I have a couple of things I need to admit before I get into the meat (see what I did there) of this blog post. I’m baring my soul here people so pay close attention. Here goes nothing… My first admission is that I’m a bit of a germa-phobe. When I say a bit what I really mean to say is a lot. Like I have hand sanitizer with me at all times. So keep that in mind when you read on…
Secondly, I’m a table manners nazi. Now I’m not always proud of these isms of mine. I will say, however, I make an effort to instill these same traits in my children so that their future girlfriends thank me for their impeccable manners. I think it’s more likely that they will be thanking me for being able to hold on to said future girlfriends. I’m a stickler for correct fork in hand position as well as napkin on lap positioning. Additionally, I have close to zero tolerance for finger licking.
Suffice it to say when subjected to an office worker who presents with these table manners foibles, it’s enough to make a person want to eat in their car. Let me be more precise. When I see someone stabbing at their food as if they were a lion that hasn’t eaten in a month who just took down a gazelle on the African plains I need to quell the urge to grab the offender by the hand and stab them with the fork.
Lets talk about finger licking. Where have your fingers been? Did you handle money? Go to the bathroom? Touch the handle on the door to the bathroom? Wiped your hands on your pants after you just sat on a chair? Perhaps touched the bottom of your shoe? Shaken another co workers hand (who knows what they did in the bathroom moments ago)? The list goes on and on.
…and now you’re licking your fingers…
Is there really anything else I need to add to how gross it is to lick your fingers? I think not.
Let’s think about how we can approach these issues with your coworker in an effective manner. First lead by example! Make a point to eat with this person and hold your utensils correctly. Exaggerate your motions so they are difficult to ignore.
Secondly, each and every time they go for their fingers, hand them a napkin!! Eat with them every day and this will work. They will start to get that licking fingers is disgusting.
Lastly, bring in an article by Emily Post (does she still exist? Am I dating myself…oops) about manners. Bring a different PRINTED article each and every day. Sooner or later your office mate is going to be curious about what you’re reading and ask if they can read it. When they ask what your fascination is with manners just make something up. You’re teaching your kids proper manners. Your Mom eats like a slob. You’re practicing on your dog. Whatever works.
Hope this helps!