Jump to content
  • Sign Up
0
misserinmog

Professional Lunch Invitation--what Do I Do?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I hope this is the right place to put this request for advice. If not, please forgive me, moderators :) I'm a newbie.

I was just recently invited to a lunch meeting with an adviser for a graduate program I'm planning on applying to. I want to make a good first impression, so I'm really nervous about this meeting. I wish I could say I was just nervous about the professional aspects of this lunch, but I'm almost more worried about the food stuff. This meeting will be in DC, and I'm from the west coast. I'm completely unfamiliar with the area, I have no idea what I would suggest for a lunch spot if I was asked for a suggestion. Even worse, I have a feeling he will suggest a place since the goal of the meeting is acquaint me with the area and with the department. LOL. Good intentions, right? Is there a polite way for me to say "gluten makes me sick, let's not eat lunch"? Please, help! I'd like to get back to being nervous about academic stuff instead of gluten stuff. :D

Thanks

-Erin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being DC, I would imagine he's come into contact with more than his share of people with restrictions (dietary or otherwise). I would simply state that you have dietary restrictions (without going into what type and why) and suggest a cuisine that's Celiac friendly - such as Ethiopian, of which there are TONS of restaurants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I definitely think you should go to lunch. A couple of things pop to mind to help deal with this.

One, you can look on the univ.'s web page or call the admissions office or the events office and ask about casual lunch places in the area. Often they even have information about vegetarian friendly or allergy friendly places that have been put together for event planners for conferences, etc. (if you were off to Dallas, Boston, Toronto, Edinburgh, or Philadelphia, I might be able to dig some of those sheets up even).

Two, honestly, if this person isn't friendly, knowledgeable or willing to be educated, and willing to work with you on this issue, it's a bad sign about it as a grad program. There was one place I worked that was dreadful about accommodation and i wish I'd known that first. I really think - like PattyBoots - you can just say you have dietary issues, so anything but a pizza place or sub shop would work great.

Three, he/she probably is open to the concept that you might be vegetarian or vegan - so probably has a few ideas about places to try - most likely within walking distance. I did job interviews while on a very strict diet and I was terrified but everyone was incredibly nice. Some other kind of places that might be easy to handle - sushi and mexican. Also - if you don't want to risk it - suggest starbucks and get coffee/snack - starbucks now has gluten-free cake :)

I'm a recent phd and (now) asst prof and I was pretty nervous about this kind of thing when I was first diagnosed. The first conference I went to after diagnosis, going to dinner with some major figures in my field, I was pretty anxious. Luckily, no one suggested Italian, and I just spoke quietly to the waiter right after he took the drink orders about what kinds of possibilities might work (naked fish, naked steak...). It actually turned into a fantastic meal - professionally but also in terms of food - as the waiter was amazing and so was the chef. In fact, they substituted in this wonderful brussel sprouts dish (I know, brussel sprouts!?!) that those of us at the dinner still remember 2 years later! I haven't been to a restaurant yet that I couldn't find something to eat.

Good luck and report back!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are generally pretty safe ordering a salad, hold the croutons and dressing (have a small container of dressing in your purse, and even some crackers if you need) and they can often put on that some naked grilled chicken or shrimp. In fact, they may even have gluten free salad dressing (oil and vinegar). You can often get by without even drawing attention to yourself if this is your goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0

×