(3 of 3)
One of Nri's students, Anna, a 40-something financial controller at an international company in the construction industry, rolled her eyes when teachers brought out irons during a class on folding napkins. But an hour later, she was hooked. "You see the exactness and the symmetry, and it gives a completely different atmosphere," she says. "If your table is slightly sloppy, your deal could fall through. The client might think, If the table is set like that, how will she treat my contract and our relationship?"
Back in the dining room, the five student servers--stomachs grumbling--have more pressing concerns. Their hostess's husband continues to spoon his Toblerone mousse. "Take your time," says Nouf, a 19-year-old business student from Oman who makes no effort to hide her sarcasm. "We don't want to eat lunch or anything." When the man of the house finally finishes, they clear the table and escort the guests to the drawing room for coffee. The waitresses return to the dining room and let out a massive sigh of relief. "I've been thinking about my servants all the time," says Nouf. "It's really hard work. I definitely have more respect for them." For a true lady, that unexpected lesson may prove the most lasting.