I had a meeting today at lunch. It was an important meeting, with an important person. It was also my first meeting with this person. And it would take place over a table of food. Clearly, this was a recipe for disaster.
Now, I understand the practicality of scheduling a meeting during lunch. Everyone needs to eat, after all, and why not get some business accomplished on the side?
I'll tell you why. The first impression lasts the longest. Do you really want the new people you meet to think about the piece of spinach you had in your teeth or the tea dribbling down your chin on to your shirt every time they see you? Of course you don't. You want them to remember your confidence, poise, and sophistication. Instead, they'll keep replaying in their mind the point at which they asked you a question and your mouth opened up to reveal a full palate of mush, which, as you speak, jumps out of your mouth and plops on to the table.
Of course, you could be cautious, reminding yourself constantly about table manners and etiquette. Although, nearly invariably, you will screw something up. Trust me. You will. It may be something minor, and it may not be noticed by the other party, but you will do something wrong. If you're lucky, you drop your fork. If you're not, you drop your fork, and it slides across the floor, tripping the waiter, who sends his tray of red bull vodkas flying across the room, where the alcohol is ignited by a small table candle. The flames then spread quickly across the restaurant, ignite the propane tanks in the kitchen, and kill everyone in a six-block radius. But that's worst-case scenario.
The other thing about lunch meetings is that you're there to talk. And you talk the entire time to avoid those awkward silences that make you want to talk about the dreams you've been having, just so that you'll have something interesting to say. And, since you're talking the entire time (hopefully about the subject and not the dream where your boxers turned into a mob of angry ferrets), you will be unable to finish your meal. And nothing says, "I'm the man for the job," like having to ask for a box to take home your food.

4 Responses to “meet & eat”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Robert, I think we need to get you a column.  

  2. # Blogger r.fuel

    Yeah, like someone would pay me to write this stuff.  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    We maybe should give it try anyway. You may be surprised.  

  4. # Blogger Erik

    HAHA!! That is hillarious, bro! Great writing indeed!  

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