Jodi Adler is a former reporter and entertainer turned etiquette writer living in a city not known for it’s “polite society” – Los Angeles. Adler recently released a book of helpful hints for people who might need a little education when it comes to courtesy. As “Auntie Jodi” Adler dispenses advice, hints, and tips with a unique flavoring of smarm, snark and common sense. We sat down with the writer to ask her more about how “Auntie Jodi” came to grace the world.
Tell us a little bit about Auntie Jodi. Where are you from and what is your background/work/school history?
Auntie Jodi is my “out-there” alter ego. Now some people may think I’m already “out-there,” but—now don’t be shocked—I actually hold back—Auntie does not. This is how Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hints began: I was at a party, and someone asked me my astrological sign—so I just told them the first sign that popped into my head. And this dear soul told me how they “knew” that was my sign because of my behavior. Of course I was pulling their leg—then I winked, and said I was kidding and told her my “real” sign (kidding again) and she went on and on about how my kidding behavior was part of the makeup of my “real/fictional” sign. Auntie looks at the absurdity around us, and twists the situation a bit—She’s a standup and commentator for people who want to laugh at life’s little (and big) issues.
Auntie is a ‘very close friend” of Jodi Adler—and defers to Jodi when it comes to common everyday issues—Auntie relies on Jodi to let her know about what really goes on in the working world. Auntie doesn’t need to work—she chooses to do so. Jodi Adler has worked as a financial analyst, news anchor/reporter, talk show host, standup comic, actress, teacher, voiceover artist, and writer. She was never fired—she just got bored, prepped for a new career, and then quit and moved on.
Why does the world need Auntie Jodi’s helpful hints?
Seriously, have you seen what’s going on in the world right now? Everyone needs a polite kick in the rear now and then—and it’s Auntie’s pleasure to help clear up the mess. So many people are p.c. maniacs—paying little attention to the real travesties going on. Auntie suggests that everyone stop taking themselves so seriously, lighten up, and start behaving properly. Remember, polite does not mean pushover.
What is the worst violation of social etiquette you see these days that is commonplace?
Out and out disregard for anyone else. Auntie went to the bank yesterday and a very kind gentleman held the door for her—it was a wonderful, beautiful little gesture. Of course Auntie thanked him—then they had a nice chat about the lack of manners around them as some wild children (and an ersatz “service” animal) ran wild through the bank. What happened to parents parenting? As Auntie likes to say, “It may take a village, but we are not even the same tribe.”
What inspired you to write this book?
Well, Jodi was being bullied (or at least someone was attempting to bully her) at a teaching job. The administration was so worried about the teacher who was crazy mean that nothing was being done. So writers, write and Auntie started providing Jodi with humorous ways to deal with the situation in the form of Helpful Hints.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?
It was from my darling mother and she said, “Consider the source.” It is always useful.
A journalism professor suggested that only single women “got ahead” and that to make progress as an anchor/reporter, it might be best to be single and unencumbered. Many career women are given that advice—and then at the age of 40, wonder what happened to their happiness.
“Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hints” is available on Amazon. Adler is currently working on an enhanced edition and her second book “How Dare You? Staying Sane in an Insane World” is due out sometime next year. Her advice column will be published at Phantom Sway beginning in November.