Half-hug is suitable as business greeting

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Dear Carson: I am a businesswoman and was startled when a male business acquaintance instigated a hug and a kiss on the cheek upon seeing me. In my opinion, this gesture was not indicative of our relationship, which was of a very short duration. What would you have done if you had been in my situation? - Horrified over Hugging

Dear Horrified: I agree that a hug and a kiss on the cheek have no place in a workplace situation. If I had been in your place, I would not have returned the hug or the kiss.

I also would not have repelled the gesture, making more of the overture than it warranted. Instead, I might have proffered a "half-hug," which is a grasp or a pat of the upper arm of the hugging person. This is a compromise between outright encouragement and a show of repugnance or disapproval.

Dear Carson: How do you feel about someone shortening your name into a sort of nickname? For instance, in your case, if someone called you Carsie, would you mind? I have never liked for someone to do that.

My name is William, and I really resent it when people call me Willie, Billy or Will. Should I set them straight or just grin and bear it? - No Nicknames

Dear No Nicknames: Like you, I dislike having my name shortened. It seems presumptuous for someone to do that. I suggest correcting the person at the first instance.

Dear Carson: Regarding your recent column about the proper wearing of hats by military members, the statement that a hat is not removed indoors when "under arms" is correct. There is one exception, and that is when under arms is in a chapel, and in that case the hat should be removed. This is from a service member who was in uniform for 27 years. - More on Hats on the Military

Dear More on Hats: The column that dealt with "hats on or hats off" in the case of the military was addressed by a number of readers. I really appreciated all the input because military etiquette is not one of my strong points. Thanks so much to all my military readers.

Dear Carson: As a manager of an upscale restaurant in a cosmopolitan city, I am very put off by people who make reservations for dinner and fail to show up or who come a half-hour or 45 minutes late and expect for us to still honor their reservation. This falls into the category of a "no show" in my book. What is the protocol in this type situation? - Had It With Inconsiderate Guests

Dear Had It: If a prospective dinner guest has a change of plans, it is incumbent on that person to call the restaurant to cancel his reservation. If he realizes that he will be late by more than five or 10 minutes, he should call to let the restaurant know his plans.

Write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, Ga 30903-1928. Send e-mail to askcarson@comcast.net. Carson Elliott's web site is www.theproperthing.com.


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