Charity begins at lunch

Charity begins at lunch


Charity begins at lunch

I’m in a car sweating and reading, trying to take in the notes that had been thrust in my hand as I jumped into the taxi. Notes about who I am meeting for lunch, their title, their position, the business we have with them, the deal I need to make with them - I even have a picture so that we will recognise each other….adrenaline is running

He is in a car too, coming to meet me : sweating and reading and trying to take in the notes about me…..adrenaline is running

We’re representatives of our companies, instructed to negotiate a deal over lunch

The taxi knows where were going, my stomach doesn’t

Bouncing out of the taxi, the performance act takes over.  A nerveless smile, a glad handshake,  a little bit of small talk, realizing the waiter is hovering, having a quick look at the menu.  The circle of negotiation around the circular table continues through the first course and the second, and in triumph the deal is wrapped up over coffee

‘Great to meet you’

Rapid exit, back in the taxi with an air of success, indigestion, and the puncturing of adrenalin balloon

‘Where did you eat’ they ask back at the office. ‘Must have been somewhere posh for that customer’

‘I can’t remember’

‘What did you eat, must be great to have those fine lunches’

‘Can’t remember, something with fish’

A meal that neither party needed (or enjoyed) a large cost that could not be justified, and stress that could only result in bad health

It happens all the while.

What’s the alternative?

How about :

  • Exchange briefing papers by post or email
  • Let others do the details of the deal
  • Meet the big client for a walk in the park with a sandwich
  • Get to know each other, find common ground between the companies…and the people
  • Fresh air, exercise, collaboration…good health
  • Calculate the money saved on taxis, management time, lunch and give it all to a worthy charity
  • Tell everyone in the companies that that’s the way to do it : let’s see more examples

Who loses? Restaurants, taxi firms and doctors.

Who gains…..?

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