DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a question about appropriate bar etiquette for college-aged women. While I believe it is a nice gesture for men to offer to buy women a drink, I do not believe women should ask or tell a man to do so.
My friend seems to think her bold/forward requests for a beverage make her seem traditional. This friend is often shameless to the point that I am so embarrassed that I will interrupt the exchange to tell her I will buy the drinks for us.
I feel her confidence and simultaneous helplessness in this situation is an odd dichotomy that comes across as cheap and using.
Am I wrong to wonder if under these circumstances liberated behavior of a young woman has been confused with plain old poor manners?
GENTLE READER: It is always touching to Miss Manners to hear of a young person who wants to behave in a traditional fashion. Too bad that the tradition your friend has adopted is that of cadging drinks in bars. What she is doing was not seen as bad manners so much as professional manners. It was the profession that was bad.
Last Miss Manners checked, it was still considered so.
Your friend seems to have made the unfortunately common mistake of confusing the concepts of liberated and lewd.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am interested in the etiquette of informing applicants of errors in their resumes.
As the primary contact for staffing in our company, I recently received a resume from an applicant that used the word "tenet" instead of "tenant" in several locations of their resume. I dismissed them completely because I believe if there is one thing you should proofread it would be your resume! Having been in this field for many years, I know that most of my colleagues feel the same way -- they won't even consider a resume with typographical, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
What I am torn about is whether or not to inform this applicant that they are sending out a document that is damaging their chances at obtaining employment. Is it rude to point out the flaws in a case like this one?
GENTLE READER: Correcting other people's writing is rude unless you are authorized to do so. This is why Miss Manners will say nothing to you about pairing single subjects with plural pronouns.
However, it is a common complaint of job seekers that they are left wondering why they were rejected. It would be within your purview to let them know, in a matter-of-fact way, that you are sorry to inform them that they will not be hired, and that you and your colleagues disqualify those who have sent resumes that contain mistakes in the use of language.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friend's outgoing voicemail message ends in "bye." We have a disagreement over whether this is necessary. I say no, since she isn't talking to a real person. She says since the message is heard by a real person, it is polite to end the message that way. What do you think?
GENTLE READER: That your friend has grasped a concept that you seem to have missed: Voicemail is a device that enables a person to address other people; it is not itself being addressed.
Miss Manners can only hope that you do not compose your e-mails under the impression that you needn't be courteous because you are only addressing a machine.