News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Social Issues




An Akron company gives seminars on table manners
Bad manners have blown many a business deal
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
It's important to hold your wine glass correctly. Cup the bowl of the red wine glass but hold the white wine glass by the stem.
Courtesy of Vivian Goodman
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Champagne sparkles and the shrimp is piled high at the company banquet.  But did everyone bring their manners? Today on Quick Bites, Vivian Goodman reports on an Akron firm that teaches dining etiquette.
Manners matter

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:11)


(Click image for larger view.)

Bob Pacanovsky has seen lots of elegant parties. His company, Robert J. Events and Catering, has orchestrated galas at Glidden House, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Hale Farm, the Akron Art Museum and more for a dozen years.

 “After catering 5,000 events, I have seen it all. We see people exhibiting poor etiquette, poor behavior at dining events, and I don’t think they realize what could be the potential repercussions.”   

This is busy season for bad manners.

 “At holiday time, people may have a drink or two extra. So now they start acting differently. You know, we’ve seen people pick food right out of the chafing dish with their fingers and stand over the chafing dish while eating it. We see shrimp cocktail, which is a wonderful hors d’oeuvres, but there’s some people out there who think it’s their last meal on earth. So they’ll pile their plate with sixteen to seventeen shrimp. It just doesn’t look good.”  

If anyone’s really looking. 

But does anyone really care? Do you really have to be on your best behavior?

 “I think we do. It depends certainly on the company event, but I think from the moment you walk in and introduce yourself and tell me who you work for, how you act for the rest of that dinner will be a reflection of not only you, but your company.”   

Pacanovsky says you may never make it to the office party if you show bad etiquette before you’re start your job, at that final interview in a fancy restaurant.

 “It’s really a test. Not only how do you act at the dining table, but how do you treat the wait staff? How do you treat the other people at your table? You could be the best. You could be the brightest. If however you don’t have those skills socially, you may not get the job.”   

Employers send uncouth but otherwise valued employees to Pacanovsky for specific training on table manners.  His seminar room is festooned like a banquet hall, with elaborate table settings, cutlery and glassware.

 

What if you are served something that is not at all appetizing? Is it going to be impolite to not eat? 

“Yes it would be impolite, ” says Pacanovsky. “ You may not like it, but at least try it.

On the other hand it may be impolite to eat too much.

“Most definitely. At a buffet there’s no reason to take three chicken breasts unless they’re training for a football team and they have a game this coming Sunday.”

What about bodily functions? In some societies, to burp after a meal is considered a compliment. Not in ours, though, right?

“Correct. It is not in ours. There might be something that doesn’t agree with you. Please politely leave the table. You don’t even need to let your guests know where you’re going.”  

He hasn’t heard employers complain about employees belching. More common are what he calls ‘the three S’s’: sawing, shoveling, and slurping. Even worse, he says, is talking with your mouth full.

 “We think that we can move the food over to one side of our mouth and still talk. Well, it doesn’t work. Simply gesture with your index finger: ‘I want to answer your question, but I’m not going to answer it until I finish that food.’ Please do that. You don’t want food coming out of your mouth while you’re talking.”

That would be embarrassing. But is it such a big deal if you pick up the salad fork instead of the dinner fork?

“It can be certainly. Now what’s interesting is that no one’s going to tell you that you did that. But they keep it always in the back of their minds.”

If you’re at a dinner without a clue about which glass is yours, Pacanovsky recommends waiting to see what others do. 

The challenge of course there is they might not know the correct form of etiquette either.”

So he recommends taking his seminar or signing up your employees for it. Ignorance of the rules of etiquette, he says, can cost a company dearly.  

“Thirty to 40 percent of business deals are done over a dining experience,” he says. “Conversely almost 45 percent of business deals go south because of a social faux pas at a dining setting.” 

Etiquette seminars are a new part of Pacanovsky’s catering and event-planning business. But he sees great potential, especially with global organizations based in Northeast Ohio who need their employees to mind their manners when travelling abroad. 


Related Links & Resources
Robert J.Events and Catering website

Listener Comments:

Manners??!! "I don't need no manners!" Why do these things have to be limited to professional encounters? Seems like most people can use some help in this regard.


Posted by: Mike (Youngstown) on January 20, 2013 12:01PM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook






Stories with Recent Comments

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

New book says Willoughby Coal is haunted...and that's good for business
Would love to see a series of books that would just thrill me. I cannot wait to visit some of the locations. And revisit some of the locations I have already vi...

Cleveland Indians to continue with 'dynamic pricing'
pricing is too high for a family as well as people like me who are on a fixed income. Bleacher seats are cheaper but concessions are rediculous.

Kasich talks about faith, drugs and education -- but never FitzGerald
The idea that you can learn more by talking to a 90 year old person than from a history book is just another example of how the GOP hates education and knowledg...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University