Knowing proper table etiquette puts you in the driver's seat at your place setting.
When people eat together, each person is in charge of himself while eating. He knows how to handle his table tools and is responsible for his display of manners.
As when driving on a highway, there are rules and guidelines that keep the table orderly, preventing accidents and confusion. Passing food and other items on the table are also under the jurisdiction of these guidelines.
When serving a meal in family style, food is passed to the right on the first round.
Everyone is seated, the head of the table (or host) has signaled the start of the meal by placing her napkin in her lap, and food begins to circulate. If items are going in every which direction, someone is bound to miss being served Mom's yummy mashed potatoes!
Don't let this happen.
Keep it simple and orderly by sending everything around to the right, then replacing it on the table after everyone has had a chance to be served.
Once food items have made their first round to the right, and are ready for a second round, or are requested to be passed, they may be sent back down the table in either direction.
The most expedient direction is best.
These two are always together, no matter what. If they get separated, it's like trying to find the proverbial needle in hay to reunite them.
So next time someone asks for the salt, it is proper table etiquette to pass the salt and the pepper.