Life Advice



Taking Video Of Family Dance Party Without Permission

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there an etiquette for taking videos in another person's home?

We were enjoying a fun evening with extended family: playing cards, drinking wine and ultimately turning up the music and showing off our best awkward dance moves. At this point, I noticed my son's girlfriend standing in the corner of the room taking a video with her phone.

I told her no video and asked her to delete it, but she kept the phone focused on me and continued to record for another minute.

To me it really felt like a line had been crossed -- a pretty significant invasion of privacy. Sometimes we just want to let loose in our own home and not worry about what will show up on the internet. What is a reasonable expectation?

GENTLE READER: That your guests refrain from filming without your express permission.

Miss Manners thoroughly disapproves of this guest, whose transgression may have been made out of ignorance, but who followed it with insolence. Can't you introduce your son to somebody nicer?


DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I talk with customer service agents on the phone, they often repeat my first name at the beginning of every sentence or two. I think someone must be teaching them all to do this, because it happens all the time.

These are people whom I actually do want to talk with, in order to do things like book a hotel room. This habit of repeating my name over and over drives me crazy, making it hard for me to continue having a polite conversation.

When I ask them to stop, they usually start up again later in the call. I have tried repeating THEIR name at the beginning of every sentence, but it somehow makes me madder. Is anyone else having this problem?

GENTLE READER: Doubtlessly, because, as you suspect, many customer service agents have been trained to do this. That is because it is a truism that people adore hearing their own names -- except that, like many truisms, it is not always true.


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