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Business & Legal Ethics
• May 09, 2012 | 2:22 AM MDT
On Board with Manners
Another Amtrak passenger and I sat across each other last Thursday, training from NYC to Washington D.C. Quickly, we introduced ourselves. Then, we put our heads down and began to knock out some work.
Somewhere in NJ, another passenger joined us at our club car table. This newest rider promptly pulled out a kit and started to make-up her face. And I’m not talking about drawing on a little lipstick. She began with foundation; followed that by applying all sorts of eye shadow, eye liner and mascara; and ended with a quick brush of blush and a dab of lip gloss.
While she worked away, the other passenger and I continued tapping away on our laptop keyboards. A couple of times, we looked up, our eyes connecting in a manner that communicated, “Can you believe this?” But neither of us said a word.
Now, fully ready for her workday, somewhere in DE, the third member of our table detrained. At that point, my traveling companion said, “So you’re the etiquette expert. What did you think about that?”
I shrugged my shoulders and replied: A train’s club car is no place for a lady to apply her make-up. Just as we would expect a gentleman to step in the lavatory to shave, a lady should undertake this very private activity in private. She may freshen her lipstick in public. And she may wipe away mascara smudges in a group. But when it comes to painting on foundation or crimping eye lashes, a lady really should excuse herself and head to a private mirror.
Of course, it would have been completely inappropriate for either of us to say this to our traveling companion. We could have moved to another table, but neither of us had any business openly criticizing her behavior.