"The Lost Art: Remembering Amy"


Okay, I admit it. In fact, we all can. We’re trying to cope in a busy, chaotic, high-tech, hi-speed business world out there. We live in a universe of complex algorithms, myriad social medias, and seemingly easy-to-use technologies. We have the global web, information at our fingertips, emails and texting, phone apps on futuristic devices, Skype and Zoom, Gmail & Hotmail (now that dates me), and just about every other space-age idea you can think of is in development. These advancements in communications and technologies allow us to multi-task like behemoths, big and powerful organizations. Our work week days AND our nights are full, our weekends, too. Sometimes, it’s all we can do to play catch up…to breathe…to be grateful.

Yes, it’s true. Day after day, month after month, we are accomplishing more and more in the blink of the proverbial eye. I know people who are absolute wizards at navigating the computerized technologies of the 21st Century and their techno-prowess astounds me. Yet, something still doesn’t feel quite right. Can you feel it, like something is missing in our daily, sometimes nightly, weekend activities or routines? I think I know what it might be; I call it the lost art-that simple practice and subject we call etiquette. I think back to my college days when Amy Vanderbilt’s "Complete Book of Etiquette" was a required reading for one of my hospitality industry courses. I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now how important it can be. Something as simple as a returned telephone call, an answered text or email, or a reply to a private message can make an impression about you or how your business is perceived. Imagine if we practiced a smidgen of etiquette every day. Imagine if we got back with relative promptness to that person or company trying to reach out to us. It could be a pivot point in our own business or personal lives. It could be that once-in-a-lifetime collaboration that we’ve been waiting for or finding the answer to that important question that could turn our company around. Yes, it could be that significant.

I recently finished the book, “Sense-Making” by Christian Madsbjerg, and it’s clearer to me now. Despite the hectic, fast-paced world in which we live in today, it’s important for us to remain human, to have personal interaction with other people, to still be polite. Please believe me, I’m not trying to preach or be bossy or micro-manage anyone here. And, I do realize that Amy didn’t have all the technologies we have today. But even so, her basic premise remains. A little bit of etiquette can go a long way to make the world, in our case, the business world a better place in which to operate.

In closing, I appreciate you for reading, but if you could please excuse me, I have several phone calls to return, quite a few emails to answer, and maybe a text or to reply to. Oh alright, I’m not perfect, but at the very least, I’m trying to improve how I do business by answering those who felt I was important enough to reach out to. That’s all.

Thanks Amy.