I am not embarrassed to have celiac disease. Frustrated? You have no idea. But embarrassed? Not at all.
But when a prospective client wants to meet with you and asks you to meet him at an Italian restaurant, it poses a bit of a dilemma. This happened to me on Friday and our meeting is today. Business is business and money is money so it’s important to make a keen first impression. Now MOST people probably wouldn’t care if you had “special needs” when going out to eat. But when it’s someone you’ve never met, you just don’t know who you’re dealing with and you don’t want to come across as…high maintenance or weak. Think Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in the diner scene in “When Harry Met Sally”. Who would you rather be eating with out of those two?
So my options were: 1) Suck up to the client and meet him at the Italian restaurant and hope he’s a cool guy who gets it as I grill the waiter; 2) Cancel the meeting; or 3) Be honest up front and hope he’s flexible.
So which door did I choose?
We’re meeting at Starbucks in ninety minutes.
4 thoughts on “The celiac’s business lunch dilemma”
To me this is simple…be up front but don’t dwell…make it a matter of fact. I have MANY Kosher clients who let me know and then we move on. To me it’s never a sign of weakness UNLESS you apologize for it…which you never should.
“Hey, Italian sounds great, but don’t mind me when I grill the waiter. I have a gluten allergy. Now about that web site….”
Sound advice my friend. Perhaps it was more of an internal issue with me, just not wanting to “deal with it”. I took the easy way out. And the meeting went fine.
It’s a tough one – I am sometimes hesitant to make a big deal out of it. But I try to remember, it’s my health I am dealing with and have to be careful. If the other person doesn’t understand, it’s a huge opportunity to teach and spread awareness.
I like the attitude Steve…