On Wednesday, April 2, Sapphire held an etiquette dinner at The Nittany Lion Inn. Sapphires were seated at tables along with corporate professionals. Two Altria employees, one Dick’s Sporting Goods representative, and former Sapphire President Kyle Wang joined Sapphires to provide insight on the usefulness of proper dining etiquette.
The dinner was hosted by Tammy Miller, who provided instruction on etiquette with an accompanying PowerPoint Presentation. The evening began with a run through of silverware and place setting. Tips to remember include starting with the utensils furthest out then working your way in; however, the salad knife is often further in than the knife used to cut meat. Tammy taught a useful way to remember which bread plate and cup belonged to you: touch your forefinger and thumb together, forming a circle with the rest of your fingers extended. Your left hand forms a “b” (for bread) while your right hand makes a “d” (for drink). If your neighbor makes a faux pas, discretely ask the waiter for a new bread plate or drink rather than embarrassing the offending party.
Sapphires were greeted with some of the more difficult challenges they might encounter when it comes to eating, including French Onion soup and large stalks of broccoli. Tammy emphasized the importance of scooping away from yourself while eating soup to prevent splashing. Another challenge was the idea that everything must be passed to the right (unless the person requesting the item is one space to your left). Along with men standing up whenever a woman stands, this was one of the more difficult concepts to remember.
One of the most interesting portions of the night was the comparison of American etiquette to that of Britain. The proper technique for cutting meat in America involves holding the fork in an underhand manner, while British etiquette suggests an overhand approach. Furthermore, the ways to indicate you are finished your meal differ. In America, it is proper to rest your knife and fork with the knife blade inward and fork tines upward, whereas in Britain, it is proper to put the fork tines down.
Overall, Tammy’s presentation clarified many different questions Sapphires had about eating, as well as paying for the bill, tipping, consuming alcoholic beverages, proper posture, and other small tips. The representatives from Altria and Dick’s Sporting Goods elaborated on the importance of dinner interviews as a way to examine the behavior of potential employees. These tips will give Sapphires confidence in interviews and professional dinner scenarios.