Etiquette Consultant at The Plaza Hotel
Lyudmila Bloch, The Plaza Hotel, New York City
I’m originally from Russia and I was raised in a very traditional culture, where we couldn’t talk back to our teachers. You had to stand up if you were taking public transportation to offer a seat to a person older than you. I speak four languages and have visited almost every single country, so I’m always curious how one can learn about etiquette in another country.
I’m officially a Director of the Young Plaza Ambassadors, which is a program for traveling families and VIP business executves. We offer weekend programs in etiquette to local school children. When I started thid program a few years ago, I always thought that manners were really missing from our society. We see it every day when a young mother with a child trying to pass through a door and nobody is helping her.
The most common problem for adults is probably inappropriate use of cellphones in public places, especially in a hotel lobby. Adults have bad habits, and it is very hard to change them. But children are very receptive, especially when they get instruction from someone other than their parents. Interview by Julie Schlosser