knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Because you were raised by wolves

In an ongoing effort to train students and employees of the University of Tennessee, the Career Services Office has prepared an instructional guide for dining etiquette. Yes, this is real. It is way too awesome for me to have made up. Also, my dining manners tend to fall into the "chugs beer, belches loudly" category.

Here are a few quick pointers I picked up from the handout. First, we have a very informative illustration:

Note: I have never seen this table setting. Anywhere. If this is the spread your potential employer lays out at the interview, run. He is a supervillain. Toss back those three glasses of booze first, though.
Table Setting. It can be very confusing to be presented with a variety of eating utensils. Remember the guideline "to start at the outside and work your way in." If you have been given two forks,which are the same size, begin with the fork on the outside. Many restaurants use the same size of fork for both the salad and main course.
Since both of the forks look exactly the same, it is very important to identify which will be your salad fork and which will be for the main course. Choose one, raise it over your head, and shout, "SALAD FORK!"
Napkin. When dining with others place your napkin on your lap after everyone at your table has been seated. Do not open your napkin in mid-air. As you remove your napkin from the table begin to open below the table level and place on your lap. If you must leave a meal, do so between courses, and place your napkin on your chair or to the left of your plate. When a meal is completed, place your napkin to the right of your plate -- never on the plate.
A little known fact is that used napkins and empty plates, when combined, form a highly volatile and explosive compound. If you see a fellow diner make this mistake, take one for the team and dive on it. Be sure to cover the plate as completely as possible and absorb the force of the explosion with your midsection. This will show your boss that you are a team player.
Served. Wait for everyone at your table to be served before beginning to eat. However, if an individual who has not been served encourages you to begin eating, you may do so. Eat slowly while waiting for their food to be served.
Refrain from shouting, "Aw, snap! You just got served, yo!" Unless, of course, the waiter also does a totally sweet dance move. Like the moonwalk.
Soup. When eating soup, think of making a circle: spoon away from you, bring around to your mouth and back to the bowl. Soup is taken from the side of the soup spoon -- it is not inserted into your mouth. Do not slurp or make noises when eating soup.
In order to complete this maneuver, you may find it helpful to lift the spoon high, tilt back your head, open your mouth and pour it directly into your esophagus. Please refer to your Cirque du Soleil training when eating soup.
Utensils. Be careful how you hold your utensils. Many people tend to make a fist around the handle of the utensil -- this is the way a young child would grasp a utensil (not an adult). There are two acceptable ways to use the knife and fork: continental fashion and American standard. Continental fashion; the diner cuts the food usually one bite at a time and uses the fork in the left hand, tines pointing down, to spear the food and bring it to the mouth. American standard; a few bites are cut, the knife is laid across the top of the plate, sharp edge toward you, and the fork is switched to the right hand, if right-handed, tines up to bring the food to the mouth. (Do not cut more than two or three bites at a time.)
When following the American standard, remember to eat all bites at once. If you are unable to do so, remember to shout, "UNO!" when you have only one bite remaining. If you forget to do this, and another diner catches it, they can force you to drink straight hot sauce.
Dessert Utensils. Dessert utensils may be found placed across the top of the place setting. Slide these utensils down for use after the main course is removed (fork to the left and spoon to the right).
If no dessert is yet on the table, continue sliding the utensils past your plate and into your pocket. When dessert is served, complain that you did not get any dessert utensils. You might even be able to get an extra dessert if you act really pissed off (shouting helps).
Passing. Pass "community food" such as the breadbasket, salt and pepper, and salad dressing to the right. Always pass the salt and pepper together. When passing items such as a creamer, syrup pitcher or gravyboat, pass it with the handle pointing toward the recipient.
Remember to tell the person to your right to "go long" if you have an especially strong passing arm.
Seasoning. Always taste your food first before using any seasonings. Do not assume it needs to be seasoned.
Unless it is identified as some sort of "Pate." Trust me, this shit needs all the salt on the table.
Bread. Bread/rolls should never be eaten whole. Break into smaller, more manageable pieces, buttering only a few bites at a time. Toast and garlic bread however may be eaten as whole pieces since they are usually already buttered. If you are served a piping hot muffin or biscuit, you may break in half crosswise, butter and put back together. However when ready to actually eat, break it into small pieces.
If the phrase "piping hot" crosses your mind as you handle a muffin, go ahead and pour yourself a glass wuss-juice, you little pansy.
Glasses. A variety of types and sizes of glasses can be used throughout the meal. Remember your items to drink will be located in the area above your knife and spoon. Coffee cups may be located to the right of the knife and spoon.
If your meal includes the glass of sherry as illustrated above, be sure to hold the glass with your pinky finger extended and say something Frasier-y.
Finished. When finished with a course, leave your plates in the same position that they were presented to you. In other words, do not push your plates away or stack them.
If you finish first, remember to be a gracious winner. A little celebration is acceptable, but refrain from spiking your soup bowl or pointing your boss' face. Unless you totally smoked him.
Guest. If you are someone's guest at a meal, ask the person what he/she recommends. By doing this, you will learn price range guidelines and have an idea of what to order. Usually order an item in the mid price range. Also keep in mind, the person who typically initiates the meal will pay.
One way or another, they will pay. Nobody double-crosses you.
Office Parties. Office parties are good opportunities to improve morale and build good will. Keep in mind these are people who see you every day and they will remember a lapse in behavior. Be aware of your alcoholic consumption and do not embarrass yourself. Do not discuss business; this is a social occasion and an opportunity to learn more about your co-workers.
If they happen to forget your behavior, be sure to remind them about that one time, after you finished the new budget, that you and Mark from accounting got totally hammered and pissed on the fax machine. Yeah...that was pretty sweet.

And there you have it. Little tips to get you through the job-hunting experience.

Have a good weekend.

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9/24/2004 4:04 PM Blogger John

Dude, that's fucking awesome. You should Fark that shit, or at least Fark the original.    

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