Saturday, September 10, 2005
I took a new first-year associate to lunch yesterday. His table manners are terrible. First, he used the wrong fork for the salad, which is just about grounds for termination, although I was in a generous mood so I chose to ignore it. We ordered some pasta that we shared, and when he reached to take some pasta and put it on his plate, he somehow carelessly dropped a pile of spaghetti on the tablecloth, in between the bowl and his plate. Of course, he instantly recognized the inappropriateness, and attempted to divert my attention and place a napkin over the offending spill. But my attention is not easily diverted, and I refused to look away. I just stared at the pasta, and stared at him, and stared back at the pasta, and stared back at him, and stared back at the pasta, and stared back at him, until he was sufficiently shamed and couldn't bring himself to engage in any real conversation for the rest of the meal. I think he also swallowed a bone in the fish to avoid having to deal with finding a delicate way to remove it from his mouth and place it securely in his napkin. He won back some points with that.