Social Etiquette and Good Manners/HS Grad gift for boss's son


Hi, I'm a veterinarian in a small 3 doctor practice.  I'm the only non-partner in the practice. I just received a high school graduation announcement for my boss's son (2 days after the actual graduation). The son has work as a kennel assistant in the practice a few hours a week for the past few months.  I'd like to get him a gift since I've worked for this practice in different capacities for 16 years (as a tech during the summers for 7 years while in school and a vet for the past 9 years), but I'm unsure what would be appropriate.  I was considering a amazon gift card for $50 and a logo item (tee-shirt) from the college he is attending this fall.  Your thoughts and any suggestions are certainly welcome.

Thank you,

Dr. JF

Dear Dr. JF:

Thank you for your question.

I think you are spot on with your ideas for graduation gifts for your colleague's son.  Because you haven't known this young man for a number of years, you can't be expected to know his specific likes and dislikes. By giving the gift card, you will ensure that he gets something he REALLY likes, because it will be his choice. (Frankly, I believe that teens and young adults prefer gift cards over ANY specific gift.) The logo item from the college he will attend is a nod to his accomplishment and says you wish him well in the next chapter of his life. Include a graduation card with a handwritten note, and your gift will hit it out of the park.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Nancy Mitchell


Social etiquette; Business etiquette; Entertaining etiquette; Wedding etiquette; Protocol, domestic (US) and international; Flag etiquette; Dining etiquette; Restaurant etiquette; Spa etiquette; Travel etiquette


Nancy R. Mitchell is a nationally recognized etiquette and protocol consultant and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in the field. She owns the firm The Etiquette Advocate and is an owner and founding partner of the firm Protocol Partners-Washington Center for Protocol. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at The George Washington University, where she developed and teaches protocol courses in the School of Business and the Career Center, and at Stratford University, Falls Church, VA. She serves also as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center. For 23 years, Mitchell was director of special events and protocol at the Library of Congress where she and her staff were responsible for planning and managing over 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other distinguished visitors, galas, conferences and meetings. As the Library’s chief protocol advisor, Mitchell served as liaison to the White House, U.S Department of State, the Congress, the Supreme Court and other government agencies, embassies, academia and corporations.

Protocol and Diplomacy - International Protocol Association

Mitchell is quoted on matters of etiquette and protocol by CNN, ABC Nightline, Martha Stewart Living Radio, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Washington Business Journal, the Associated Press and Washingtonian magazine, has been featured on ABC Good Morning America, Fox News and National Public Radio, and is an etiquette columnist for, etiquette consultant to Alexandria Woman and to Engaged! magazine, and technical editor of Wedding Etiquette for Dummies (Wiley, 2010).

B.S., University of Utah, 1969

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