How do I tell someone they need to improve their table manners?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 76
Member
2146 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

mrshomemaker :  your boss questioning your personal ability in a proffesional setting, talking about you behind your back, posting online about how your not fit for your job because of things out of your control… these are major reportable offenses, I also wouldnt go into explaining all my disabilities to her, im a private person and its non of her buisness at all and nothing she has any right to judge or question in the first place

Post # 77
Member
2455 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I’ve had vegetables that were impossible to cut without it flying off the plate.

i don’t know, OP- if this was the only time you’ve ever seen him eat in that setting, it may just be a one-time thing.

Post # 79
Member
1505 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

cbgg :  I think the best way to protect his feelings is to do it quick and direct.  I know if it were me, and if someone is trying to explain to me along the lines of “Here, people generally do ______ in this situation“, I’d rather they just said it.  

If they hem and haw and beat around the bush, while they’re taking their sweet time getting to the point, I’m sitting over here just building myself up to be more and more and more embarassed because OMG if they’re handling it with so many layers of kid gloves, then I must’ve done something HORRENDOUS.  When that isn’t even the case. 

Just do it like “FYI” and I’d be like “Got it thanks for the info.” I assume with him the problem is not cultural, but I feel the reception would be similar.

Post # 80
Member
2019 posts
Buzzing bee

btob17 :  This is an over the top attitude. A boss telling a direct report to use professional ettiquite at a table isn’t an HR issue. This isn’t an ethics issue or equality issue, and the boss absolutely should not get in trouble for this. It’s not appropriate at a business lunch to shove a huge chunk of food into your mouth and chew with food hanging outsite your mouth. 

A boss mentioning it to an employee is completely reasonable. IF the employee does have a disability, the employee and manager can together figure out a better solution.

Post # 81
Member
364 posts
Helper bee

mrshomemaker :   btob17 :  the group training or memo or PowerPoint idea sounds like it might work better for a range of situations. If someone wants to tell OP afterward that they can’t/don’t do certain etiquette recs, that’s fine. Or if they don’t want to say anything, fine. If OP brings it up individually, I’d hope that the employee would tell OP or HR and then HR could tell OP to lay off (without saying why) and hopefully OP would just apologize or not mention it again. Is that a good resolution?

i say that because, for some things, it would matter. For example, w certain Asian business cultures, how you receive business cards in your hands is pretty important as a sign of respect. If someone can’t do that, it could be fine, but it would be good for the supervisor to know so that s/he can figure out how to address that w the client, so the client understands that it isn’t a sign of disrespect.

Post # 83
Member
2455 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

fredthebasil :  FYI, there actually is training for “cutting up food.” There are many, many etiquette classes on dining- I’ve taken a few, including one on etiquette variations among cultures.

Post # 84
Member
1104 posts
Bumble bee

btob17 :   i suppose everything you listed is technically reportable, i just personally wouldn’t take issue with it. IMO these types of minor reports are what make it harder when something big happens, because HR just gets numb to everything. 

i like to measure intent and i’ve found that most people who are rude or ask insulting questions are just ignorant. i don’t mind sort of setting them straight and explaining things because i feel like then maybe they’ll learn and not ask another person about their disability. 

i know my take is a bit unusual within the community and i respect your differing point of view, i just know how i would want to be treated if one of my blind spots were exposed. in most cases i find people become extremely apologetic and realize once i start explaining that what they asked was out of line. 

anyway, sorry for derailing the thread a bit! carry on!

Post # 85
Member
47187 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

When you are entertaining clients, you are the face of the company. It is perfectly appropriate to raise the issue and suggest the employee take a course or send him to one.

Many international companies send employees to etiquette courses when they are transferred overseas. You need to know how to behave in public when you are reprsenting your employer.

Post # 86
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

kipper88 :  When you’re eating on company time and it’s a part of your job function?  They sure do get to tell you how to eat if it’s making you, and by extension the company, look bad.  If eating were not a part of his job then I would agree with you.

Post # 87
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

AB Bride :  Oh that’s interesting!  I haven’t heard of the handwashing training other than scrubbing.

Post # 88
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

btob17 :  So . . . just because he eats like an animal you automatically jump to “he has a fine motor disability and is in a protected class”?????

When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.

Post # 89
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

cbgg :  Exactly.  The sensible bees have provided some excellent feedback – be short, kind but dispassionate, and to the point.  Then move on.  You are his manager, and you are giving him feedback on his work.  It would actually be inappropriate for you NOT to say something.

Post # 90
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

btob17 :  So, by your reasoning, anytime anyone does anything wrong at work, they should never be questioned or reprimanded, because you should just assume that it’s due to some sort of disability?  Doesn’t that way of thinking work against people who really do have disabilities and rightly deserve accommodation?

Also, what you characterize as “talking online behind someone’s back” is a well-meaning person asking VERY anonymous advice on an anonymous forum.  Just like tons of other people do. 

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