Using the regular knife, rather than the steak knife, when very tender meat is served

by Mary
(Dallas, TX)

I work in a retirement home. A female resident who is very "proper" bullies another sweet lady because she uses her regular knife on tender meat versus the steak knife. What is correct? How can I stop this harassment; I am an assistant director.


Mary

Comments for Using the regular knife, rather than the steak knife, when very tender meat is served

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Feb 17, 2011
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The basic principle of etiquette
by: Anonymous

If i might make a suggestion on a different point of view.

You may wish to start a conversation about what etiquette is for and what the governing principles are. Etiquette is there to enable people to have smoother relations with each other.

What cutlery to use is indeed a subset of this rule. The governing principle however takes precedence, more specifically; don't embarrass other people, certainly don't correct them in front of others.

So perhaps if she would like to be really proper she would never mention it.

Jan 15, 2011
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how does it affect you?
by: Anonymous

When this woman bullies someone else, simply ask 'and how does that affect you? Sally can cut her mean with a spoon, and your world wouldn't change in the slightest. continuing to embarrass someone by correcting them over something silly is horrible etiquette.'

You can also tell her to ask herself 'is it nice, is it kind, is it necessary'. If she can't say yes to any of those, then she shouldn't say it

May 08, 2010
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Move that "proper" lady away
by: Eunice replies

Etiquette are guidelines only. They are not the law.

If the sweet old lady prefers to use the regular knife, she should. Etiquette is designed to give order, and make things easier. They are not used as a reference to judge and point at others.

If you can help it, let the sweet old lady eat in peace. Position the "proper" lady with other "proper" ladies.

You could slip in that it is improper for her to point out and harp on it. She wouldn't want to have bad manners, would she?

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