Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's Good to be the King

As many of you may know, Princeton (or as Hilary Duff once put it, 'the place where the princes go') will be hosting its very own piece of royalty tomorrow. King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (source: Wikipedia) will be giving a lecture of unknown topic, length, and description at Richardson Auditorium at Friday noon -- followed by a Q&A session with select students afterwards and, following that, a private reception with an even more select group of students in the basement of Richardson.

The following is an excerpt from a WWS department-wide email, highlighting proper etiquette for Woody Woo majors who plan on attending this latter schmooze session with the King. I hope you find these protocols as laughable as I do. Think all those recruiting sessions at the Nassau Inn with the suits from Blackrock/Blackwater/Goldman Sachs/Golden Calf were bad??? Well, to paraphrase another former Arab leader, this one's gonna be the mother of all networking events.

Protocol for the reception:

Please dress neatly- you don’t need to wear suits and ties. The King is addressed as “Your Excellency,” and he will shake hands.

Be considerate and polite- the King will circulate himself through the groups of attendees, so don’t crowd around him and/or monopolize his time.

Most importantly, have a good time!!! How often do we get to host a King?

Some other guidelines I'd like to suggest:
(1) Remember the unwritten rule about not talking religion and politics at the dinner table? Well, that applies here -- especially here.
(2) Know your place on the totem. Having a last name that is Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, or Weinstein does not automatically set you on equal footing with the King.
(3) It is a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of the Jordanian Royal Family before coming. For example, 'Queen Amidala' is not blood.
(4) His Excellency is not accepting resumes or cover letters at this time.
(5) In case the King asks, clarify that the CJL is not the 'Israel' of 'the Street'.
(6) So you now live in the same dorm in Pyne that Queen Noor '74 once occupied?? That's awesome. But the King doesn't care.
(7) In spite of the pomp and pageantry, treat the King as if he were one of your friends. Talk about movies if you want. Just not Syriana.

An afterthought / question for my readers: Why on earth would the King of Jordan bother coming to Princeton in the first place? What's in it for him, in swinging by this tiny idyllic bubble on Route One?? I welcome your comments. My guess is that, with oil at $101 a barrel these days, the University is doing everything it can to ensure it has a stable energy supply for its free printing and laundry.


thanbo said...

as a stepson to Lisa Halaby '74, should King Abdullah be listed as k'74?