Merry and I went to the Chamber of Comerce “Member Appreciation Luncheon” today, and the presentation was about “Etiquette” for improving business. Unfortunately, it was all about which fork to use, what food not to order, and where to put your napkin and when. It was also suggested that you shake a woman’s hand web-to-web instead of grasping the finger, which I always felt was more respectfully genteel and less forward or crude. Perhaps I put women on a pedastal too much.
The one thing I strangely got right, without ever knowing it was “proper”, was placing my knife across the top of my plate when done with it. Strange. Must have gotten that from a former life. I am starting to realize that I don’t DO business in restaurants with more than one fork per person. I deal with small business people in a casual, relaxed way, in contrast to preparing for a million dollar contract with an executive from a multi-national conglomerate, where picking up a dropped napkin means death.
Call me old-fashioned, yet American. I believe in respect, but not at the expense of hiding something so basic as the way you eat for conformity’s sake, or making the “lowly waiter-servant” pick up a fork I myself dropped. I’d rather be like Abraham Lincoln, who when asked if he polished his own boots responded “Who else’s boots would I polish?”