The company I work for has several big events coming up during Advertising Week. One is a Monday morning breakfast with the icon of the company and the CEO; the other is a day-long event celebrating one of the magazines.
Today, I was confirming attendance of clients who will be at one or both events. Emails. Follow-up phone calls. After one particular call, I had just spoken with the president of a communication firm and discovered that I had to call back to get the names of her family members for our VIP list.
"I am just calling back to request the names of your husband and your children for the guest list," I said into the phone.
"Sure," the voice on the other end replied, friendly yet firmly, "My partner's name is Marilyn and my daughters are ... "
Oops, I thought. Shiiiiiit. I feel just a little bit ignorant. I'll have to remember not to make assumptions about similar matters in the future. And it's not just because I live in New York City now. Social etiquette in many parts of our world continue to advance. I don't think society is advancing fast enough, but for someone like me - who considers herself to be liberal and open-minded - even I don't always keep up.