8/8/13 - Tipping Etiquette Story on KGO Radio

This story recently ran on KGO Radio featuring Yours Truly! Appropriate tip amounts for hotel housekeeping staff, bell captains, concierge and more. Listen to the one-minute story here.

3/13/13 - I thought you'd like this: At MIT, Charm School prepares brainiacs for business

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The MIT students were stumped, or as stumped as a group of young adults with SAT scores dwarfing the average mortgage payment could be when faced with the question: Is it ever acceptable to dunk? Read it here.

6/8/12 - Parsons School story on newstands in the Summer issue of Bay Area Parent

How to instill old-time manners in modern day kids? That's the topic of an article in this summer's Bay Area Parent article. Read it here.

2/15/12 - Parsons School of Etiquette Weighs In on BART Etiquette - CBS5 Eye On The Bay

Watch owner Debbie Parsons talk about mass transit etiquette - she was featured on CBS5 Eye On The Bay recently! Click Here to watch!

12/22/11 - The Importance of Thank You Notes

In this season of holiday giving please consider the following when receiving a gift. The gift giver had YOU in mind when selecting, purchasing, wrapping and delivering your gift. Please acknowledge their thoughtfulness with a proper thank you note. A correctly written thank you note need only be four sentences long the least you can do in appreciation for all the work that goes into giving someone special a gift during such a busy time of year.

12/20/10 - Parsons School of Etiquette owner Debbie Parsons commenting on NBC11 about Holiday Party Etiquette

12/3/10 - Holiday Party Etiquette

This holiday season, remember that the season spans
from Halloween to New Year's.

This holiday season, remember that the season spans from Halloween to New Year's. When navigating through the multitude of invitations you receive from October to January, keep in mind that it's a celebratory marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself, mind your manners and enjoy friends and family. A few tips to get you through the chaos:

  1. RSVP to all invitations within 3 days of receiving them. Don't ever wait to see if a "better offer" comes along.
  2. Never arrive early to a party. AND, certainly don't overstay your welcome.
  3. Bring your host a small gift to show your appreciation for being included in the festive occasion.
  4. DO NOT overindulge in alcoholic beverages - even if it is an OPEN BAR. None of us is "at our best" under the influence of too much alcohol.
  5. Send your host a thank you note within a few days of the party.

Keep in mind that the more invitations you get is an indication of what kind of guest you have been in the past. To ensure that you get invited back next year, mind your manners. Happy Holidays!

11/2/10 - The Parsons School of Etiquette Teaches the Disappearing Art of Manners

At the dinner table or in the board room - proper etiquette, civility and a well-groomed professional presence can be the key to success.

San Jose, Calif., November 2, 2010 - The driver in the car behind you thinks you cut him off. He accelerates and roars past - face a red mask of anger, mouthing a string of unheard obscenities, and adding gestures that make his opinion of you quite clear. Later, on the television you watch commentators bantering about the latest news, lacing their opinions with rude comments and insults about people with whom they disagree.

Everywhere one turns today, it seems proper manners are a disappearing art. It might be easy to shrug your shoulders and say, "Who cares?" But the fact is that civility is a critical part of effective communications. For many business people, days are filled with human interactions - in meetings, on conference calls, and in one-on-one negotiating and deal making. In addition, when one considers the tough challenges we face in improving education, boosting the economy, and reducing the budget deficit while balancing the conflicting priorities for funds - the solutions will require extraordinary skills in both communicating and compromising. This places a real premium on making positive connections with people - and using the right social graces to treat others with courtesy and respect.

The skills needed to do this should first be acquired in childhood and ideally continue to be learned into adulthood with etiquette tailored for the corporate workplace. The Parsons School of Etiquette in San Jose is designed to provide precisely that.

Teaching Adults and Children Alike
The Parsons School of Etiquette opened in January 2010, initially with the goal of providing etiquette courses for children. Founder and President Debbie Parsons holds a bachelor's degree in Child and Family Development from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, but she knew she needed specific training in etiquette. To her surprise, schools with training programs for teachers were primarily located in the South or Southeast. Parsons selected the well-regarded American School of Protocol in Atlanta, Georgia, and earned her certificate there.

"When I realized how few etiquette schools existed in the West, I knew my business would really fill a need," said Parsons. "I started by training young people in classes such as 'Tools of the Table,' 'Charm, Grace and Confidence' for girls, and 'Social Survival Skills' for boys. But I constantly was asked if I also taught adult etiquette. That convinced me to return to the American School of Protocol to earn my certificate in 'Corporate Etiquette Training'."

Today, in addition to teaching youth etiquette classes, Parsons has eight classes designed for adults, including:
-- Professional Presence - Self Presentation
-- Breaking Bread for Better Business - Dining Skills
-- Dress for Respect - Corporate Dress
-- Etiquette in the Information Age - Communication Skills

"Our world is changing so quickly," Parsons remarked. "Good manners that worked for previous generations often don't apply to the age of e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. At the same time, it has never been more important to learn and practice good manners - to co-exist at work, in the car, on the Internet, and in family settings - with grace and civility."

A Successful Introduction
The Parsons School of Etiquette has definitely tapped a need in the Silicon Valley. Dozens of young people have already graduated from the school's entry-level "Tools of the Table" course and moved on to other available topics.

Although the corporate etiquette courses were just launched, Parsons is already seeing a lot of interest from companies that are considering offering them to sales people and others with a lot of customer or public contact.

"Now that etiquette is my professional focus, I see the need for these life skills everywhere," explained Parsons. "The classes I offer aren't meant to take us back to a bygone era of tea and cookies in sitting rooms. Rather, the courses are designed to set a standard of acceptable behavior and provide guidelines for how to reach that standard in today's dynamic, technology-driven society. Civility is still possible when people practice proper manners."

For more information about The Parsons School of Etiquette, interested individuals or businesses may visit, or e-mail Debbie.

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