Q. I am sending a gift to the head of the corporation, his wife had a baby. How do I sign the card?
M. R., Round Lake Beach, IL
A. If the gift is just from you, depending on your familiarity with the head and his wife you sign the card either with your first name or with your first and last name. If the gift is a group gift from a department or team, then sign the card with the name of the group and include the individual names, if thatís feasible.
The real question here is the appropriateness of giving a gift to honor a social occasion to a business associate or higher-up. If youíre on a first name basis with the head or his wife, giving a gift from you personally is appropriate. This may be the case if you know him well and youíre his admin or work with him on a consistent basis. I recommend sending the gift to the coupleís home or giving him the gift outside of the office or at the office at a time when you can do it privately. The gift should be a personal effort on your part because you and the head know each other well.
If youíre not on a first name basis or donít work directly with him, you probably donít know him well enough to be giving a gift on your own A better course of action is for the employees to give a gift as a group. This eliminates the possibility of employees trying to one up each other or feeling compelled to give a gift.
Q. When addressing or just posting names on a list if it's a couple, do your write Jane and John Jones or John and Jane Jones? If you are just using first names do you put the woman or man first: John and Jane or Jane and John?
M. R., Enid, OK
A. Traditionally, the womanís name is listed first: Jane and John Jones or, when using first names, Jane and John. Today, John and Jane Jones and John and Jane are also acceptable. Whichever way you choose, be consistent with your list.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
about this blog
e-mail your question
Meet the Jobs Docs
Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.