Business lunch etiquette
April 27, 2012 6:46 AM Subscribe
Business etiquette question - how to handle a request to chip in for a lunch I did not attend?
posted by anonymous to human relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A few weeks ago a former thesis advisor of mine from my graduate program (and someone I think very highly of) was invited to give a guest lecture at my current institution. I put together the itinerary, scheduled meetings, made all the plans. The night before she, a few colleagues (including current Boss), and I went out to dinner. I happily picked up the tab, this person has done a lot for me personally and professionally, and it was no big deal. As part of the following day's itinerary, we were scheduled to go out to lunch. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected work situation (and some inner-office snarkiness) I was unable to join them at lunch, and was quite bummed. Current Boss paid the bill for lunch, which included a few other colleagues and some current graduate students. I returned to my desk at then end of the day to find a copy of the lunch receipt as well as my "share" highlighted below (looks like the cost of lunch was to be split up between four of us - I was the only one not in attendance). I was speechless.
Now, I realize I may not be looking at this objectively, since I'm pretty upset that no one in the office offered to help so that I could attend the lunch, and I missed out on hanging out with this awesome person since she had to leave after lunch, so I ask your opinion. Am I over reacting? No discussion was had prior as to who was going to pay for what and the Boss controls the office budget. At institutions where I have worked before, these lunches/dinners would be paid for by the department, but apparently not in this case.
So I figure my options are one of the following:
1. Just pay the Boss what he's asking for my "share" of lunch that I didn't attend (ie bite my tongue and suck it up, be the bigger person, do the right thing, etc. Also, I volunteered to pay for dinner, so I shouldn't be upset by it in hindsight.)
2. Deduct the Boss's portion of the dinner bill from the night before from the receipt that was left on my desk and give the remaining amount to the Boss (two can play at this game approach, but that may just be the anger talking).
3. Ignore the receipt on my desk and see what happens (passive aggressive approach).
The amounts we are talking about are not huge, so that's not the deciding factor. I guess its just the principle. Please feel free to let me know if I'm taking this too seriously as well, and should just move on to more important things.
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