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5. If in doubt, order a martini–it’ll make you look sophisticated.

It will also get you blasted if you’re not careful (but at least no one will notice that you have no idea what fork to use). Prepare yourself for a straight-up glass of pure, usually barely diluted gin (yup, make it gin) and try to sip it in a dignified manner. Pinkies out.

6. Take a crash course in the humanities (or just listen to NPR for the week leading up to your dinner).

You’ll sound intelligent, your boss will be impressed and everyone will seem like they should be speaking with a British accent. However, try to keep the conversation in the realm of the 3 Tenors even though your knowledge may be more in a Sanjaya vein.

7. Fork You: If you’re having problems identifying the correct silverware, pull the klutz move and “spill” your drink on your side of the table.

This is ONLY to be used in emergency situations. Now, hope and pray your waiter will replace only the silverware you’ll need for the next entrée. This, ideally, takes the guess work out of the age old, “what fork do I use?” question, but you run the risk of looking like a complete ass. Worst case scenario, you look like an ass, they replace ALL the silverware and you spill red wine on Mrs. Boss’s white fur coat. Complete fail. As stated above, emergent situations only.

8. If you bomb, get bombed.

If it’s possible, drink lots of wine and keep your mouth shut (this advice courtesy of our Twitter friend @texantiff). Let someone else order the wine, reference #2 on this list and try to keep from babbling on about your dog’s bowel habits (or any bowel habits for that matter). If anything makes you look like a 5-star rookie, you’ll be too distracted by your hangover the next morning to be embarrassed.

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