Tag Archives: etiquette

Bed Territory Tactics


Bed Territory Tactics

Dear Knowledgeable Reader,

I need your advice!

We all have strengths and weaknesses and I’ve realised that a real deficiency of mine is in the area known as Bed Terrority Tactics (BTT), i.e. the subtle art of maintaining or acquiring extra space whilst sharing a bed. Whilst awake I am very competent at BTT, but soon as I fall asleep whoever is in my bed is able to take advantage (not like that) and monopolise the bed, even cats!

Several years ago I was staying at my parents in my old room and was frustrated by the lack of space by the single bed. Our lovely old cat Nemo came in during the night, as he often did, to sleep on the bed too. As I was in the bed and aware of his presence he went to sleep parallel to me in what was a good use of the limited space. Cue a few hours later and I wake up somewhat uncomfortable only to realise I am right up against the wall! Nemo was no longer parallel to me, but perpendicular and was clearly enjoying all of the bed.

How did he do this? How was I able to relinquish my territory so easily? I’m not looking to monopolise the bed (maybe this is where I go wrong?), but just want to maintain my share of the bed so I have enough space to be comfortable for mid-sleep position readjustments.

If you have any advice or tips, please let me know as every night I seem to lose the bed territory war. As soon as I fall asleep I apparently wave the white flag for the other party to freely come and invade.

For those of you who sniggered at that last sentence, shame on you, you are better than that. Well …

her side his side duvet covers

dog bed hogging

bed hogging


3 Years Blogging


by Jake McMillan
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Wow, this blog has now been going for three years. October 2008 seems like such a long time ago, but 150-odd (and I mean odd) posts later and its still going strong.

A big thank you to all those who stumbled upon this site and even larger thanks to those who have commented and added their views (particularly those who have shared their IM Nail experiences as this has been really appreciated by others).

I haven’t followed the rules of successful blogging. They say you should have a niche and write about a very particular area, but I have blogged about many different aspects of life from dating, films (including an increasingly out-dated obsession with James Bond), social etiquette as well as the irreverent, silly and just plain dumb.

It all started with the controversial post ‘Let’s Face it Ladies, You are Rubbish’ which was published in the now defunct (nothing to do with me) free newspaper ‘The London Paper’.

For a reason I really do not understand, ‘How to be a Sock Genius’ has been one of the most popular posts on this blog? I think some are curious and others may just be looking for photos of socks.

I was pleased to learn that people enjoyed ‘The Relationship Evaluation Sketch’ which is meant to be a humourous sketch about a couple who use a spreadsheet to assess how their relationship is going.

Several of the dating posts have included some of the rather stupid things I have said on dates with ‘A New Low in Ridiculous Things to Say on a First Date’ being the worst. It is completely true, I’m ashamed to say. You may like to know that the Period Worm Girl is actually now a friend on Facebook.

Not all the posts are silly and the ‘Jack the Ripper Murder Sites’ is a serious and useful post outlining the current locations of where the murders took place and what they are like now (it includes Google Street View links).

My idea of ‘The Ultimate Dream Island’ seems to polarise opinion, with those who say it would be amazing and others who say it would not be possible to achieve. Dreamers Vs Realists.

One of my personal favourite posts of recent times is ‘Silly Ideas for Children’s Books’ which was actually a practical joke I played on my friend Hayley who is an Author’s Agent. I submitted to her, using a pseudonym, 10 increasingly silly and inappropriate ideas for children’s books.

Another favourite is ‘The Trauma of Stool Samples’ which is a practical but also fun guide to the rather humiliating and disgusting process of having to give a stool sample for a Doctor.



Top 10 Search Terms

The following are the most searched terms to have reached this site:

1 – Socks
As mentioned above, ‘How to be Sock Genius’ is a very popular post. Why, I don’t know?

2 – Nicole Scherzinger
A lot of people stumbled to my site searching for Nicole, so I made a special page about her just so they were not disappointed.

3 – Sophie Marceau
She appears in the Top 10 Bond Girls list.

4 – Pussy
I am sure people are looking for a different sort of pussy, but the only one on my site is Pussy Galore played by Honor Blackman who appears in the Top 10 Bond Girls list.

5 – Eva Green
Another popular lady who appears in the Top 10 Bond Girls list.

6 – James Bond
There are number of posts relating to 007.

7 – Indiana Jones
He appears in the Top 10 Movie Characters list.

8 – Nikita Verevki
This is a post about the visually impressive video for Verevki, a song by Ukranian group NikitA (Dasha Astafieva  and Julia Kavtaradze).

9. Beard
2009 was the year for the Pogonophile. That sounds rude/wrong, but is just someone who likes beards.

10. Cushions
Many women I know have OCD – Obsessed by Cushions Disorder.


Whatever happened to Pip Pickles?


(Dealing with inconsiderate potential flatmates)


I’ve recently had to look for a new flatmate and it is such a royal pain in the arse. What has struck me this time is the utter lack of courtesy and consideration of people.

People like Pip Pickles.

I was very much looking forward to meeting Pip Pickles and thought it would be very cool to have a flatmate whose name sounded like she was the girlfriend of a superhero. However, I never got to meet Miss Pickles.

Pip, like many others who had responded to our advert, had written a nice email and seemed to be very much the nice reliable and fun flatmate we were looking for.

We agreed an appointment for her to come and visit in a few evenings’ time. The day before she was due, we sent her a nice reminder email saying we were looking forward to meeting her at the allotted time and to email/text if she was unable to make it.

Did Pip Pickles respond? Nope. Nothing. Nada. It was very annoying as if we’d known she wasn’t coming we could have got someone else to come along or even made other plans.

Pathetically poor Pip Pickles properly pissed people in my pad off, particularly. Can you say that 3 times in a row real fast?

Pip was not the only one to be discourteous in this way, I must stress, before her marvel comic sweetness is completely ruined. On one evening we had 6 confirmed appointments and only one person showed up!

Some just didn’t get in touch at all or others texted 15mins after they were due to say something had come up but said nothing about wanting to reschedule?

If you make an appointment with someone then it is basic common courtesy to let them know as soon as possible (beforehand!) you are unable to make it. No contact at all is just plain disrespectful.

So, it is probably good I didn’t meet Pip Pickles as I wouldn’t want to live with someone who was like that. However, I wouldn’t have minded meeting her superhero boyfriend. Not in a gay way, it would just be cool to meet a superhero in a social setting.


Do you know the unwritten rules of modern communication?


With the proliferation of communication mechanisms in the last 20 years you will have noticed and conformed to as well broken the unwritten etiquette of modern communication.

For example, if someone communicates to you using a certain form of communication, e.g. Email, then you are expected to respond using the same form of communication or something higher up on the hierarchy.

The communication hierarchy is as follows:

Do people still write letters?!

If you respond with a lower form of communication, e.g. one person calls and leaves a voicemail and the other emails back, then the first person might feel snubbed, but it will depend, of course, on the nature/content of the message.

However, the communication hierarchy has an almost inverse correlation to the unwritten social convention of how quickly you are meant to respond to the various forms of communication without seeming rude.

The following table outlines the amount of time with which you are meant to respond to a general ‘how are you doing?’ contact:

Type of Contact Acceptable Response Time
SMS/Text Message Within 24hrs
Missed Call (with Voicemail) Within 2 days
Missed Call (No Voicemail) Within 6 days
Email Within 5 days
Letter Within a month
IM Message No response actually required

These response times can be considerably reduced depending on who is communicating to you and the nature of the communication, for example, if it is your partner, your boss or your mum!

Normally we instinctively know these rules but we all occasionally get them wrong, or some have different views of what the rules are, and then we end up offending someone.

Some people prefer to use certain forms of communication, e.g. my mate Alex always calls and practically never texts, where another Kim always texts and never calls.

We all know people who are particularly poor at responding to any sort of messages. I have one friend like this, but they do it to everyone so some think this is okay. I don’t. I think not responding to a communication shows lack of consideration and respect.

It doesn’t matter how busy you are everyone can spare the few seconds it takes to email or text a friend ‘Hey, how’s it going? Super busy at the moment but will be in touch in a few weeks’.


We have all been offended by someone else’s poor communication, but do we have a right to be upset with them if the rules are unwritten?


The 24hrs Rule


It’s a rule that didn’t exist 10 years ago, but now the 24hrs rule, although an unwritten rule, governs our etiquette regarding email, SMS text messaging and phone calls. Unless you are ill, on holiday or unexpectedly put in prison, you are meant to reply to this type of electronic message, to a friend or colleague, within 24hrs, anything longer and it is considered rude and an apology would be expected with the message.

Before the predominance of the internet and mobile phones, communication was limited to old fashioned landline telephone calls and snail mail. Now that we carry around electronic devices on our person and engage in social networking several times a day, we fully expect a response to our message within a reasonable time frame, which is no more than 24hours.

If a message goes over 24hrs without a response, then we get very annoyed as it is disrespectful to behave in such an impolite way. Even as the 24hrs barrier approaches we start to get annoyed that the person dares to get close to a contemptible reply time.

We are increasingly becoming more and more impatient and the 24hr rule is starting to become socially unacceptable for text messages and that a response within 12hrs (inclusive of sleep time) is expected. A good friend of mine was even upset the other day that I took 6hrs to reply to her text message and I was ill at the time!

It’s only in the dating arena, as per my previous blog post, where communication is acceptable over the 24hrs period otherwise it seems too keen. More and more we have to communicate with people over different mediums, but also be conscious of how quickly and often we do it. We also learn whether our friends are more responsive to a particular form of communication, some prefer texts, other emails and some even (can you believe it?) actually prefer talking on the phone!

I’m quite happy with the 24hrs rule but I worry that we are moving towards a world where instant responses are required. I am not a fan of that and that is why I don’t log into instant messaging systems unless I have arranged to chat to somebody.

—————————————————

Jake McMillan


To LOL or not to LOL that is the question


Come on, how often do you actually laugh out loud in an IM chat? I know some are against the use of ‘lol’ completely, but I think it is okay to use if you are genuinely laughing, but what I hate is the liberal use of lol when no laughing has taken place at all.

stockton laughing

Many people use lol when someone has written something only mildly amusing and it’s just not right! Don’t even get me started on lmao (laughing my ass off) and the ridiculous rotfl (rolling on the floor laughing) … I mean, if you’re rolling on the floor laughing, how are you typing?!

The trouble has arisen because people are not aware of the alternatives that can be used instead of lol when you are not actually laughing out loud. If you’re not already aware, then this is what you should be using:

tsf – that’s so funny

tf – that’s funny

ss – slightly smiling

and their opposites:

nf – not funny

snf – so not funny

So please use them and only use lol when you are actually laughing otherwise the lol will become even more meaningless.

Jake McMillan


Do you know what to do in a 3-seat, 4-armrest situation?


Please can someone explain to me what is wrong with people? Save for the occasional rant on this blog, I’m a very easy-going sort, but a recent flight to New York stuck in-between two people with atrocious armrest etiquette really made my blood boil. I know there are no stated rules about sharing an armrest, but isn’t that because it is so obvious?

Every day on trains, planes and most noticeably for me on the London Underground, there are a surprisingly large number of selfish morons who believe armrests belong solely to them and are not to be shared equally 50:50 with the passenger adjacent. I really do not understand why people find it so hard to be considerate? It is a simple acknowledgement to another human being that they have a right to the same amount of space and comfort as you.

underground

If no one is sitting in the seat next to you, then you are perfectly welcome to use all of the armrest. However, if someone sits down, then it is your duty to share it equally. So many times you end up having to ‘mark your territory’ (not literally of course, although I think it would guarantee you getting all the space you wanted) and gently knock the person’s arm to remind them. We don’t want to speak to someone to remind them, we shouldn’t have to. Having to mark your territory once can be forgiven, but having to repeatedly is tantamount to a silent war.

My recent New York flight was made doubly worse as the inconsiderate armrest users were actually a married couple(!) who didn’t want to sit next to each other as each wanted an aisle seat. This isn’t terrible I guess, except they spent most of the journey talking across me and passing food and rubbish to each other. At one point, they were both asleep, each faced towards me, hogging the armrests and with their legs encroaching into my foot-well area. It was at this moment of anger and frustration, I realised that the 50:50 share rule does not strictly apply.

In a 3-seat, 4-armrest situation, the actual fair thing is to let the person in the middle seat have two-thirds of both armrests available to them. The people on the left and right each have a whole armrest to themselves and so by only taking a third of the other, all three people get an equal one and a third armrest access.

Above all, we should all just be considerate and give each other our fair space … make it happen folks.

Jake McMillan