Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Once bitten, twice cooked

I was at a work-related meeting this afternoon. I know, what a crazy lifestyle I lead. Somebody stop me!

The meeting was with people from another company who are working on a project for us, and so I and a few colleagues went to their office. I was there first (this never happens normally, a dodgy map had sent my colleagues to the other end of town) and I was shown to the meeting room.

Tea? Coffee? I muttered my thankyouverymuches.

"And," said the sales manager, a glint in her eye, "for something to get this meeting really started!"

Blimey, I gulped. I half expected shots of tequila and/or lines of coke, the way she said it. I was therefore disappointed relieved to see a plate of chocolate biscuits materialise.

There is, I'm told, a protocol for the chocolate biscuit in business meetings. But they never teach it in Harvard. Oh no, sunshine, you've got to learn the hard way. They may well look tempting in all their choccy biccie goodness. They may well have put a whole plateful down in front of you. Including the plain chocolate ones. But it's considered bad form to wolf them down before we've got past the introductions. At least wait for the second item on the agenda.

It's like a delicious form of torture. You're sitting there, trying hard to concentrate on the discussion and make erudite contributions. But all the time, you're thinking: "What will they think if I take a third one?"

And there is the time when you're asked your opinion - on something you miraculously do know about - and you give it with an impressive flourish. Everyone at the room has been regarding you with rapt attention. You think: "That's going to make a difference. That's marked me out as a man of wisdom. I have added value here."

Only to find that you have a crumb of white chocolate flake on your chin large enough to be seen on Google Earth.

1 comment:

City Girl said...

Oh, how I loathe the expression, "value added."

Nearly as much as "best practice" and "key performance indicator."

:: shiver ::

You deserve to take the remaining cookies with you - gift wrapped, not just snuck into your pocket - after a meeting like that.

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