<h1>Blog & News</h1>
August 5, 2009

A Delightful Experience

by Women's Fund

By Shelley Raper

As an alumnus of OPTIONS Class Eight, I had the opportunity to attend a Girls Inc. “Do’s and Taboo’s Class – Etiquette Tea Class” last Wednesday, July 29, to see a program funded by the members of the OPTIONS Class Eight.

Two sessions took place at the Morris-Butler House, attended by 55 girls from 6 to 14 years of age. The class began with a tour of the historic home followed by the initial test of setting a table properly. I sat at a table with four girls with ages ranging from 11-14. They struggled to set the table correctly. Do you remember if the fork goes on top of the napkin or to the right of it? Where is the knife’s blade positioned next to the plate? I failed to get these two items correct (by the way, the napkin goes to the left of the fork and the blade of the knife faces the plate). It was an interesting exercise for us all.

Tea and finger foods were served with instructions provided throughout the session. Amy, the program director at the Morris-Butler House, provided interesting etiquette tips and asked various etiquette questions of the group. Many hands were raised with either the answer or another etiquette question. My OPTIONS classmates felt very strongly about providing this type of instruction and experience to the participants of Girls Inc. We understand the value of having good etiquette skills in the business environment and how that can give them an edge.

I will leave you with the Cardinal Rules for Dining that was shared with us on the back of our menu:

* Always say “Please” and “Thank You".
* Keep the conversation pleasant and enjoyable. Never engage in gossip.
* Always bring food to your mouth, not the mouth to the food.
* Never talk with your mouth full.
* Don’t blow your nose on your napkin – ask to be excused and visit the restroom.
* Chewing gum and applying makeup are never allowed at the table.
* Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
* Toothpicks are never used at the table, nor are forks to be used as toothpicks.

Also, I wanted to extend congratulations to Girls Inc. on its 40th Anniversary!

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