New Years Etiquette

by Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

Dearest Readers,

What was I doing in Billy's Boxer on Boxing Day? Zipping along the 10 on our way to the Ask Annette celebrity shareholders' retreat in Palm Springs, naturally, when suddenly my newest Hermès scarf blew away, and it got me thinking: It's the new year. Whatever will we wear?

Moreover, what simple steps can today's office worker take to become even more fabulous in the coming months? Here are some of the shareholders' resolutions.


  • Finish and mail your holiday thank-you notes by January 15.
  • When you restate someone else's idea in a meeting, give the person credit.
  • Have your People pay attention to those little indicator lights on the copier and the fax machine, which apparently mean something. If you really want to impress others, learn how to replace the paper and the toner yourself.
  • Return all business phone calls within 24 hours.
  • Begin and end meetings on time. Stick to the agenda. (We did that in Palm Springs, and it allowed plenty of time for my dog Dickie and me to enjoy the creatures of the desert.)


  • When you select your ensemble for the day, don't mix seasons - especially autumn and winter - as if it didn't matter whether your skin is Warm or Cool.
  • Go outdoors every day, even if it's raining.
  • Bring your lunch to work more often. Arrange and garnish your food beautifully in a see-through container and put it in the office fridge as an inspiration to others.
  • Stop utilizing things. Use them. Stop resourcing people. Ask them to do things.
  • Invite coworkers you genuinely like to your home instead of a restaurant or bar.
  • Develop scarf confidence. If you lose one in a convertible, be sure it bears your unique scent so that the person who finds it will treasure it as a miracle from the sky.


  • Keep a bowl of candy on your desk. All your coworkers will chat with you and leave useful information in their wake.
  • Go to lunch with people you don't normally dine with - people in a rival department, say.
  • Pay attention to the meeting-after-the-meeting. That's where the real decisions get made.
  • Do more than you were asked to do.


  • Delight in the good news of other people.
  • Encourage a coworker who is pursuing a cherished dream. The least the person can do is grant you stock options or cite you in an acceptance speech.
  • Share in the bad news, too. If someone you know is laid off, call that person at once and say four simple words: "How can I help?" Fabulous.
  • Bring coffee and doughnuts to the office for your coworkers once in a while. Don't notice whether anybody returns the favor.
  • Think of three people in your company who deserve a pat on the back. Pat them on the back. Better yet, also send an email to their supervisors saying why they deserve a pat on the back. Have no ulterior motives. Start at the bottom.

Choose your favorite resolution, or make your own. Remember, resolutions are as much fun to break as they are to make!

Stay fabulous,