You’ve just bumped into your media idol at a happy hour, but OMG you just loaded up on a whole pile of pigs in a blanket and your hand is gross. How do you shake his hand? Wipe your greasy hand on your pants and then go in for the handshake? Um, ew.
Leadership guru Jason Seiden suggests one easy fix: switch the hand you hold the plate in.
If you hold the plate in your right hand and eat with your left, then when that editor comes along who you’ve been begging for a job with, you can transfer the plate to your left hand and your right hand is squeaky clean.
He adds: “if you need one hand for the plate and one hand to shake hands, then you have how many hands for holding alcohol? If you counted to “none,” congratulations, that’s the right answer!” However, when stemware (not plastic cups) are involved, a clever person can usually create a hors d’oeuvres tower consisting of napkin clenched between pinky and ring finger, plate between ring and middle, and wine glass teetering on top between middle and index. Then you’ll be really classy.
Other suggestions we’ve heard: Don’t eat, at all, since you’re really there to network, not stuff yourself–but how on earth are you supposed to resist those delightful miniature empanadas?