Advice on manners and morals.
Dec. 19 1998 3:30 AM

(Continued from Page 2)

--Striving for Graciousness in Toronto

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Dear Strive,

Well, some years ago, Barbra Streisand married her hairdresser, but that seems an excessive thank-you. Because you've left New York, your question is hypothetical, unless, of course, you wind up in the same situation again.

As for not tipping an establishment's owner, in terms of etiquette you are correct. Prudie, a classically trained salon-goer, recommends a grand gift at Christmastime. Such a  gift could cost the equivalent of a year's tips if one were so inclined. BTW (as we say on the Internet) or "by the way," Prudie was recently on your wonderful Bloor Street.

--Prudie, grandly

Dear Prudence,

Several of my colleagues and I have noticed that our new supervisor repeatedly interrupts us when we are talking on the phone with our clients. She can see the phone, she can hear us talking, yet she bursts in, unwilling to wait. This leaves us in the awkward position of wanting, but not being able, to tell her to go away (or at least to cool her jets) or being inexcusably rude to others. Granted, we all have quirks, but this is highly unnerving to many of us. Your thoughts, please.

--Trying Very Hard To Hear You in Michigan

Dear Try,

It sounds as though your new supervisor is 5 years old and hellbent on instant gratification. Prudie would suggest that you and your colleagues go to this person's superior and spell out the problem. If for some reason this is not feasible, write a memo signed "Everyone in the department" saying you don't wish to be disrespectful, but her habit is counterproductive, annoying, and unnecessary. Feel free to point out that callus interruptus is bad for business.

--Prudie, uninterruptedly

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