Each December, we seem to find ourselves faced with the challenge of, “oh my God, how is it December already, and what do you mean we have 35 Achievements left to complete???” This leads to some interesting combinations of Achievements (like in 2009 when we mixed ‘Hartwood Acres light show’ with ‘try cottage cheese for the first time’ and ‘stay up all night’ and ‘go to breakfast at the 61C at 7am’… which was a VERY long night). But this year, we decided to use one of our Achievements as a chance to prepare for this crazy month.
And this is how we found ourselves at the Diamond Market Bar & Grill in Market Square, dressed like most of the other patrons, for a Classy Business Lunch.
Except, of course, that neither of us actually work in offices, and therefore, we were basing most of our expectations on what we’d seen on the British version of The Office and weren’t actually having a business lunch. We were just sitting around with a list of unfinished Achievements and a calendar and a really impressive looking zipper leather folio that I got as a giveaway at a business conference years ago and have never had a use for. Until today.
We like to think that all good business lunches start with some Checking Of The Blackberry. Neither of us have Blackberries (RIP, my little Blackberry Pearl, who has been replaced in my heart and my pocket by my far more useful but far less compact Android), so ‘checking of the iPhone’ had to suffice. Checking your smart phone during lunch makes it seem like you are really important, busy, and in-demand. This makes you more desirable to business partners. You don’t have to tell them that you are actually just Tweeting about the Steelers’ lack of an offensive line.
A good Business Lunch also involves Wearing A Suit Jacket and Making Notes On Paper that you pull from your Very Impressive-Looking Folio. These papers say things like ‘Wear Snuggies in a Public Place’ and ‘Have the Stanley Cup Playoffs of Air Hockey,’ but as far as the other people also having important lunches around us were concerned, they said things like, ‘Our Stock Is Going Up!’ and ‘New Office Rule: Everyone Put Your Name On Food That Goes Into The Lunchroom Fridge So Nebby Sally Stops Eating Your Leftovers’.
You should always order one drink at a classy business lunch, so that everyone gets the impression that you aren’t married to your job, and that yes, in fact, you do know how to loosen your tie before you show up at Friday Happy Hour, so we each got a sensible glass of wine. Then we got clam chowder, because ordering soup with your lunch shows that you are so financially well-situated that you can afford extras with your meal. It’s all about impressions here. (For the record, this soup gave an okay impression. It was a little too heavy, but had a good flavor. It honestly could have been the entire meal, based on what I assume its calorie count was.)
Once the food arrives, feel free to say something clever like, “Well, let’s put aside all the shop talk for a moment while we enjoy lunch. How ’bout them Stillers?” This puts your clients at ease and lets them know that you were actually badmouthing Joe Flacco during the Steelers/Ravens game and *not* those profit reports that are all over your dining room table. (This is the ‘simply grilled chicken’ sandwich. It was simply… kind of boring. Not bad, but not really good. Fries were a little stale, but I imagine they would be delicious on a good day, since I love those skinny, salty fries.)
Michael was a little more impressed with his ground sausage sliders, which he devoured even faster than the Copy Machine On The Second Floor devours marketing reports. Making clever jokes about the malfunctioning of technological pieces of equipment in your office shows that you are funny AND interested in the day-to-day functioning of your job.
Finally, at a Classy Business Lunch, it’s important to tie things up with a review of the Pertinent Charts and Graphs. In our case, it was just an overly-ambitious calendar marked with dates we hoped to complete Achievements, but as far as anyone around us knew, these were Pie Charts About Company Growth or maybe something even more important, like the Office Football Pool.
I think it’s safe to say that even though I was wearing a T-shirt that says ‘That’s It, Fort Pitt’ under my suit jacket, everyone around us was convinced that we work in Really Important Offices. We came away from lunch feeling renewed, with a massive list of goals for the final month of the year. And honestly, what more could anyone want from a Classy Business Lunch?