4 Business Etiquette Lessons from Sex and The City 2

by Kay Lynn

They're Back!

One of my guilty pleasures on planes is watching chick flicks because I get to see movies that I could never get my husband to.  Last week, it was Sex and the City 2.  Since the reviews hadn’t been that good when it came out, I wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly surprised.

Any movie with a gay wedding showcasing Liza Minnelli can’t be all bad!  Samantha Jones ends up traveling for business to the United Arab Emirates and taking the other three women with her.  They have all kinds of experiences that might have been avoided with the following etiquette tips.


Miranda was the only one in the group that did any homework on their destination (in fact that seemed to be whole purpose of having her in the film).  Because of this she was able to use key phrases with locals and knew the cultural norms.

Samantha would have known her hormones were not allowed in the country and avoided the embarrassment at customs.  Her payback was having to eat (and wear) yams the rest of the movie.

Be Respectful

Samantha was openly disapproving of the dress of the Middle Eastern women in the movie.  She arrogantly refused to change her sexual behavior to the local culture which resulted in getting arrested.

Dress Appropriately

Foreign women are expected to dress modestly in UAE and three of the group willingly made accommodations.  Samantha only did after being prodded by the others.  It’s not just the Middle East with these restrictions.  Many countries have a more conservative dress standard than North America which should be respected.

Personal Safety

The women learned the hard way not to take chances with personal safety when taken off the street while shopping by a group of men.  Fortunately, they were able to escape only to enrage a group of locals with Samantha’s revealing clothing.  Ultimately they were saved by a group of sympathetic women, but you can’t count on that in real life!

All visitors, but especially women, need to be diligent about knowing their surroundings and not taking chances with safety.


Samantha’s rude and unprofessional behavior cost her the job opportunity and forced them all to leave the country earlier than planned.  Although she’ll probably never change there are consequences  sometimes for not having good manners.

Do you have any bad etiquette stories from business trips?

photo credit: Little Miss no Name

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Red September 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

Hey! I love this post! 🙂 I love the SATC franchise, but I thought this movie was disgraceful, especially for poor ole Samantha. But you’re right… It does teach us some good lessons!

Kay Lynn September 15, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Red, you’re right that Samantha seems very much the villian in the movie. I also thought that they didn’t give Miranda much to do at all. Hopefully, if there is a third there’s more character development!

Suba @ Wealth Informatics September 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Saw the movie but never thought about it like this 🙂 good one!

I can’t agree with you more about the be respectful part. Whether we agree with their culture/practice if we are being respectful, people usually are very accommodating even if we end up doing some innocent mistakes.

Kay Lynn September 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Suba, maybe it was because I was traveling for busness that it struck me in this context. I agree that people will overlook infractions as long as you try and are respectful.

The Financial Blogger September 13, 2010 at 1:16 pm


Just got your site from Yakezie!

I agree with your points but I really like #3. Too often, people think that dressing properly is useless and based on a material way of seeing things. The sad truth is that people will judge you on how you are dress before you even open up your mouth!

great article!

Kay Lynn September 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Thanks for coming over from Yakezie! Funny but a lot of presumptions are made on first impression and dress is an important component.

Los Angeles Etiquette Consultant September 13, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Nicely put. When traveling to other countries for business, it is our responsibility to research the countries customs. Great business etiquette.

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