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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 4, 2010 / 26 Tishrei, 5771

The Free Lunch

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I was part of a group of business executives at a luncheon at a restaurant. We were interviewing a potential job candidate and the restaurant setting was selected to see how the person handled himself, since the applicant was being considered for an executive position. He handled the interview extremely well, concentrating on answering each question and delivering impressive responses. He only ate about half his food and this demonstrated that his lunch was secondary to his mission of obtaining the job. At the conclusion of the interview our great prospect made a major slip. When the waiter came to us with the check, the job applicant asked for a box to take home the remainder of his meal. As we left the table he pointed at the box and proclaimed, "It will be lunch tomorrow." Clearly he had demonstrated that he was qualified by his answers to our questions, but he still wanted his free lunch. That last impression doomed him.

An often accurate cliche is, "the message sent isn't the same as the message received." Or, to use another cliché, "Perception is reality." People hear, see, and read a lot of things you never said or did. It isn't just that people misread what you are doing. People also misread your motives and what you may not have done. Television talk show hosts report that they receive thousands of irate complaint letters. Viewers hotly argue about how wrong it was of the host to have said this or that, when in fact it was never said. As we live longer, it is partially due to fewer people hearing correctly. I turned to my friend Eric while we watching television and exclaimed, "What do they mean Chocolate Chips is dead?" When he could finally control his laughter he explained, "No, they said Arthur Lipshcitz is dead." It was then I knew I needed a hearing aid. Be warned that things won't be what you think they are, nor will what you say, be received as what you think people hear. People don't listen. People don't understand why. People get insulted very easily.

My first, and best, business professor told our introduction to business class, "Before you go to a fancy restaurant with your boss or a client, prepare by knowing what to do and say." Learning as you go is stressful and a recipe for disaster. No matter who you are, you should master the basic rules of etiquette. When in another culture you must learn basic etiquette and customs in that country. You can choose to scorn or ignore these rules if you wish, but you should first know what they are. Don't assume you know what to do or "copy the behavior of others." Nor can you rely on copying what waiters do. At a dinner, when you leave the table you should place your napkin on your chair, not the table. The napkin goes on the table when you have finished the meal. If you serve food, you should approach from each guest's left to deliver the food and approach from the right to remove plates. Your own beliefs may clash with accepted standards but accepted standards often exist to facilitate cooperation, not because they are rational. You can decide when style is at odds with your beliefs. At one time the Catholic Church threatened to excommunicate anyone using forks with three tines. Why risk eternal damnation over your eating utensils?

If you are not prepared, don't fake it. Better to ask for help that to confidently offend others. Asking for help in the right way can be a plus. It shows you want to please and it demonstrates you recognize that the person you are asking is authoritative and knowledgeable enough to give you advice. A nice stoke to their ego is always good, especially when it is sincere. Asking others can also help defuse situations.

Given the choice, take less. Samples, courtesy mints and the help of others should not be taken for granted. The worst message you can send is that you are greedy, desperate or uninterested in those you work and play with. All of these are bad. Just because your host is a vendor or rich relative that does not give you a license to turn to gluttony. My aunt stayed with us for a few days. When we pointed out a basket containing travel sized toiletries in case she forgot to bring anything, she was delighted. "That's great, I can use these when I travel" she exclaimed as she grabbed the basket and took it back to the guest room. "They are just perfect for me" she purred, as she dumped the entire contents of the basket into her overnight bag.

It is common for inexperienced business people to dive in and order the most expensive item on a menu because someone else is paying. The host has a budget; expense account or some other finite resource so ordering the highest price item just to get something is inconsiderate. It also shows that you are more interested in the treat than the relationship. I have been astonished to hear business people brag, "I normally wouldn't eat a dessert but since you're paying…"

Taking home extra food is fine when there is a valid reason and if the setting is appropriate. It may be "free" to you but it isn't without cost to your host. What message do you want to send? Is the conversation, the business, or the relationship the most important thing? Are you so desperate or deprived when it comes to food that you need to take the rare opportunity to taste them at someone else's expense? Order in a way that pleases yourself and conveys the message you want to send to others. It's not just about the food.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, speaker, and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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