Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Champs’ Guide to Global Etiquette

Of all things Americans firstly need a lesson in the recommended ways in which to treat one’s guests:

Having your guests stand outside your abode for half an hour on a chilly morning is not deemed polite. Should this occur within their own locale, it may generate an atmosphere of arrogance on your part.

It generally is not recommended to be as defensive as possible before one’s guest has even entered your premises. Should you be feeling a touch paranoid that day about allowing self-defence mechanisms into your space, make this known in a polite way with practical solutions. It is not deemed respectful to order your guest to run across a busy street and hand over her pepper spray to a petrol attendant, otherwise she will not gain access to your premises.

Try to remember that your guests are busy people too. Should you demand that they spend a substantial amount of their currency just to telephone your premises so as to book an appointment with you, it is considered good manners to then stick to this allotted time. It is considered impolite and “tardy” to have this specified time tick tock by while you have them queue outside in the chilly air and again queue inside several times.

Always remember the age old saying: “When in Rome”! And “when in Rome”, you should learn ABOUT Rome. Even in today’s advanced world, people in certain districts do not have ready access to such devices as computers, printers, the internet etcetera.

In addition to this point, should a guest arrive on your doorstep bearing the incorrect documents, such as being in possession of a UNIVERSAL sized passport photo, do not simply wave him off with “this is the wrong size, you cannot go inside”. Try to explain in terms the man would understand as to what it is you require. Or where he would be able to access relevant information.

In fact, a simple explanation to everybody would go a long way as to why it is you require a passport photo size that differs from every other one hundred and ninety one countries in the world.

While an iPod does contain pieces of electronic equipment, these particular pieces cannot be used in a deadly manner. One does not need to seize such a device out of a guest’s bag and put it under lock, key and surveillance. Along with this, simply requesting that a guest’s cellular telephone is switched off is sufficient, and also does not require its own locker.

Should you decide to have your guests entertained while they await your pompous arrival at one of the inside windows, recommended forms of distraction are magazines and televisions on a low volume. (Noting however, that televisions do distressingly contain electronic pieces). The choice of channel can be left to you, or you can offer your guests the option. Your choice is often preferable as this allows your guest some insight into your thinking and tastes. Endless hours of repetitive sensational shallow stories of CNN can and will achieve this.

Do note that your guest might build up a feeling of being unwanted should you create many “obstacles” prior to your guest’s interaction with you. These include queuing, metal detectors, and finally, placing solid sheets of glass between you and your guest. Telephonic devises were created to allow conversation to take place over great distances, not over a distance equalling less than an arm’s length.

When eventually interacting with your guest, shooting questions off in a pointed suspicious manner may not put your guest at ease. Allow for the flow of conversation. Make eye contact. Indicate to your guest that you do regard them as a human being, with emotions and thoughts and a life outside of your own.

Further recommendations in creating this “conversing atmosphere” are to ask after your guest’s health. Should your guest complain of ill health, show attentiveness and respond with sorrow for such a state. At times your guest might follow their answer with a question back to you. Do answer this question, perhaps in conjunction with the appropriate facial expression.
Always remember what Mother told us - a polite word never hurts, but it does mean nothing if not said with a smile on one’s face!

Following such simple rules will put you well on your way to losing that arrogant, bullying and unfriendly title you have gained over time. And before you know it, fewer and fewer people will be keen to bomb and destroy you!

…. Otherwise, I am have been deemed safe. America here I come!

Also, I think I might be one of the few people who could manage to twist an inquisition around so as to discuss condoms within the sanctified walls of the American Consulate. And still be considered fit to visit their country.

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