Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is Proper Etiquette Really Common Sense?

Many people feel that etiquette is common sense and any adult who wasn't raised by wolves should at least know the basics. Well...this story will prove those people wrong, very wrong. I didn't witness this etiquette faux pas, however, in my line of work I have no reason to doubt that it happened because I've seen things even worse.

Names have been changed to protect the "etiquette & protocol challenged."

Bill, a young associate at a prestigious law firm was invited to attend dinner at a well known Chicago steakhouse with one of their biggest clients and several of the firm's partners. He could barely contain his excitement when he accepted the invitation and knew this was his chance to impress the partners and fast track his career. Since Bill doesn't eat at nice restaurants very often he decided to brush up on his dining skills before dinner the following evening. Unfortunately Howard, one of the firm's senior partners, didn't do the same...

At the restaurant they were given the best table, the one looking out into the restaurant, and Bill waits to be directed to the appropriate seat. A round of scotch is ordered, the server shares the house specialities and everyone prepares to feast on a phenomenal meal. As Bill takes a bite of his sizzling bone-in filet he looks up to see Howard reaching across the empty place setting to grab a fork. What Howard did with that fork Bill still can't believe! He watched in horror as Howard scratched his back with the fork, then leaned over and placed the fork back in it's proper position on the table. A combination of shock and utter disbelief covered the faces of those who witnessed it. Bill, unable stomach what he'd just seen, left one of the best steaks in Chicago half eaten on his plate.

I don't know about you but I think that's pretty disgusting. Someone could actually end up using that fork, dead skin cells and all. YUCK! This story is proof that etiquette is not common sense, even to someone with a law degree from Harvard University like Howard. It seems like basic knowledge but I'll say it anyway...it is NOT proper etiquette to scratch yourself with a fork, knife or spoon. What you do at home is your own business but in public silverware should be used for eating only (and hopefully you're holding your silverware properly).

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