Saturday, December 1, 2007
Jeff Tucker on Manners
I was just dragged to a black-tie dinner for the induction of my father-in-law into some self-congratulatory Washington business group. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I don't even know which group, but Vernon Jordan and the head of the Carlyle Group were also inducted so it must be a pretty big deal. There was a stand up reception before dinner where I noticed all the lesser fish "networking" and chatting, which I couldn't do because it was too noisy and my wife said no politics.
I actually overheard three different people ask someone else what they "do" and was encouraged to leave my "business card" for some raffle, and at dinner I listened to a developer and a lawyer talk shop the whole time except when someone on stage was talking about either how great their friend was or how much they loved their families and what a great country we live in. I did remember to put my napkin in my lap, although not immediately because it was folded up like a limp fan and at first I thought it was part of the table decoration or something, but I can only hope no one was watching me because, thanks to your piece, I'm sure I was holding my fork incorrectly. I certainly wouldn't want anyone in the Carlyle Group or Akin, Gump to think I was a pig!
I'm not sure this is a question of etiquette, but was it rude of me to wish that the waiters and bartenders were really al-quaida and on pre-arranged signal, jumped up and murdered everyone there except my family and the inarticulate little black Junior Achievement girls who were used as props to show what generous humanitarians were the Washington businessmen? Because, I really detest them on so may levels and I'm not sure I can wait for President Paul to send them all back to ambulance chasing and selling liquor to the Indians. But I don't want to be thought unsophisticated.