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The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success by Barbara Pachter

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43. Place Settings: The Secret Language of Dining

One of my interns, a terrific student from Rowan University in South Jersey, attended an awards dinner, and she shared the following dining etiquette questions she was asked by other guests during the meal:

“Do I have your water glass?”

“What are those utensils at the top of my plate?”

“Am I eating your bread?”

My intern knew most of the answers. She is also resourceful, so when she didn’t know, she unobtrusively Googled “place settings” on her smartphone under the table.

Usually, I discourage texting or cell phone use in restaurants. But reading a place setting correctly during a business meal is important—you want to spend your time connecting with the other diners, not worrying that you may ...

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