If Cincinnati has a "Miss Manners," it's got to be Ann Marie Sabath.

Sabath, wh'™s written hundreds of articles over the years concerning etiquette and appropriate attitude, is the author of a new book (out later this month) titled One Minute Manners: Quick Solutions to the Most Awkward Situations You'll Ever Face At Work (Random House/Doubleday, $15.95).

Subtitled "Mastering the Unwritten Rules of Business Success," the guide is a breezy read, a pocket-sized handbook for corporate governors and governed alike. Broken into a one-per-page "Situation" and "Solution" format, the manual tackles some commonplace"”and not so commonplace"”challenges we all must endure at one time or another.

To hear Sabath tell it, her advice is all based on personal workplace experiences. "One awkward situation that happened to me recently was going to a Cincinnati four-star restaurant, taking a client to lunch," recalls Sabath. "I'd taken only one credit card with me, and after lunch, the server returned to tell me the credit card had expired two days before."

Sabath had invited the client to lunch, so etiquette and common sense indicated she had to find a way to pay for his meal as well as her own. So she hustled the server aside, handed him her business card, and swore she'd call him with her new expiration date as soon as returning to the office. "Asking the client to cover the meal, even briefly, would have been a mistake."

Sabath has spent decades maneuvering the murky waters of Cincinnati business, for clients such as Citigroup, Marriott, American Express, Procter, and others.

Situations that Sabath addresses include "How should you address an employee whose attire is inappropriate for your office environment," "What to do when receiving e-mail jokes from your manager that you do not find of interest," and "What to do when your colleague in the office is always reading your computer screen over your shoulder."

Delving into topics of office politics, water-cooler tripwires, business travel no-n'™s, body piercing politeness, cubicle germs, "yard casual" clothing and all sorts of meeting manners, Sabath offers 21st-century tips for saving face in the age of e-mail, cell phones, pagers, caller ID and the like. (Tip number one: Never hit "send" until you've checked and rechecked the contents of the message, the attachments and, most vitally, who is getting copied.)

A recurrent theme in the guidebook: Have a contingency plan for every potential disaster, from back-up ties and clean shirts to cash in your purse and patience in your psyche.

Tristate employers and employees operate in a unique goldfish bowl. "I would call Cincinnati the most polite city in the nation," stresses Sabath, and all those button-down manners can bubble over inside the high-rise environment.

If the advice offered in One Minute Manners can be summed up in one sentence, it would be this: "Honesty in the workplace is important, however, so is tact." When the two don't mesh, tact trumps.