Quiz: How Well-Mannered Are You?

Do you have excellent etiquette or need a serious session with Miss Manners? Take this quiz and find out.

1. Your best friend invites you to a dinner party that she’s hosting. You:
a. Breeze in an hour late and pointedly remark that you’re starving.
b. Arrive 10 minutes late with a nice bottle of wine.
c. Turn up 20 minutes early and tell your friend that she needs to fix her hair and put on some pearls.

2. You’re at a work-related function and see a man heading toward you. You recognize his face but can’t remember his name. You:
a. Assume he’s no one important and head for the bar.
b. Smile widely and hope that he mentions it during your conversation.
c. Shake hands and remark, “I’m SO sorry but I’m drawing a blank on your name.”

3. You’re just about to hit “send” on an office-wide e-mail. You:
a. Chuckle at the clever, yet somewhat offensive, subject line you thought up.
b. Run a quick spell-check and delete any inadvertent abbreviations.
c. Send it to a trusted co-worker first and have her read it for tone and sense.

4. You’re out to dinner with your boyfriend’s family and notice that the napkins are folded into swans. You:
a. Start to giggle. Who wastes that much time on napkins?
b. Express delight before immediately slipping it onto your lap.
c. Don’t even notice. Aren’t all napkins beautifully folded?

5. You have to send out a mass mailing for a fund-raiser your company is hosting. A doctor, Marie Summers, and her husband, Paul (not an M.D.), are on the list. How do you address their envelope?
a. The Summers
b. Mr. Paul and Dr. Marie Summers
c. Dr. Marie Renee and Mr. Paul William Summers

6. You’re visiting a new chat forum and have a basic question about the group. You:
a. Post it in all caps. That’ll get everyone’s attention.
b. Read the FAQ page and only post it if you are still unsure.
c. E-mail the forum moderator for further information, then advise him to rewrite the FAQs.

7. You’re at the gym during peak hours. You:
a. Ignore the 30-minute limit on the treadmill. You need 60 minutes of cardio to feel as though you’ve accomplished something.
b. Jog for 30 minutes and then wipe down the machine before getting off.
c. Jog for approximately 28 minutes and then wipe down the machine with your personal supply of Purell.

8. After each and every job interview you:
a. Call your mother to tell her how it went.
b. E-mail a thank-you note to everyone you met with.
c. Send flowers and a handwritten thank-you note on your expensive, monogrammed stationery.

9. A co-worker repeatedly forwards you e-mail chains that are full of emoticons. You:
a. Reply that emoticons are for idiots.
b. Roll your eyes and delete the forwards.
c. Direct her attention to the company e-mail policy and let her know that you’ve been keeping track of her forwarding habit.

10. You’ve won a goody basket that includes a nice desk calendar. You:
a. Re-gift it the next chance you get.
b. Keep it for the pictures, but continue to use the company calendar for your appointments.
c. Fill it in immediately, even though you already have a planner and a wall calendar. You can’t be too careful.

Mostly A’s: Rude and Raunchy
You may not realize it—or perhaps you do and just don’t care—but you’re seriously lacking social graces. And not only does this make you unpleasant to be around, but it’s probably stalling your career. No one wants a rudie representing their company. So instead of just shrugging off your bad habits, start doing something about them. Buy an etiquette book or pay attention to how your co-workers behave. If they aren’t forwarding you offensive jokes via e-mail, you should refrain from doing so too.

Mostly B’s: Pretty Polite
You show off your good manners with minimum fuss and maximum fun. While you may not follow the letter of the law when it comes to old-fashioned etiquette, you translate respectful behavior for modern life and do it with flair. At work your co-workers appreciate your professional courtesy, and at home family and friends enjoy your laid-back yet respectful way of life.

Mostly C’s: Amazing Etiquette
There is such a thing as too many manners, and you seem to have them all. Don’t throw away everything that you’ve learned about courtesy, but do loosen up a little. Your rigid formality probably isn’t all that endearing, and it may be scaring your colleagues. So live a little: Eat your salad with your dinner fork. It won’t kill you.


Written by: Beth Morrissey
Beth Morrissey is a freelance writer from Dublin, Ireland who specializes in topics of interest to women working 9 to 5 and beyond. Visit her at www.bethmorrissey.com.