Wednesday, July 27, 2011
When it comes to landing the perfect job, dinner table etiquette could count for more than you might think. By Sue Schleifer
When I volunteered to be a table host at a recent etiquette dinner sponsored by the UL Lafayette Career Services and Moody College of Business Administration, I had no idea that I would feel compelled to talk with a student about personal space.
The young man sitting next to me was surprised by the etiquette speaker’s instructions on where to place his napkin. Career Services Director Kimberly Billeaudeau told us to fold the napkin in half, with the folded side toward our lap and place it once everyone is seated. He thought he was supposed to put the napkin on one knee. I understand why he thought that. He didn’t have a lap because he spread his legs out so wide that the napkin would have fallen through to the floor. I know this because he kept bumping my leg. Finally, I felt that for his benefit, in case he goes to an interview dinner in the future, I needed to tell him that if I was interviewing him, I would not appreciate that he kept bumping my knee. He quickly moved his legs closer together.
Dr. Patricia Lanier in the Department of Management at UL, who coordinates the dinners with Billeaudeau, later told me she notices that many students today have a different sense of personal space than do other generations. She and her colleagues often tell students they need to stand back a bit when coming to talk with them.
I must admit that I learned a few pointers at the etiquette dinner myself. I didn’t know if the bread basket is on the table in front of me, I should pick it up and pass it to the right without taking a roll first. One student asked, “What if the basket never makes it back to me?” Some students were also disgruntled to learn that they shouldn’t mop up the last bit of sauce on their plate with their roll.
As Billeaudeau began her presentation, I scanned the first slide and saw that it said name tags should go high up on the right shoulder. I thought I was discreetly moving my name tag to the opposite side. Then I noticed that several students at my table followed my lead and did the same thing. Billeaudeau then told us that when we shake hands, our eyes go to the right side so that placing the name tag there makes it easier to read.
Some table habits are harder to change. “Once you have used a piece of silverware, never place it back on the table,” Billeaudeau instructed. “They are to be placed on your plate.” I noticed the woman sitting next to me had not followed this instruction. Then I had to decide whether to say something to her or not. After I saw her do this incorrectly a few times, I decided that my role at the dinner as a representative of the Acadiana Society for Human Resource Management was to be helpful. So, I smiled and suggested that she place her knife on her plate, which she did.
The students at my table were also surprised by the etiquette lesson to not put salt and pepper on their food until after they had tasted it. They joked about the fact that there was no Tony’s on the table.
“With the competitive job market, having this type of training can enhance a student’s marketability,” Billeaudeau says. “The students are given the opportunity to practice the etiquette lessons as they are taught.” Billeaudeau tried to take the mystique out of the long list of etiquette lessons. “Etiquette simply means consideration of others.”
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Hot style for fans (and beyond)
Four bedroom Acadian or three bedroom traditional
Prestigious honor annually recognizes a single attorney for excellence in public interest/pro bono work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
"I have never seen anyone who worked harder for our people than Sen. Mary Landrieu, so I would like to share a synopsis of a few of the many things she has done to help Louisiana."
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative