Summer Associate Series: Business Lunch Etiquette

The Best Business Lunch Etiquette Tips for Interns | CorporetteThis week, in our Summer Associate Series*: what are some of the best business lunch etiquette tips that interns should know about — for business lunches, office cocktail parties, and more?  Readers already working: what are the biggest dining etiquette tips you wish interns and SAs knew? Which are the biggest blunders you see (from both the guys and the gals)? Summer associates and interns: what are your biggest areas of confusion?

(*Name aside, we hope this series will be helpful to ANY intern, whether you’re a law student or another woman interning in a conservative office for the summer.) Check out our previous post on general summer associate style, what to wear for the creative summer associate events, and general business etiquette tips.

Here are some of the best dining etiquette questions we’ve covered in the past — readers, what have we missed?

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Healthy Snacks for the Office

Healthy Snacks for the Office | CorporetteWe’ve talked about healthy snacks to keep at the office before, but since it is the season for healthy eating resolutions, I thought now might be a great time to talk again about what your favorite snacks are — what do you bring with you? What do you keep at the office?

When I was working in Big Law I kept a banker’s box on the window stuffed full of a variety of snacks — when I was packing my office to switch jobs, a supervisor came into the office and I offered her some, since I was just throwing away a lot of them — we’d worked closely together for four years and she couldn’t get over how she’d always just thought it was a box of docs, like all the other boxes in our offices…  In those days I ate far too many 100-calorie Nabisco treats, but these days, I’m a big fan of: [Read more...]

What Not to Order at a Business Lunch

how to eat a sandwichWhat foods should you avoid ordering at a business lunch — and are sandwiches among them? Reader M has a legitimate question, but some of the Google results I found on a preliminary search made me laugh out loud (including the brilliant, if outdated, Tumblr blog, 500 Still Frames of Joe Biden Eating a Sandwich).  Here’s her Q:

What’s the proper procedure for eating a sandwich at a business lunch? Hands or knife and fork? Or should you avoid this altogether? I think you should follow the lead of your guests, but wanted to get a second opinion.

We’ve talked a lot about  different aspects of this — from our top tips for business lunches, to how to stick to your diet at a business lunch (even a gluten-free diet), and even whether you can take leftovers from a business lunch — but I don’t think we’ve explicitly talked about what to avoid ordering.  I’ll be honest — my gut reaction to Reader M’s question was that this verges on the “we’re thinking too much about this” side of things (although I was amused by the prospect of titling the post, How to Eat a Sandwich), but it’s a legitimate question — sandwiches can get super messy, with unexpected bites.  I’ve been to way too many catered group lunches (particularly as a lawyer!) where the only option was sandwiches, though, so I don’t think there’s anything inherently unprofessional about picking up a sandwich and eating it.  Still, unless we’re talking about an open face sandwich (or something obviously messy, like a drowned sandwich), a knife and fork seems like a bit much to me.  So for my $.02, I’d say to pick it up with your hands and take the smallest, most delicate bites you can — chew thoroughly and repeat.

It got me thinking, though — what things would you never order at a business lunch, readers?  [Read more...]

Business Lunch Tips — And Other Awkward-to-Impart Knowledge

business lunch etiquetteOur “Top 10 Things to Know About a Business Lunch” article is one of our top posts here at Corporette. I still remember the day I wrote it — the blog was about a week old, and I was still (anonymously) figuring out content. (Both the TPS report and the Suit of the Week were things I added at the absolute last minute!) I went to a largeish group lunch with summer associates (maybe 10 of us?) and while no one acted egregiously, I remembered just how hard it was for me to learn that business etiquette stuff, and how awkward it was to try to impart that knowledge to summer associates. “To the blog!” I thought.

So I’m curious, readers — what are YOUR top three business lunch tips that you wish you could teach to all the young’uns at your company or firm this summer? What other tips do you think are important from a career and professionalism standpoint, but are awkward to talk about with younger colleagues?

Pictured: Fork!, originally uploaded to Flickr by Joshua Rappeneker.

Easy Weeknight Dinners (and Kat’s Top Five Lazy Dinners)

Crockpot Kahlua Pork, originally uploaded to Flickr by Chung Chu.For busy women, preparing dinner all too often falls into the “takeout” category. (I’ll admit it: I totally lived off Seamless Web during my law firm years.) But preparing your own meals at home can be so much better — not only do you know exactly what’s in the dinner, it’s almost always cheaper and healthier to make it yourself. We’ve talked about how the crockpot is amazing for quick, easy dinners, my best tips on how to freeze food without a vacuum sealer, as well as great grab-and-go foods for snacking and lunches, but we haven’t totally hit on Reader K’s question before:

I’m starting my first biglaw job next week and I’m looking for a few easy workweek dinner ideas. My husband and I try to avoid eating takeout more than 1X per week, but I’m not sure how I’m going to manage cooking dinner every night with my new schedule. Do you have any advice for making quick and healthy meals during the week?

I can’t wait to hear what readers will say!  I know we’ve talked about the crockpot before, but I really do have to stress how great it is — you prepare food in the morning when you still have energy and the best intentions, and you come home to a dinner that’s usually ready to be served up.  (And crockpot liners make clean-up super easy, too.) I have a few other ideas for easy weeknight dinners, and I’ll also list some of my absolute easiest recipes below — I’m a totally lazy cook!  (Pictured.) [Read more...]

A Few Thoughts on Hormones… (Or: How to Fight The Crazy)

Originally uploaded to Flickr by emersonquinn.This is a bit of a ranty post, so I’ll start with the questions: do you feel that hormones affect you? What are your best tips for controlling or preventing the symptoms of PMS, pregnancy, or menopause?

I’ve already ranted about watches and cuffed pants, which kind of sets us up well for today’s rant: about hormones. You see, I’m weaning off breastfeeding, which means I’m kind of a psycho hose beast right now. And it’s gotten me thinking about how it’s really unfair for women, because throughout our lives we’re socked with major hormonal changes: [Read more...]