Archive for April, 2010


Courtesy … or the Law?


Hearing the sudden wail of a siren or catching a glimpse of flashing lights in your rearview mirror can be startling. Many times I’ve seen drivers panic or disregard the speeding emergency vehicles, defiantly expecting them to pass in any space available. Is it a matter of being courteous? It really is a matter of safety for all involved as well as for those awaiting the first responders. What exactly is the law?

From DriveSmart BC:

“When an emergency vehicle approaches that is showing a flashing red light and sounding a siren you must immediately drive to a position parallel to the nearest edge of the road that is clear of an intersection and stop. You must remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed by.

It does not matter which direction the emergency vehicle is approaching from.

For all highways except a divided highway, the nearest edge is to the driver’s right. On a divided highway, if you are in the left hand or fast lane, the nearest edge is to the left. Otherwise, it is to the right as well. In any case, use your signal lights so the driver of the emergency vehicle knows where you are going!

Beware! Emergency vehicles often travel in packs. Never pull back onto the highway to proceed without checking to be sure that all emergency vehicles have passed by.”

Vancouver police constable Sandra Glendinning wrote in her Vancouver Sun column Behind the Blue Line, “Sometimes emergency personnel are trying to get some place to assist a comrade in need, but more often than not, we are trying to get somewhere to help you, a member of your family or a friend. And so, my thanks extend to all drivers who, everyday, yield to emergency vehicles. Thank you.


Networking – A gift!

Networking is an effective tool; we all recognize the benefits of building and maintaining relationships in the work we do, whatever the sector and whatever the scale. Networking, however, is not something that comes naturally to most of us and can indeed be crippling to those who are socially anxious at the best of times.  This past week I attended a conference in Ohio with approximately 349 other delegates.  The opening address was warm and welcoming but what struck me most was the charming manner in which the speaker, on the board of the event organizers, acknowledged the trepidation some might have about the networking ahead. He encouraged everyone to venture forth and meet as many others as possible and if the very idea was too daunting then please feel free to use his name. He gave permission to every one of us to approach someone new and say “Tim said I should introduce myself to you.”  How very helpful!  The mood in the room lightened immensely and I’m sure there were sighs of relief. I must say, the networking at this event was some of the most enjoyable I’ve ever participated in – almost every conversation referred with gratitude and appreciative humour to Tim’s kind gesture.  

Networking Tips

  • Read the newspaper or watch/listen to the news before attending an event.  An understanding of current events contributes to confident and interesting conversation.
  • Hold your cold beverage in your left hand so your right hand is not cold and wet when you come to shaking hands.
  • Aim to listen as much as speak.  Be conscious that the flow of conversation is equal.
  • Follow up by sending an e-mail or forwarding an article relating to a mutually interesting topic discussed with someone at the networking event. This will help build a new relationship and show that you were paying careful attention.

Summer Hemlines


With the warm days of summer fast approaching it seems a good time to discuss legs as they will be seeking a bit of fresh air after a long winter of being clad in tights and skinny denim.  Specifically, let’s talk about how much to cover or reveal of those legs while factoring in age appropriateness.

In the  Fabulous at Every Age column in the April 2010 edition of Harper’s Bazaar, the following questions were posed and answered:

When is short too short? What hemlines at what age?

Microminis are fine or those in their 20s; midthigh lengths work for thirty-somethings. But once you hit 40, aim for just above the knee. That measure can carry you through just as long as your legs do.

At what age should you stop wearing short shorts?

Once you graduate from college, pack ’em in. As for city shorts, which hit above the knee, this look has legs for any age, as long as they are paired with a smart menswear-inspired jacket or a long cardigan for a tailored, finished feel.

Michelle Pfeiffer, 51 has been quoted as saying, “I can’t wear a skirt that’s too short any more. It’s not that my legs are bad, it just looks silly. I feel less pressure to dress youthfully. I’m in my 50s and everyone knows I’m in my 50s.” 




Etiquette in the Surf

When we facilitate discussions on Etiquette we always have fun asking participants to list different kinds of etiquette. Some of the obvious ones come to mind quite quickly and then the momentum starts: Dining Etiquette, Driving Etiquette, Golf Etiquette, Tennis Etiquette, Skiing Etiquette, Sailing Etiquette …   The news in the last few months has featured a couple of interesting stories rising out of breaches of Surf Etiquette.

Crises in Surfing Etiquette have been hitting headlines from Tofino, BC to Manly Beach, Australia.

This morning’s Vancouver Province newspaper ran this article referring to recent incidents in BC and Nova Scotia:

TOFINO, B.C. — A Vancouver Island surfer investigated for assault after an argument over the right-of-wave will not be charged.  A Tofino Crown attorney refused to approve the charges against the 25-year-old man after his disagreement with a 36-year-old woman in February. Surf etiquette dictates that there be only one rider per wave and the surfer closest to the “peak” — where the wave is breaking — has the right-of-way. If someone is already riding a wave, no one should drop in or “snake” that person. An earlier small claims court decision in Nova Scotia also dealt with the issue of right-of-way while surfing. A man was ordered to pay $750 in damages to replace a surfboard as well as court costs after he collided with another man in the water. No criminal charges were laid in that case, which came before the courts in January.   © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

At Manly Beach, near Sydney Australia “surf rage” and a dangerous lack of courtesy among beach/surf users has led to public posting of a Surfers’ Code of Etiquette. “The ‘Surfers’ Code of Etiquette’ aims are to promote safer surfing on beaches, to foster a culture of respect and responsibility and to reduce the incidence of surf rage.” A little etiquette can go a long way to making the surf safer!




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