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My boss has invited the management team to a "breakfast party." It does not (thankfully) include spouses, and in fact isn't mandatory, but he's making reservations at a local upscale "diner" for all of us.

I've reviewed the notes from "How to Attend a Holiday Party." I assume I have to go. While Mimosas will be offered, I'll politely decline. I usually eat a very small breakfast, so sticking to a single plate is no problem. Since it's just the management team, and maybe a couple of senior managers (his boss is definitely invited, but probably won't come) it's only a minor networking opportunity.

The podcast is focused on evening/dinner parties, which is certainly the usual case. Any thoughts on breakfast-specific issues?

Thanks,

tc>

jhack's picture

Tom,

Interesting, never heard of such a thing. Is this on a work day, after which you'll head to the office?

I'd assume all the "Time to Party" rules apply, although the "dress up from work" rule might need adjusting.

John

cb_bob's picture

Tom,

I LOVE to eat a big breakfast - eggs, bacon, muffin, etc. I learned the hard way to avoid all of these items at a business breakfast. Now I stick with a cup of fruit and some coffee (no sugar or cream) or juice.

At one meeting, the yolk on one of my over-easy eggs splattered off my plate when I put my fork into it. Then, some egg fell off my fork into my lap. This particular diner had paper napkins, not cloth, and the egg soaked through. In an effort to not stain my pants, I dipped the napkin in my water glass to try to blot out the stain. Needless to say, it was quite a scene and created an embarrassing distraction in the meeting.

In a different breakfast meeting, I found myself about to shake hands with somebody after I had used my fingers to pick up the bacon that I had been eating. It was awkward to refuse the handshake at the last minute in order to avoid making the other person touch my greasy bacon hand.

As for muffins, I find that the crumbs tend to fall to the floor around my chair. When I stand up, the floor around my chair is just a mess.

I hope this helps!

Bob

tcomeau's picture

[quote="jhack"]Tom,

Interesting, never heard of such a thing. Is this on a work day, after which you'll head to the office?

I'd assume all the "Time to Party" rules apply, although the "dress up from work" rule might need adjusting.

John[/quote]

Yep, we're meeting at the diner early, spending a couple of hours in coffee and conversation, and then heading into the office. Our Division head, who got me and a bunch of other guys in a reorganization, has apparently been doing this for years.

I am planning to dress a little better than usual. (Not hard, since the Institute is a very informal place. Fred was still wearing shorts today.)

tc>

tcomeau's picture

[quote="cb_bob"]... In an effort to not stain my pants, I dipped the napkin in my water glass to try to blot out the stain. Needless to say, it was quite a scene and created an embarrassing distraction in the meeting.

In a different breakfast meeting, I found myself about to shake hands with somebody after I had used my fingers to pick up the bacon that I had been eating. [/quote]

Wow. I think this is where the "eat first" advice would kick in.

So, coffee is probably safe. Fruit is a good idea anyway, as is staying away from greasy foods. (Particularly with my HDL numbers!)

Thanks,

tc>

Mark's picture

Don't eat stuff you eat with your fingers. If we didn't say that in our cast, that was an omission.

Coffee if you like, juice is fine too.

Mingle and smile and ask others about their plans during the holidays. If they say they're working, congratulate them for their work ethic. If they have family or vacation plans, tell them how wonderful it sounds.

FOCUS ON OTHER PEOPLE.

Mark

quentindaniels's picture

Bob, thank you for candid sharing of your stories. They are very funny, since something like that happens to everyone. Maybe if you have some pictures, mike can put them with the podcast to encourage people to listen. :lol:

Of course, I'm guilty of drinking orange juice on my way to an interview, and my tie got a healthy dose of vitamin C... Maybe that picture would go well with the interviewing series :lol:

Quentin Daniels

7-7-1-1

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="quentindaniels"] and my tie got a healthy dose of vitamin C... [/quote]

I've had that happen too many times with coffee - so I carry a spare tie with me most times.
Dinner is harder as you don't tend to have a bag/briefcase with you (unless your partner has one) but with this Breakfast being before work you more than likely will have somewhere to put a spare.

tcomeau's picture

[quote="JimGutherson"]... with this Breakfast being before work you more than likely will have somewhere to put a spare.[/quote]

I have a black-and-white tie I keep in my glove box in my car, just in case.

For this event, if I wear a tie, it'll be my black and grey Power Tie.
(this one: [url]http://www.thinkgeek.com/apparel/hats-ties/69be/[/url])
It suits me. (Pun intended.)

tc>

juliahhavener's picture

Tom,

Best...Tie...Evah.

quentindaniels's picture

great idea jim, thx

MattJBeckwith's picture

Tom, that is a great Power tie... I may just have to pick that one up!

madamos's picture

Great power tie. Gave me a good laugh this morning!

MadAmos

tcomeau's picture

Okay, some notes on breakfast:
[list]
* Pancakes, particularly with syrup used sparingly, are fine.
* Sausage, cut into small bites, is fine.
* Eggs splatter.
* Bacon explodes when cut with a knife and fork. It's greasy if you pick it up.
* Saying "please" and "thank you" to your server gets everybody at your table smiling.
* Since you said "please" and "thank you", the waitress will discreetly accommodate your quiet request for a Mimosa with ginger ale, rather than champagne, when the boss insists that everybody try one.
* Everybody's kids do the same things. (Though how the parents respond seems to always be different.)
* It's okay to be the best-dressed person in the room.
* It's awkward to be the last person to arrive, but if you have a PhD in astrophysics, people kind of expect it. (I'm not sure how somebody with a Masters in Computer Science would fare.)
* Sneezing (like yawning) seems to be contagious. Into your napkin seems to work best.
* Family Holiday Conflicts are common, but really fascinating only to those directly involved.
* Breakfast is too early in the day for technical discussions of cryogen consumption.
* Odd experiences in video conferences are okay, but nothing snarky, particularly about people at the next table. I don't need to know who adjusts her clothing on camera, but the half-second delay between voice and video sounded really amusing.
* The most amusing thing about me is that I'll be working on Monday. In fact, I may be in charge of the entire Division on Monday. (148 people, but about 120 of them are taking a vacation day.)
* Go ahead and join the line where everyone is saying "Thanks for inviting me." Yes, you could say thanks back at the office, but now is better.
* Relax.
[/list:u] :)

jhack's picture

[quote="tcomeau"]* Eggs splatter.
* Bacon explodes [/quote]
Hope that you were neither the initiator nor the recipient!

John

tcomeau's picture

[quote="jhack"]
[quote="tcomeau"]* Eggs splatter.
* Bacon explodes [/quote]
Hope that you were neither the initiator nor the recipient!

John[/quote]

Nope. It was amusing to watch, though, from a distance.

tc>