps, which who does that? And they cut their head on the ceiling. And I sat with them until the ambulance came, and I wasn't like, "Hey, are you gonna tip me? I sat here, I called the ambulance." I didn't. You know, I was like, this is my job as a human being.

Nick: Wait. Like, in the subway station, they were running down the steps and they, like, jumped?

Leah: They did a jump and they just ...

Nick: Oh, gosh! Oh, terrible!

Leah: Oh, yeah. It was a mess.

Nick: Yeah, so you did not expect to be tipped.

Leah: It wouldn't even cross my mind. I stayed there for, you know, you stay for a long time.

Nick: However long it takes.

Leah: Yeah. And that's part of being a human being. And if these people didn't have time, they wouldn't have stayed.

Nick: Yeah. So I think our letter writer did a good thing, and that was that.

Leah: And I bet they keep your thank you card up on the wall.

Nick: That is definitely near all the bounced checks, yes. Our next thing is a vent, and so someone just wants to get something off their chest. And as a reminder, you can send your vents to ventorrepent.com. We love it. Send them in.

Leah: Do it!

Nick: So somebody wants to say, quote, "I work at a university that contains many different departments and units that serve the greater university, such as purchasing, accounting and HR. It drives me bananas when I email someone in a department asking a question or requesting something, and they respond that they don't know the answer, but so-and-so probably would. And then more often than not, that so-and-so also works in their department. It takes such little effort to simply CC that person on the email. On the other hand, the people that respond and say, "Hey, I'm not sure, but let me check and get back to you," should be considered saints of office etiquette." True.

Leah: Very, very true.

Nick: True, yeah. People who pass the buck? It's rude.

Leah: Super annoying.

Nick: Yeah, it would be so easy to just CC the person. It would, yeah. Now I have to, like, look up their address in the directory, and then I have to separately email them or, like, forward this email. Oh, yeah. Come on. Help people out.

Leah: Help them out!

Nick: And we want to help you out, so send us your questions. You can send them to us through our website, Were You Raised By Wolves?, 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.