It has come to society’s attention that certain business etiquette is old-fashioned if not obsolete. You can be certain no such thing has occurred; there are only those too lazy to police it.

The following should serve to correct and enlighten:

  • When corresponding by email, you may not casually say “Hey” to anyone but a horse. True, business salutations have evolved from “Dear Sir,” although some online marketers will greet you this way no matter what your gender. Use the person’s name.
  • No, business cards haven’t gone the way of the dodo. You’re a dodo if you don’t have any. There’s an elegance to the gesture of giving someone your business card, an official invitation to contact you in the future and a wish to do business that isn’t present in “Hey, call me.” See above.
  • For those of you who believe email is now equal to a handwritten note, you’re wrong. The two will never be ranked the same by the recipient, and handwriting denotes time and attention that banging a keyboard does not. If you’ve been interviewed and are hoping to distinguish yourself from a dozen others, send the handwritten note. The other 11 are sending emails or, worse, nothing at all.
  • Insofar as not dressing up at the office, that’s fine and dandy. Just remember no one ever got promoted to management wearing sneakers and gym shorts to work. Pay attention to the old saw: Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. You may not be a Wall Street banker, but you’re not Mark Zuckerberg either.
  • When it comes to a toast, sorry, but nonalcoholic drinks are still excluded from the ritual. The custom dates back to barbarian days, Saxons and Huns, when toasting was a pledge of loyalty, leadership, masculinity and assessing your associates’ intentions.

You can’t be a Hun with ice tea.


Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at Fete@theadvocate.com.

Martini madness continues

There were plenty of toasts as Walk-On’s went about the business of mixing its sparkling pineapple martini. First out of the gate and laced with Absolut Peppar and Champagne, balloons decorated the bar as guests drank for charity. “A martini was my dad’s go-to drink,” said Healing House’s Charlie Cantrell, on hand for the festivities. Festive also were genuine martini drinkers Don Allen and Dawn Laviolette, this year’s martini glass artist Hannah Mason et famille and Coury Moss.

Alumni House reception

The Alumni House hosted Friends of the Humanities in honor of its three decades of devotion. “We’re celebrating FOH for their contributions,” said Lori Hennigan, of the Office of Development. Since 1989, the organization has supported the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with scholarships and grants, ensuring that the humanities remain viable.

“We’re doing a video on our history,” said past President Judy Kennedy. “It traces the history of our organization and highlights the contributions made in promoting and supporting the humanities at ULL. Our two remaining founding members, Harriet Shea, of New Iberia, and Betty Fleming, of Lafayette, were interviewed.”

Breathing that rarefied academic air were Patrick Fleming, Mathe Allain, grants Chairwoman Sandra Friedberg and A.J. and Ricky Maloney. What we loved: The barbecue meatballs. They were superb.

Happy anniversary

What better day to celebrate your personal fireworks than on the Fourth of July. Jay and Debi Smith marked 50 years together with an all-American ice cream social at the Petroleum Club. Asked the secret of his longevity, Smith had this to say: “Determination will take you farther than money or good sense. It's etched into my iPad."

The full-on buffet included bananas Foster and red, white and blueberry ice cream punch, with Smith himself doing the décor and display of family photographs. Among the many well-wishers were Doug and Claire Ashy, guests at the original wedding, which we understand was red, white and blue, too.

Allons danser

The third Krewe of Zeus dance of the season got underway at the Petroleum Club to a country and western theme. There were cowboy hats and city slickers alike, even a sheriff. “I appointed myself,” said James Reeves. “Nobody argued.” Enjoying the jamboree was Karen Meaux, visiting from Kuwait, and Don Guidry, who buys his Advocate both here and in New Orleans.