Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dining and drinking with business partners

Christmas is in the air. The FM channels are playing Christmas songs. People are sporting red more often than any other time of the year. The shopping malls are crowded. There are numerous emails with special offers. I love Christmas. It falls conveniently at the end of the year not only to reflect what happened during the year but also to spread light in our souls during the period of shorter days. You only see happiness around. It is also the time of the year when they organize dinner parties at work.

When the topic is dinner parties, you may find an ocean of literature floating around the internet. These articles range from superficial to detailed. They tell you what you should do, and you shouldn't do. Most of these boils down to one thing. Common sense. But as you know, common sense is not so common. Moreover, the good food and copious amount of alcohol make the limited reservoir of common sense evaporate quickly. I will not try to hammer the etiquette into you for I am no expert. However, a friend of mine narrates an incident in his life that should give us a good lesson on what not to do in the event we are going out for dinner or the walk up to the nearest public house from work.

So my friend was invited by his partners. By partner, I refer to the term used in the new age lexicon. There are no suppliers anymore which is reminiscent of the old feudal system. Now, we are all equals. Partners. So here is my friend with the unspecified invitation by the partners. It could be the nearest public house that may be followed by dinner. There is nothing formal about it from the outside, yet there is a subtle smell of official business emanating from it. Being a good sport, my friend plays along. The team comprises of my friend and three partners. They end up in a pub. In the pub, the partners order soft drinks after my friend orders beer. You may ask why? The reason is simple. All three partners are teetotalers. Since I was not there, I could only repeat what my friend said. He sums it up this way. It could have been a fun night. But it wasn't.

I am pretty sure we all have our share of horror stories. Sometimes we inflict pain. At other times, we endure pain. In a business scenario, it is not customary that you take someone for a drink. You could always invite somebody for dinner sans the alcohol. This way, you are not embarrassing your guest if you are a teetotaller. The most important thing is to ensure you have something to talk during evening other than business. This simple measure makes the whole evening much more fun. In case, you do not like alcohol and do not have enough topics, make sure you invite a friend who has these skill sets. In case, you don't have a friend with such skills, why don't you put a comment here with time and the date (and also a flight ticket and a visa, as applicable)?

Merry Christmas in advance.

Courtesy: https://stocksnap.io

Tags: Musings, Christmas, Partner, Alcohol, Dinner

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