MARILYN HAGERTY: Minding your manners
If you don't like the food you are served, at least move it around. Unless you are awaiting a kidney transplant, don't do any texting or checking your phone while dining out. Cut three pieces of meat at a time by pinning it with your fork and cut...
If you don't like the food you are served, at least move it around.
Unless you are awaiting a kidney transplant, don't do any texting or checking your phone while dining out.
Cut three pieces of meat at a time by pinning it with your fork and cutting with the knife.
... This was some of the advice for 114 UND students who signed up for an etiquette dinner this past week at the Gorecki Alumni Center. The event is offered annually for $8 or $10 by Career Services where Irene Odegard is director. The speaker was Callista Gould, a certified etiquette instructor from West Des Moines, Iowa.
The purpose of the dinner is to help students move with more self assurance into job interviews as well as social situations.
In the beginning, Gould pointed out that it is easier for others to read if the name tag is on the right.
"It is inevitable that you will forget a person's name," Gould counseled. "If you do, just ask the new acquaintance to tell you their name again."
Students received counsel as they moved through each course of the formal dinner-right down to how they should handle the napkin at the end of the meal.
"Fold it into a rectangle and fold that halfway," Gould said. "They used to suggest leaving the napkin on the chair, but in recent times the advice is to leave it crumpled to the left of the place setting. Do not refold."
There were dozens of other questions and answers:
Q. Where does a woman put her purse during a dinner?
A. On her lap, if possible, or on the floor next to an ankle. Do not hang it on the back of the chair.
Eighty percent of all second job interviews for students will involve food.
"If you don't drink, don't drink. Be yourself. There is juice and water. It's important to keep a clear head. And always know your limit."
When dining out during an interview, the advice was to order something inexpensive and easy to eat. Something you have tried before.
"Do not mix the food into a big pile of hash," Gould said. "Try to keep pace with the interviewer. Remember the interview is first and the food secondary."
And don't ask for a doggie bag or take away any food that is left over.
"Kill the wait staff with kindness and remember to say please and thank you.''
When dining in a private home, Gould told students always to bring a hostess gift. Nothing too expensive, she said. Maybe some spice or note cards or something for $5 or $10.
While she advises students to keep their heads clear and know their limits, she gave advice for social situations: When asked what you would like to drink, ask what the hosts are serving. There may be toasts at a meal, but they should be proposed by the host.
And students were told to always, always write brief thank you notes. Keep a box of them handy at home.
They also were told that wherever they go, they will find alumni. And alumni are willing to help them.
Etiquette dinners have continued at UND since they were conducted originally by Mae Marie Blackmore and Bruce Gjovig, who authored the book, "Pardon Me, Your Manners are Showing."