Everyday Etiquette Conundrums

  1. You find a folded $20 bill in the hallway at work. About 30 people have offices on your floor, plus about another 30 pass through that hallway regularly. Is it okay to just pocket the money or should you make some sort of attempt to find the owner?
  2. You’ve been keeping company with someone long enough to decide it is time to take the relationship to the horizontal level. Isn’t it rude of your guest to assume he/she will spend the night? Would it be rude of you to tell them to go home? (In a nice way, of course)
    • By the same token, if you are the guest and want to go home, but just before you are about to leap into your clothes, your host exclaims that he/she is going to make you one of his/her famous frittatas for breakfast. Would it be rude of you to say, “Yummy, what time would you like me to come back?”
  3. You work in a government office, so most “festive” occasions and all-day team work sessions seem to require a pot-luck lunch so as not to waste the taxpayer dollar on catered meals. Is it impolite to eat only from the dish you brought since you are quite squeamish about eating food prepared in kitchens you’ve never inspected by people you barely know who could be:
    • Not washing their hands before touching your food 
    • Licking their fingers while preparing the food
    • Tasting from the stirring spoon and putting it back in the food without washing it first
    • Cooking in a crusty kitchen with crusty pots and crusty utensils
    • Using products that have been in the fridge for months
    • Letting the kids and the dog help
    • Etc.
  4. You follow a doddery old woman out of a public washroom. She’s wearing white trousers, so you don’t notice until you’re back in the mall throng that she has about a foot of toilet paper hanging out of the back of her pants. Ordinarily you’d say, “excuse me,” explain the situation while plucking whatever is dangling from her, off. But this is toilet paper. So, of course, you don’t want to touch it and you don’t want to get into a big thing in front of everyone while she tries to grapple with trying to find and remove the stuff herself. While all this is going through your head, you’re long gone, but find yourself second-guessing the situation for days.
  5. You’ve been waiting 45 minutes  in line for a train that does not have reserved seating. The person in front of you leaves her suitcase and asks you to keep an eye on it while she goes to find her friends. You agree. Time passes and the train starts to board. You’ve had to shuffle her suitcase ahead twice. Then she returns with 7 other adults and 3 kids. They all intend to get in line ahead of you. Do you have to let them or can you tell them to bugger off?