Etiquette equals manners



By Nichole Danyla

Staff Writer

There was a cacophony of noise in the campus center on Monday, Mar. 16, as students rearranged place settings, folded napkins, and learned how to shake hands at a leadership workshop hosted by Dr. John Mellon, also known as Dr. John Etiquette, who talked about everything from table settings to interview skills.

As he lectured, Dr. John Etiquette moved through the tables of plates, cups and chairs full of students. It was standing room only.

“We should have more stuff like this,” student Bintou Cisse said. “There are not many opportunities for us, students, to learn something we can use after college.”

“I learned a lot,” she said, including where to put utensils on the table.

Some of Dr. John Etiquette’s top tips…

Place settings:

  •         Dinner plate should be in the middle
  •         One fork should be on the left (two if there is a salad fork, which is smaller than the dinner fork)
  •         The knife and dinner spoon should be on the right, with the blade of the knife facing the plate
  •         Any coffee cup or water glass should be on the right above the spoon
  •         The bread plate should be on the left, above the forks
  •         The dessert fork should be above the dinner plate, facing the coffee cup or water glass
  •         The dessert spoon should be above the dessert fork, facing the bread plate
  •         The dinner plate should be 1 inch from the edge of the table

When eating:

  •         Hold fork and knife in a fist and have your pointer finger low on the handle for better control of the utensils
  •         Rest between bites, putting your knife across the top of your plate facing the dessert plate and the fork at an angle making the plate look like a Q
  •         When finished, put utensils together across the plate at a 90 degree angle to the right
  •         Never salt or pepper a dish until you taste it
  •         Take note: the waiter will lower your food on the left and raise your empty plate on the right
  •         When passing food, start with what is closest to you, offer it to the person on your left, take what you want, and then pass it to your right
  •         Hold the water and wine glasses by their stem, not the bowl itself
  •         Place your napkin on your lap and fold either in a triangle or over in a 1/3 fold so you can flip up the excess, protecting your clothes, when you are eating something messy
  •         When leaving the table after you’re finished, place the napkin to the left of your plate
  •         When you are getting up from the table but are returning, place the napkin to the right of your plate

On a job interview:

  •         Dress up: men wear suit and ties, women wear suits or a dress or fancy shirt and skirt
  •         When wearing a suit jacket, keep it buttoned closed when you are standing and unbutton it when you sit down
  •         When on a job interview, do not sit down until the person interviewing you invites you to
  •         Be enthusiastic about the job you are applying for

Rules of a handshake:

  •         Make eye contact
  •         Be sure your hand is dry
  •         When shaking hands with someone make sure the web between your thumb and pointer finger is locked in the web between the other person’s thumb and pointer fingers and squeeze their hand firmly
  •         Do not linger. Shake their hand and then let it go. It is not a hostage


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