Met up with a friend yesterday who's just joined the MBA program here. It seems the MBAs have a special session at the beginning of the year on etiquette. This seemed harmless enough, and a good idea generally (specially given the number of international students) until he showed me the list of do's and don'ts that was distributed to them. Whoever compiled that list clearly believes that MBA students have spent all of their former lives pillaging villages on the steppes of Outer Mongolia. My favourites:
Do bring the waitstaff's attention to any foreign matter in your food. (Waiter! Waiter! There's a question of Iraqi policy in my soup!)
Do not put the knife in your mouth. (And while you're about it, try not to chew the glass)
Do not talk with your mouth open. (And chew! CHEW! How are you going to become big and strong otherwise?)
Do not eat your tablemate's bread or salad. (His / her main course, on the other hand, is fair game)
Do make use of the silverware made available at your table. (It's amazing how much you can get for some of that stuff in pawn shops)
I find it really, really hard to believe that anyone who managed to get into one of the country's top business schools wouldn't know this much (or could be stupid enough to put knives in his / her mouth). I mean, look, I know there are important differences in etiquette between cultures, and I think it's useful for MBAs to be exposed to them (I'm thinking things like how to order wine, or how to deal with hotel check-ins), but I can't believe there are cultures out there where people eat each other's salads while chattering away through their open mouths. The way this etiquette session is set up, you would think they would start by explaining that here in the US you no longer have to hunt for your food - there are things called restaurants where you can BUY it.
 Actually, I take that back - these are MBAs we're talking about. They'll do anything as long as they feel it could help them get a better job.