There's a story told to me by a college student that I often use in Dining Tutorials.

This student had a severe allergy to seafood - the kind where a whiff of it can land you in the hospital.  During an interview meal, she was eating soup, that unbeknownst to her, had a seafood base.  Suddenly, she began to feel warm and she could feel her face and neck becoming flush.  Next, she began to swell up and could feel her throat starting to close.

Her interviewer called 911 and ended up riding in the ambulance with her to the hospital.

Upon hearing this, college or graduate students will interrupt with the one vital question foremost on their mind: "Did she get the job?"

"Yes, she did get the job," I respond.  Once, a law student called out, "And more importantly - she lived."

The Tip: in a dangerous situation, all etiquette bets are off. Do whatever you have to do.  If you knock over a table giving someone the Heimlich maneuver, so be it.

If you have to ask the wait staff a few questions about ingredients, so be it.  However, avoid asking so many questions that you hold up the ordering process, appear high maintenance or distract from your interview or meeting.  Don't ask about calories - your diet resumes after the interview.

Best practice: if you know in advance the restaurant where your interview or meeting will take place, go online and review the menu.  Pick out a few moderately-priced options that you might order.  If you need to ask questions about ingredients, call the restaurant ahead of your meeting and ask away.

And remember, safety first.  She lived is the most important part.

 

The Etiquette Tip of the Week may be forwarded to others who really, really need it, pinned to billboards, taped to the water cooler, blogged, Tweeted or used to fill that last little hole in your newsletter.  Giving credit to the Culture and Manners Institute at http://www.cultureandmanners.com/ is the polite thing to do.

 

The Culture and Manners Institute is all about respect.  Therefore, your email address will not be sold, traded or gifted to other parties, as that would not be a polite thing to do.

 

If you would like to be removed from this list, simply type the words, "Please Remove" in the subject line and hit Reply.