When you go to a restaurant and are offered the choice between sitting in the main dining room or in the private dining section, and if you are on business with partners or clients, I think you would choose private dining. Well, let me tell you not to let your expectations get ahead of you.
As it turns out, I was in just this situation not long ago. I was out of town with some business partners. Someday, I may tell you about the business, but not now. Anyway, we were at a resort and going into one of the many restaurants, which was somewhat crowded. It was at that moment we were offered the “private dining” area. Naturally, we felt that our appearance (suits and ties) made us private dining worthy. We accepted the offer with a sense of entitlement. It is uncomfortable to admit that we probably looked condescendingly at the “ordinary folk” as we strolled to the private dining area.
To our surprise, the private dining room looked a lot like the regular dining area with about as many tables. However, we were encouraged by the fact that only one other table was being used. These were obviously other important people and I briefly thought “perhaps we should network”. We ordered some drinks and in the time it took to get our orders delivered, the room began to fill up. Of course, a big resort must have a lot of important people needing private dining. It wasn’t until the families with children began to arrive that my hopes for a quiet dinner began to fade. Initially, I thought that these may be important children. You know, maybe child actors or something, but when they began to run between the tables chasing each other and at times bumping into our chairs, I knew all was lost. The adults with them smiled at us and explained that the children were cute and had a lot of energy. We smiled back but I was afraid to say what I was thinking. Even the wait staff did not seem apologetic (this oversite weighed heavily on their tip at the end). In the end we left, no less for wear, but no better either.
Let this be a lesson to you as it has been to me. It has been said that as you ascend the ladder of success, be careful who you step on going up, for these will be the same people you will meet on the way down. I tell you this now because as we left the “private dining” room we had to walk past the same tables of “ordinary folks” we passed on the way in.