Monday, October 15, 2007

Are You Going to Eat That Roll?

Unfortunately, I will miss SU's "Graduate Student Etiquette Dinner" on Thursday evening because it conflicts with my teaching schedule. Nevertheless, I've been reflecting on my manners and whether they're elegant enough for a professional meal. Consider this an opening for you to add your insights on dinner etiquette to this short list I've started.
  • Order something easy to eat. No ribs or chicken. If you can't pass up the chicken (it's the special, and you want to seem a frugal budgeter more than a spendthrift when it comes to the prospective department's dime) do not slurp down the skin of the chicken or chew the marrow from the bones.
  • Do not order anything that will have you eating happily before your hosts have their food.
  • Take small bites so as to be able to carry on conversation without talking out a pie-hole full of half-chewed food.
  • Unless it really stinks (viz., moldy bun, piece of hair in the pasta, etc.), don't complain about the food.
  • Don't swear, get drunk, launch a point-by-point critique of anyone's research, or audibly belch.
  • Don't air out your own program's dirty laundry.
  • Don't refer your prospective colleagues to your blog for answers to the questions they ask, even if you've blogged about such matters extensively.
  • Avoid chiming in knowingly on every tangent of the conversation.
  • Lap your napkin, even if you never spill crumbs down there. Use the utensils in the order of outer-most inward.
Bookmark and Share Posted by at October 15, 2007 11:55 AM to Gobstuff

I bypassed the silverware issue altogether, and just brought my lucky spork to every single official meal.

Posted by: collin at October 15, 2007 1:22 PM

One more: If people seem ready to go, don't order dessert or another drink. (as much as that pains me, since I love dessert)

Posted by: Clancy at October 15, 2007 2:25 PM

DO NOT carry your pocket Webster's dictionary to dinner and look up words you don't understand while people are talking. Wait until they are finished speaking and then look up the confusing lingo VERY discretely.

Posted by: Rodney at October 15, 2007 8:56 PM