February 2nd, 2003, 06:59 PM
Etiquette (dining and workplace)
Well The first half of my etiquette doc didnt seem to be too big of hit but as promised here is the rest of it. Again to most people this comes as common sense but for those that don't know, maybe this will help you the next time you are out with the company or clients.
Work place etiquette can make or break a career. It seems as if you can never get away from politics in the workplace. Try to casually eavesdrop in on some conversations to see figure out what proper behavior is. Attentiveness is always a necessity; make sure you always make it to work and meetings on time. Pretend your boss is like your significant other (not in the dating method) but always relay the information to your boss, whether it is good or bad it is better to hear from you than some 3rd party. If you are looking for a promotion always dress and act like you have it. Now donít get that confused with being pretentious. You should be in professional attire and act as professional as possible while you are in the workplace.
There is a lot of business that takes place over dinner or in a restaurant. There are several different categories and subcategories that go into dining etiquette. The first thing that you must understand is whether you are on a personal or business food date, unless your wife is having a child you should never have your cell phone on ringer and you should never answer your phone at the dinner table. If you absolutely have to answer a call excuse yourself from the table and take the call outside or out of site of the table.
Now if you are going to be eating at a higher quality foreign restaurant make sure you have at least a minimum understanding of the language (i.e. Italian, Chinese, Thai). Not only will this ensure that you donít order fried dog legs but you will also impress whoever you are with. If you do find yourself in a situation in which you do not understand the language that the menu is in feel free to ask for recommendations or help. In most situations let the host take the lead, or when on a date, the female should order everything first. Never order the most expensive thing on the menu you look like you are money hungry or you are trying to prove a point. On the same note ordering the cheapest thing makes you look, well, cheap.
When sitting down to the table, believe it or not, napkin etiquette exists. When the host places his/her napkin in their lap everyone else may follow the lead. If you have a small napkin you may unfold it and lay it across your lap. If you have a large napkin leave it folded with the fold pointed toward your waist. If you should have to get up from the table always excuse yourself and place your napkin on your seat. When you finish eating your napkin should be placed to the right of your plate.
In order to make sure you donít look like you have never eaten in public before, knowing the placement and order to use silverware is essential. Depending on how nice of a restaurant you are attending will depend on the layout of the silverware. This is going to be based on a more formal setting of your utensils. Should you ever find yourself in a tight spot take a drink and pay attention to what the host uses. Now directly in front of you will be your plate. To the right of the plate you will find (in this order from left to right) your knife for the main course, maybe a butter knife, and a soup spoon (typically the only main course spoon at initiation). Above your plate you will find a dessert spoon or fork. To the left of your plate you will find: (in this order from right to left) fork (main course), salad fork (typically has thicker tines), occasionally you will find a shrimp fork here too (looks like a baby fork). If you find yourself in a clench where you have to eat first the rule of thumb is start from the outside and work your way in.
While dining mind basic table manners. Donít put your elbows on the table, donít talk too loud, chew with your mouth open, slurp your soup, chew your ice, blow your nose, drink too much alcohol, use a toothpick, apply makeup, ask for a to-go bag, or push your plate away. Do chew with your mouth closed, keep good posture, cut food as you eat it, ask people to pass things to you if you have to reach in front of someone to get it, and bring food to your mouth not your mouth to your food.
When you are finished dining you should place your knife and fork on the plate facing from 4 oíclock to 10 oíclock with the sharp side of the knife facing in and the tines of the fork facing down. When you are finished eating your fork should go to the right of the plate and should be folded as neat as you can without drawing attention to yourself. Make sure you thank the host for your meal. If you are on a date the male typically pays for the date or the person who made the invitation should pay.
There are several considerations that one must take when entering into situations with others but as long as you follow along the lines of common sense and be smart about your actions you should be able to do fine. Just remember at the end to give thanks and let the person/s know that you were happy to meet their acquaintance and enjoyed their company.
Duct tape.....A whole lot of Duct Tape
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