Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Name Is Otto – Otto von Bismarck

German chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) was known as restrained man who was strict when it comes to rules of conduct.  Because of that, it was hard for someone to conclude friendship with him.

Once, the Chancellor hosted a formal dinner. Next to him at the table sat a certain American woman, loud and direct and, in Bismarck's view, almost uncivil.

At the beginning of dinner, when an appetizer was served, an American addressed Chancellor according to rules of conduct. She addressed him with "Your Highness". But as soon as they brought the main course, this lady addressed him with "Dear Chancellor". When they brought the cake, this friendly woman already talked to the chancellor like with an old friend, nudging him and saying, "My dear sir."

Finally, the German chancellor stood up, bowed and said to an American woman:

"Before you continue chatting, I want to say just one thing. My name is Otto

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