When going out to eat with your boss, does it matter where you dine?
The following scenario was described to me by an all-American twenty-something year-old man who requested anonyimity:
During a business trip, my boss offered to take me to lunch. Being that we were in a popular tourist town, I suspected we would try one of the many time-honored seafood restaurants. Instead, we were headed to Hooters.
I enjoy this restaurant as much as the next guy, but as a business-expense lunch? I felt uncomfortable during the meal due to the scenery, which I was attempting to enjoy, but not to the extent that I would seem perverted. I was dancing on a fine line between being respectful to my boss, discussing important business information, and glancing at the waitresses wandering by. The waitresses won.
I question the appropriateness of this business lunch. Should I have said something? As a man (if I did have something to say), would my boss look at me as if I had lost my "manhood?" How could I have lived with myself if I would have turned down the opportunity to see half-naked women?
In the future, I would prefer to eat at Hooters in the company of good friends.
What would you do?
Etiquette approach: Do you think a male boss would have taken a female employee? It can be difficult to speak up when you are new to a company or it is your boss. If you can get through it, chalk it up to a challenge and a new experience. It also reveals a lot about your boss.
Another option is to recommend an alternative.
Rosalinda Oropeza Randall is an etiquette consultant who owns Your Relationship Edge in which she teaches classes and presents workshops to a variety of audiences. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and her website is www.yourrelationshipedge.com. She can also be reached on Facebook.