March 24th, 2014

The Etiquette Expert Meets Miss Manners

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Jacqueline Whitmore and Judith Martin (Miss Manners) at the Beach Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Today I met Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners) at the Beach Club in Palm Beach during the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews Annual Luncheon. She gave a 15-minute speech about the lack of civility in our society. She peppered her talk with her unique brand of humor and a touch of sarcasm.

I observed her closely before the luncheon and was quite surprised that she didn’t do what most etiquette experts do and walk around the room and talk to people. She simply sat at her table (all by herself) and waited for people to approach her (which I did). I think I was the only person bold enough to ask her if I could be photographed with her. She was polite, reserved, and did most of the listening while I did most of the talking.

Fortunately, I remembered to bring a copy of her book, Miss Manners Minds Your Business, and asked her to sign it. I also gave her a signed copy of my book, Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals. We had a private book signing, just the two of us.

During our brief conversation, she asked me how long I had been in business and referred to me as a “colleague.” A true compliment coming from her!

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