The Royal Wedding is upon us. My husband and I were delighted to learn that Wills and Kate selected the day AFTER our 32nd wedding anniversary to FINALLY tie the knot. We will actually be in Chicago as royal vows and wows are exchanged across the pond, but we wish them well. Nothing like an April wedding!
Certainly much will be written about this historic occasion (The Prince and Princess of course – not the hubs and me!) Nothing is left to chance in the Royal Kingdom/Queendom. As in all families, the royals have their signs and languages, code speak beyond what most of us may imagine. It’s quite necessary you see, to be sure everything runs smoothly.

In a March blog (Suffering Loss), I wrote of Sarah Ban Breathnach, her books and her journey to get back into the green (money, not pastures). She outlines an intriguing bit of information about family communications, staff signals, and what I refer to as ‘non-verbal’ tactics used to move those in power through their daily duties. What am I talking about? Well, would you believe that Her Majesty The Queen communicates her plans and feelings through her PURSE? I’m not referring to her bank account. Queen Elizabeth expresses her intentions and event strategy non-verbally through the placement of her pocketbook

“Oh yes. There’s one more fascinating object the Queen is never without in her purse: an S-shaped metal meat hook, which is placed on the edge of furniture to hold the Queen’s purse when she is dining. This is because there’s a secret etiquette code used by Her Majesty and her staff in which her purse plays a starring role. If she moves it from left side to right, it indicates that she is ready to leave wherever she is; if she places it on the floor at the banquet, she is bored and wants to leave. If she places it on the table, she’ll leave in five minutes. If it hangs happily on the left side of her arm, she’s having a good time, and if her purse swings from the meat hook, she’ll stay a bit longer as she’s quite enjoying herself,” (SBB’s Peace & Plenty).

Could we commoners be so crafty yet simplistic in our comings and goings? You bet! I confess to using items in the workplace as proper yet strategic means to an end. Sad but true, there is a workplace stigma attached to being seen in the human resources office, especially in a down economy. In nearly two decades as an HR director, it was evident employees perceived no good reason to be talking to me and, God forbid, if they were called to the HR office something BAD must be coming down. This is understandably one of the distressing and challenging drawbacks of the profession.

I tackled this head-on by keeping a decanter of candy on my desk, noticing that chocolate trumped any hesitancy to cross my office threshold. Through the years it was sometimes necessary to be candid with concerned employees. I reminded them that if they needed an excuse to come and see me, they could tell their co-workers (or suspicious supervisor) they needed chocolate. Believe me, in newsrooms and media centers across the world there is NEVER enough sugar or caffeine. It worked like a charm. Ultimately, they returned to their desks having had their concerns heard AND with chocolate to share.

Meat hooks, purses, chocolate, royal weddings, anniversaries! It’s all in the resources, royal and human! Tis’ the season! Cheerio!

~From the desk of Becky Morlok~


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