Dear Barb—All Manners of Work

Dear Barb:

I just landed an awesome job with a big corporation.  My problem is that I’m not sure of the proper etiquette at work or even at social events.  I have been raised on a farm and I am not familiar with many of the protocols required in business.  Could you make a few suggestions that would help me?  Thanks so much.  Darren. 

Hi Darren:

Congrats on your new position!  It is important to begin your career on the right path and following the proper etiquette in business and social events is importantHow you present yourself in life is half the battleI will include some tips for basic etiquette and business etiquette, plus I found an impressive book that you might like to order, the hardcover is a little pricey, but it is a book you want to keep around and refer to as situations arise

The following are some business etiquette rules from the site Inc. that you should make every effort to followHere is a brief overview; the website goes into more detail.

  • Use your full name when introducing yourself.
  • Stop crossing and uncrossing your legs.
  • Don’t eat at your desk.
  • Don’t just walk into someone’s office.
  • Keep personal items off the table.
  • Keep questions to a minimum in meetings.
  • If you did the inviting, you pay.
  • Reply to everyone on email when it’s necessary.
  • Remove people from email threads who don’t need to be there.
  • Limit your thank yous.

Along with business etiquette it’s also important to follow the rules of basic etiquette, such as listen before speaking, being punctual, if you cannot avoid being late, call or text to let the host know.  Avoid negativity and do not become involved in gossiping.  Do not embarrass others, you may find a story humorous, but the other person may not.  Always try to give compliments and pay attention to the person you are speaking with, by making eye contact.  These are basic manners that you can follow in your everyday life.  Hope this information is helpful Darren and best of luck in your new position.


Following the publication of my book Dear Barb: Answers to Your Everyday Questions I have been asked numerous times if I ever receive updates from the readers, here is one from the June 22, 2021 column – POST PANDEMIC DIET

Hi Barb, I just wanted to let you know that your advice was beneficial.  It has been approximately 2 months since I began following your advice and I have lost 10 pounds.  I began walking, but it was a slow start.  I am now up to about 30 minutes most days.  Also, on Monday mornings I cut up veggies for snacks, and I found an awesome recipe for low call dip at  I discovered that a lot of my problem, aside from being sedentary, was not being aware of how many times a day I grabbed a snack, and usually a sweet one.  So, thank you for your help.