Vibe Vixen: The Rules of a Proper House Guest

The Rules of a Proper Houseguest

Posted by  on Dec 10, 2012
When I visit a friend or a family member’s home, I always try to be a great houseguest. Growing up, my mother was a stickler for being courteous, and after having a string of not-so-great guests of our own, I’ve come to learn what hosts appreciate and abhor. Follow these steps and I’ll you’ll always have a place to stay. – Afiya Augustine

Make Arrangements. The first and foremost important thing to do is call ahead. Do not arrive unannounced. Everyone has plans and it’s never good to infringe someone else’s. Make arrangements that are are comfortable for all parties involved.
Don’t Bring Additional Guests. It’s simple: if your friends aren’t invited, don’t’ bring them. Just because you were given the opportunity to stay, doesn’t mean you have the right to include others. It’s rude and selfish. Please don’t be that girl.

Be Tidy. Do make sure to keep your belongings in an orderly fashion. No host likes a guest who treats their home like the bottom of a laundry basket.
Don’t’ Be Judgmental. It’s bad for business. You’re a guest, not  Jesus. So what if they have an annoying cat, or the kitchen could be neater. Keep your comments to yourself.
Don’t Eat Everything. Be considerate when it comes to food and toiletries. No one likes a hog. Even better—offer to help pay for groceries. And if you’re up for it, ask to prepare the meal.
Give a Gift. It’s always nice if you can give a small gift when you arrive or right before leaving. A bottle of wine or flowers are great tokens of appreciation.

Ms. Manners – Column

While I wish I had the time and the funds to do this with some friends, a flip cam and over the top humorific acting, I can’t. So, I will do this Ms. Manners segment, as I’ve done all my Ms. Manners segments – with my words.

 Today I would like to talk about office etiquette.
It seems that while some of us have clearly been around the cubicle and know how to conduct ourselves, there are just some people who do not understand the idea of common courtesy when at the work place:
  • TIME MANAGEMENT- This should be the numero uno etiquette rule to follow: GET YOUR ASS TO WORK ON TIME. For some of us, there are “grace periods,” where strolling in late isn’t necessarily a detriment to your responsibilities. But if your office is strict, then you should make it a habit of notifying people if your going to be anywhere between 15-30 mins later than you normally arrive. It’s also common courtesy to make up your lateness by staying the same amount of time you were late coming in. It shows that you’re taking responsibility for your lateness. If you are not making it in to work, please call in about the time that you’re supposed to come in to work. It’s really shady to call and say you’re not coming in at 2.30pm when you were scheduled to be in at 10am. It’s pretty obvious then.
  • DRESS CODE– Your office calls for a dress code of some kind, as most offices do. While some require strict business attire, others may ask that you come business casual, or dressy-casual or even just plain ol’ casual.  Though there are some loop-holes to some codes and you may get away with the occasional denim skirt or sneakers with your dress pants, PLEASE ADHERE (for the most part) to the code. Unless you are Naomi Campbell and your office is a runway, please do not take it upon yourself to strut into work with some fantabulous ensemble that has NO BUSINESS in the office. DO NOT come to work in see-through tanks, mini-skirts, or coochie-cutters so that when you bend over we can see your pretty pink lace thong or an outline of your ovaries. I understand that as the weather gets warmer, you clothes tend to have less fabric but at least when it comes to the work place PLEASE cover up your milk jugs. And fellas, this applies to you and your saggy jeans, crusty-dusty bottle caps, holey Sunday shirts with stains and the like and arm-hole shirts with all of the tangle weeded mess of pit hair. *Note: Just because you may have a “Casual Friday” code at work, you still do not have the right to show up in booty shorts on your grungiest of attire because that’s what “casual” means to you.* 
  • CONVERSATIONS AND PHONE CALLSSome offices are loud, some are quiet and some are in-between. It’s nice to carry on conversation with your neighbor and we know that sometimes talking on the phone is a necessity in your job description. However, your conversations shouldn’t be so loud that your neighbor three cubicles down can hear how much you hate the little Filipino lady who keeps stealing your stationary when you’re not looking. And that secret merger that you’re planning isn’t so secret when your door is open and potential clients can hear it…in the board room. No one needs to hear to you asking your husband which hemorrhoid cream he prefers or what Indian restaurant you ate from that gave you bad gas. Inversely so, it’s beyond annoying when you speak no louder than a church mouse and your co-workers have to purchase hearings aids to hear what the hell you have to say. PLEASE gauge your voice, close your doors or take your conversations outside. *NOTE* Be advised that you are on the clock so excessive phone calls and extensive conversations are a straight-up NO-NO. If you must, go on your lunch break and spare your co-workers.
  • INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS No one ever said that it’s not cool to make friends at work. After being stuck in an office for hours at a time, you may occasionally strike up a conversation and you may find that you and your neighbor are both huge Marvel Comic fans. While that is all fine and dandy, please remember that work is just that- WORK. I implore you to pick and choose who you divulge information too. Even though your neighbor may seem sweet and pleasant, you never know where your story about your husband leaving you for the albino cock-eyed midget with the “I Love Rick James” tattoo on her arm will end up. Furthermore, speaking freely about your drinking habits to a superior might toss you out on your ass and that joke about your co-worker looking like a young Hitler might have you in hot water in the HR department. *NOTE: Unless you work in a place where your name goes from Jan to Jellyshot, remember that your job is a place of business and not play. Do not take it upon yourself to start making sexual advances on your cute co-workers. It’s not a club. If you want to “holla,” do it off the clock. Just be advised that dating co-workers is risky business…ESPECIALLY if things go sour.*
  • MANNERS– Considering that when people are born, they are given parents, it’s assumed that said parents raise these children. It’s then safe to assume  that these same parents taught the value of good behavior. Therefore, there is no excuse to pass by your co-worker’s desk or cube or office and not say “Good Morning.” Even if you were raised by wolves, wild animals have greetings between each other. Greet people with a friendly hello or hi, or a simple smile will do. And if you don’t like initiating pleasantries, at least RESPOND with a hello, hey, head nod, or smirk. 
Nno matter how much you hate your job, try to come to work with a pleasant demeanor. Not only will people recognize how good you are at separating feelings from obligations, no one will pester you as to why you look so drab. Also, sometimes at work you become overly restless and you can’t stand the idea of being there, but please DO something productive. Even if isn’t your work. If the job bores you so much, then find one that will grab your interest.

And last, but most certainly not least, PLEASE make an effort to be the best employee that you can possibly be. I know that this was a long list for some, so expect a couple of breakouts on Bathroom Etiquette and how to manage a Communal Kitchen. =)

Ms. Manners – Column

Ms. Manners Breakout On…Encountering The Homeless

As I stepped into the train this morning, I was accompanied by the faint smell of fermented stench, sweat and traces of vomit. I looked over and saw that a homeless man was laying across the three-seater row at the entrance of the train. Now while this man’s scent did make my nose do funny things, I DID NOT: Continue reading

Ms. Manners – Column

Ms. Manners…breaks out on playing MUSIC in PUBLIC

I’ve got one thing to say about this epidemic. Okay, maybe two.

(1) DO NOT PLAY YOUR MUSIC IN PUBLIC ENCLOSED AREAS. EVER. Now you’re probably wondering about the caps, italics, bold and underline, but that’s because I’m insanely serious about it. It is one of the most annoying and inconsiderate thing in the world, to come on a train or a bus or in an enclosed public area, and to have someone blasting their music from their blackberry speakers. I know for SURE those things came with headphones. It’s a personal media player for a reason. Plug the buds in your ear and enjoy. Do you think I want to hear “Love Faces,” at 8 o’clock in the morning or songs with enough cuss words to make a nun cry while I’m on the commute home? NO! No one does except you. PLUG IT UP. Continue reading

Ms. Manners – Column

Ms. Manners Breakout on Personal Space

Now there are a lot of people out there that don’t understand the meaning of personal space…at school, at home, and most certainly at work, but please take heed to the words that are to follow:

 Let’s breakdown the meaning of Personal Space: Personal (as in one person, one being) Space (distance, zone, area) is the space in which one person is exhibiting. Some may call it their comfort zone and it can be physical or mental, but in any event it exists. The #1 rule all people on EARTH should adhere to is that of never entering another’s personal space. Sometimes people don’t have enough common sense to understand this, but this will help to better clarify: Continue reading

First Entry

Hello WORLD!

This is my first entry on wordpress. I intend on doing tons of fabulous things with this devise, including some columns, essays, poetry and fiction excerpts. Thank you all for coming by tonight and follow me if you wanna see some great stuff! Don’t believe me? Check the link on the ‘Meet the Writer’ page above and check out some of my work!


Til’ Tomorrow,


-Alj Augustine

Ms. Manners is happening!

Hey guys…definitely haven’t forgot about this Ms. Manners blogging project. As it stands I figure I am going to be doing full length Ms. Manners articles focusing on one topic/subject with occasional “breakouts” which will follow something that doesn’t quite need a full article, or a more in-depth take on a specific rule/regulation.