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Forget the Finger Bowl! Expert Rosalinda Randall Talks Real-Life Etiquette at Work, and Why it Matters at Home

Rosalinda Randall is a modern-day expert on tact and civility, using etiquette as a foundation. She has been teaching etiquette for both social and business settings for more than fourteen years. Her audiences and clients include entrepreneurs, sales professionals, administrative professionals, civic groups, college students, teens, and children.


Her most recent book, Don’t Burp In the Boardroom, is sassy, funny, and certainly not sugar-coated. In it, Rosalinda examines etiquette in the workplace, from the warehouse to the top floor. We’re thrilled about its release, and we’re delighted that Rosalinda was willing to share some of her personal insights with us.


What drew you to etiquette in the first place?


Quite honestly, it was a natural step. My upbringing provided me with a great foundation of respect, courtesy, consideration, and humility—I just needed to learn the part about the multitude of forks!


Also, in my early dating years, while at a fine dining establishment, I was presented with a finger bowl. Luckily my date was a true gentleman, and when he realized that I had no clue as to what to do with it, he guided me, and I followed suit. That was the awakening of my interest in the nuances of etiquette.  


Any personal etiquette successes or blunders you’d like to share?


Blunders? Probably more than I care to recall, but the one that comes to mind is the time I completely forgot about an appointment. There I was, sipping my morning cup of coffee, checking my social media, when the telephone rang. I cheerfully answered it and on the other end was the person I was supposed to meet for coffee.


Successes? Hopefully many that I’m unaware of. Personally, I consider putting my dining companions at ease after they learn that I’m an etiquette expert by telling them that “I’m off duty” a success. That always seems to break the ice.


This book is about etiquette in the workplace. What importance does etiquette play in the home?


Many of us bring “workplace attitudes” home with us, which naturally affects the atmosphere of the home. Struggles, disagreements, unpleasant moods, and even arguments are sure to arise; but how we handle these situations is where proper “etiquette” (aka: courtesy, respect, tact, and humility, as I define “etiquette”) is essential.


The home should be a place in which etiquette is practiced. When we come home, we should find kindness, encouragement, and hopefully a little peace—essential traits if we’re to be rejuvenated for the day to come.


What’s your favorite story from the book? Favorite tip?


Two of my favorite sections of the book are about “ex-cons” and “novices.” As I am in contact with individuals in these circumstances frequently, I have seen how people can turn their lives around and overcome past behaviors with some spiritual grounding, a lot of encouragement, opportunities to polish or develop some skills, and an awakening to self-worth. These changes have been a privilege to witness.


For example, “novices”, or those born between about 1980 and the early 2000s, are currently referred to as “millennials”. Society, employers, and the media have been focusing on their less attractive traits. In my opinion, other than the fact that most “millennials” have immediate access to information, their traits don’t differ that much from those of the other generations of our age. Like any other generation, they want to succeed, to be treated like an adult, and they don’t want to be dismissed (who does?).


My favorite story is only my favorite because it’s gross and it really did happen to me. I was chatting with a woman at a networking event. She was chewing with her mouth open and out jumped a morsel from her mouth to my lips.


As for my favorite tip: No one can make you care about your manners, your attitude, or your appearance. Etiquette needs to come from within. Individuals have to choose how they want to be remembered after they walk away: fondly or “Whew, thought he’d never leave!”


It’s been a pleasure, Rosalinda! Click here to view Rosalinda’s website, and here to purchase her book.

Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:

Sassy, funny, blunt, and definitely not sugar coated, Don’t Burp in the Boardroom examines etiquette in the workplace, from the warehouse to the top floor. While the outerwear may be…

Don’t Burp in the Boardroom

Rosalinda Randall

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