Monday, August 31, 2009

Companies with Class

I have worked with hundreds of companies throughout the years and I have always noticed firms who have class. They pay special attention to their employees, their clients and customers, follow up with communication, make you feel as if you're their only client or customer, go the extra mile and so much more.

Last month I had the opportunity to present a business etiquette luncheon seminar to interns who were selected for a summer internship by a leading independent asset management firm headquartered in Los Angeles. It is truly one of the most coveted and prestigious internships in the country.

The luncheon was held in the corporate dining room and the attention to detail with the place settings, seating arrangements, incredible menu and agenda was an unbelievable experience. The Public Relations Department prepared exquisite place cards, menus, handouts and name tags. It was truly a professional, informative and fun experience. The interns were so appreciative to have been able to attend and they all mentioned to me how much they've made incredible contacts through their internship with this outstanding firm.

My main contact at the firm was unbelievable. She returned phone calls and e-mails immediately, went above and beyond the call of duty to assist me with my requests, was extremely organized and when I arrived was incredibly welcoming. I felt like I was her only client. The other staff members I worked with were also efficient. This firm follows through on their mission statement and they are, without a doubt:

The #1 Company with Class

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who pays for the restaurant bill?

It's a dilemma. You go out with co-workers or friends and you order something inexpensive and drink iced tea and they order steaks and beer or wine. How do you split the bill?

#1 Who ever does the inviting pays. If you invite a colleague, friend or relative to a meal YOU PAY.

#2 A group of your co-workers decide to go to dinner after work. You split the bill evenly and you only had a small salad and water and they ordered steaks and wine or beer. You're out of luck. Bring plenty of money.

#3 You invite friends to celebrate a birthday luncheon for a friend or co-worker at a restaurant. Let them know ahead of time that you're all splitting the bill evenly. You can do several things:
* Let them know the menu ahead of time and figure out the cost so you can tell them exactly how much money to bring. Collect it graciously as my sister-in-law says. Don't call attention
to the bill paying. If you're the guest, just keep talking and pretend you don't see the money received. It's inappropriate to collect money in front of your guest. Have them give it to you BEFORE the meal. When the bill is presented, excuse yourself from the table and pay at the front desk.
* If the above doesn't work, excuse yourself and go to the front desk to calculate how much everyone owes. Write it on a slip of paper and when you return to the table you pass it subtly to the people. Then they have to give you the money. This is awkward and not recommended.
* Entertain at your club so no money is exchanged and they send you a check. The problem is if you're not a member of a club it will cost you a lot of money to join. It's less expensive to take care of the situation at a restaurant.
* Always bring extra money because no one is good at math and you always end up short. Don't count on that vacation to Hawaii.