Mind your manners….
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned at an early age. It was this training that I received in etiquette that played a big part in my success. These skills chaperon me through the service industry in which I love and would be the foundation in which SMT Personal Concierges’ would be established.
During the early stages of my life, I spent most of my time living in a very big house on what was call “The Mainline”, in Pennsylvania. My aunt, (God rest her soul) worked as an governess for this very wealthy couple who had two children that needed to be cared for. When I was a little girl, I would go and spend the weekend with my aunt at their home so we could go to church together on Sunday.
She, (my aunt) and my mother would arrange for me to be picked up on Friday after school at the train station, which was not far from my aunt’s job. By the time, I would arrive to the house it would be close to suppertime. When I arrived, she would have me go into the dining room and speak to her employers and thank them for letting me come and stay in their home. They were very kind people and would always say nice things and give gifts. I remember my aunt would always be standing nearby giving me a stern look to remind me to use my manners.
While there, when she and I were alone she would spend her time grooming me and teaching etiquettes. We would practice different scenarios where she would offer me things like ice cream or chocolate and ask, “now what do you say Shonda”? And I would respond, “Yes please, and thank you”.
On Saturday mornings, after she would set the tables for breakfast, she would then make a place setting in the kitchen for us. There were times when I hung out in the kitchen while she cooked, she would let me set the table where she and I would eat. When she was done all of her work, for lunch she make me a sandwich and serve it to me out by the swimming pool and treated me as if I were her employer.
Never would I have imagined how much of an impact, that time we spent together would have on my life. There are several lessons I was able to glean from those experiences.
First, being polite will never grow old. My aunt did not have to expose me to that lifestyle or teach me those lessons. Second, using your manners will carry you a very long way. It is said, Good manners are just another way of showing others you have respect for them. Finally, “Please” and “thank you” are still magic words that will open doors to opportunities you would never imagine.
So please don’t forget to mind your manners.