My Little List: Social Etiquette at Functions
We have all been to social functions and events, and it isn’t hard to spot someone whose social etiquette reminds you of the monkeys in the zoo, as if the guy still lives in a cave. Look at this for some insight on how to be a cultured person at functions.
No.10 - Punctuality
It’s ok not to want to be the very first person to show up, but it’s also inconsiderate to the host to be overly late. Strive to arrive on time. If you believe that you will be more than 15 minutes late, call your host and inform them of your delay. Do not dream of making grand entrances, unless you are the star of the party.
No.9 - Telephone conduct
On phone, speak politely, as if you were face-to-face. Speak slowly and clearly so that you are understood. Cell phones have no place at a social function, but if you have to take the call, move to an isolated area, speak quietly and apologize for your rudeness.
No.8 - Wine tasting
Upon being asked to check the quality of a wine bottle, avoid the temptation to show off; a small swirl and taste is sufficient; do not make it a theatrical event. Simply give a “yay” or “nay,” and thank the waiter politely. Forget about drinking the wine, it’s “wine tasting” not “wine drinking”.
No.7 - Attire
Naturally, males are often more brightly coloured than females. But you are not a peacock. If you’re not sure how formal the event is, leave your bright pink t-shirt at home, and opt for formal. It’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed for an occasion, so err on the side of caution.
No.6 - Gratuities
Tipping isn’t a culture here, but nevertheless, there is no harm in showing a little gratitude. If the service was good, tip the waiter. It isn’t a large cost to you and means a lot for the person making minimum wage. Big tipping is also great karma, not to mention, it impresses the ladies.
No.5 - Awareness of guest preferences
If hosting, try to make appropriate food and beverage selections for your guests. Knowing which people are vegetarian, teetotallers, etc and catering for their preferences shows that you took time to think about your guests and the occasion. It’s a plus for you.
No.4 - Appropriate language
Some people are uncomfortable with foul language or jokes, so be mindful of your audience. Many women may not be offended by your swearing or dirty jokes, but that doesn’t mean that it makes them like you either. Dirty language makes you look cheap.
No.3 - Appropriate alcohol consumption
The key word here is “appropriate.” There is nothing wrong with enjoying a tasty beverage, but if you find yourself drinking up most of the party’s alcohol, chances are you’re headed for disaster. Don’t use the opportunity of having free booze to get drunk.
No.2 - Exit strategy
Leave the event at a suitable time. If you are not closely acquainted with your hosts and are one of the last guests, it may be a good sign that the evening is wrapping up. Politely thank the hosts for the event, and make your exist. Try not to be the last person to leave.
No.1 - Consistent courtesy and respect toward service staff
Your service staff works very hard to provide an enjoyable environment for you and the other guests, so be as mindful as you can of their feelings. Being rude to them only makes them resent you, and since they are the ones in charge of the drinks and meals, you never know what they could serve you.