Etiquette – the no-lunch lunch

Get up before dawn, taxi to airport, flight to Amsterdam, pick up hire car, drive an hour to the middle of Holland somewhere near Zeist, to arrive at a major manufacturing company for a lunch meeting which consisted of one cheese roll.


Until today, that “lunch meeting” some time in the 1990s was my definition of ingratitude, indeed poor etiquette, to be trotted out on all occasions which demanded an anecdote about disproportionate effort for reward. However, over the years my feelings towards the perpetrator have mellowed. Dutch friends have persuaded me that a cheese roll is a very acceptable lunch, and that no insult was intended. And besides, the guy has retired now, and it is good to practise forgiveness.


Only today, that iconic cheese roll lunch stands out as a beacon of hospitality. The Blog is reeling from a four-hour train/underground/train/taxi journey today, arriving for a meeting from 12.00 to 2.00, where the lunch consisted of one cup of coffee. No meal at all. Not even a biscuit. Mean or what?


All of which leads the Blog to the observation that whereas a convivial meal in a business setting may improve business relations, a meeting specifically at a mealtime in which the food fails to appear is likely to have a distinctly dampening effect on a relationship.

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2 Responses to Etiquette – the no-lunch lunch

  1. Robbo 25 January, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Look on the bright side, you’ll have plenty of room for the EPL lunch.

  2. ashok 20 April, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    The exact same thing was done to me by a Syrian company in Milan. All morning travel, meeting, then they said OK we are off to lunch … see you sometime …

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