HR Strange But True!
June 17, 2002
We all know that HR is never dull, but sometimes it can get downright strange...

Where are their manners?

Like an increasing number of employers, the Manhattan law firm Proskauer Rose LLP is sending its new hires to etiquette bootcamp.

The Associated Press gives an account of etiquette instructor Ann Marie Sabath pacing, Oprah-like, among conference-room tables lined with Prokauser Rose employees. "Believe me, many people have been stuck on the ladder of success because somebody said, 'Did you see his table manners?'" she told them. "Now that won't happen to you."

More employers and educators are emphasizing that message or variations on it, by training young workers in the rituals of cutlery and napkin usage, exchanging business cards, and making small talk.

Etiquette experts and employers alike say there's a deficit of decorum among many young office workers, highlighted in a business environment where the line between casual and crude is increasingly blurred and constantly shifting.

"It's amazing, for the most part, that these people don't know how to cut their meat, or what to do with a fork or a toothpick," said Maria Everding, a St. Louis-based etiquette consultant who conducts training for employers and on college campuses. "I tell them ... Jell-O shots are not professional drinks."

Source: Associated Press, via USA Today

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