Etiquette Training and Bored Wives
by Alan J Simpson
Washington, DC, April 16th, 2007 -- It seems I have irritated the legions of bitter conservative lawyers, military and politicians wives who have nothing better to do than decide how to fold the Thank You note to the wife of the Ambassador, and if his name should appear on the address label, or his gracious lady. To shut them up it appears many hubbies have told them they own all rights to such words as "Protocol Training", "Protocol Officer", "Etiquette", "Executive Etiquette" and no one is allowed to use these words to write about their well heeled scams. I see now why these politicians and powerful lawyers have Mistresses.
In the United States we have a major image problem in the world, and the effectiveness of our negotiation ability is at an all time low. We have a domestic society that is ripping itself apart at an ever increasing rate. You may not notice the hate and violence in the crumbling inner cities, especially if your world is comprised on color coordinating your wardrobe and living in the 1950's.
Etiquette Training is a huge franchise scam, the society equivalent of Beauty Treatment for the desperate poor girls of the inner cities. The dream of being the center of social empowerment, waving a magic knowledgeable wand and making a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear drives many women seeking recognition to fork out thousands of dollars for a ink-jet printed diploma. Same as the Manicurist diplomas from the inner city beauty colleges. It is color coordinating Danny Kaye's Emperors Suit of Clothes from the same era. It's all together.
The threat is subtle, if you don't comply you will be a social outcast, and as Miss Manners points out, "You can't work these things out for yourself." The message is that you are a stupid mindless female who needs to be taught how to dress, eat and primp in the presence of boring people with nothing to contribute to the real world. You think an Ambassador takes time to look at the shoes and gloves of the politicians wife as they are discussing roadside bombs, famine, terrorism and looming economic disasters? The genteel calm of yesteryear is gone forever.
Unfortunately the Marie Antoinette School of Etiquette and Protocol is alive and well and trying to sell pyramid schemes to train the young gentle folk on how to act, and be ready as an Extra in Gone with the Wind. Unfortunately the world has changed and poor Rhett Butler was blown to pieces whilst negotiating a Cocaine deal with terrorists, after his investment scam went bad.
There is need for more effective social networking and international negotiating skills, brought up to date for the world of terrorism, television, and technology. The terrible "T"s that rule society. It is meaningless to teach the gentle young ladies of society how to fold their Napkins when leaving the table, when they are snorting Cocaine, popping illegal pills and baring their Boobs on YouTube, My Space and on Spring Break. Paris Hilton is very genteel at parties, dresses (and undresses) with style and social breeding, but would not be the first choice to star in a training video for Etiquette.
Hmmm ...... on second thoughts maybe that would be a commercial blockbuster, given the right partner.
I may be a little jaded in my opinion of the Etiquette and Protocol Training, as I spend most of my time in New York and Washington. I meet African leaders who are so gracious, yet are massacring people back home in their tens of thousands. I meet military leaders, excellent social skills, who haven't or couldn't win a battle even if the enemy didn't turn up. I meet politicians who are swindling the supporters, betraying their country and lying every time they open their mouths. I then meet their wives, and they are so gracious and experts at social etiquette, like being trapped in a looped Stepford Wives nightmare.
But I also see the rest of society approaching breaking point, frustrated and violent, watching even more violence with a saturated diet of Law and Order, CSI, NCIS, 24 and The Unit. The United States is rapidly becoming France under Louis XVI and as the Rich get Rich, the Poor get Poorer and see their leaders and politicians acting as if they were in complete isolation from reality. We are heading for a major Crisis of the Dollar some time in the future, and when the crunch comes it will not be pretty in our neglected inner cities.
We need a new standard of diplomacy and social networking that will stand the test of the the 21st Century, where individual accomplishments and contributions are the focus, not external trappings of social elegance paid for by Hubby or Daddy. We need to bring social and business etiquette out of the past and into the present.
We need to think of a Results Orientated Pecking Order if we are to survive as a coherent society. The demand is that anyone can achieve success, and that you can still receive the OSCAR even if you don't wear a traditional dinner jacket and black bow tie. It's content and achievement that counts, not fluff or wrapping paper.
You can of course send me $3000 and I will make you a Social Networking Consultant and grant you exclusive rights to use the words "Success", "Results Orientated" and "Sucker" in your area, as defined at my discretion. I also will send you my book on "Color Coordination for the Brooklyn Bridge after you have bought it."
We need Corporate Diplomacy not Fluff!