Meetings etiquette: Your place or mine?

I had one of those days last week, where my first thought getting out of bed was, “I just have to get through today.” But I sort of brought it on myself.


I had one of those days last week, where my first thought getting out of bed was, “I just have to get through today.” But I sort of brought it on myself.

I had four meetings that day, which is a lot when the meetings are taking place all over town, and I’M the one driving to them all.

I was heading to my FOURTH meeting, when it hit me, “Why am I the ONE driving to see this person? This person is the ONE who wanted to meet ME!”

The first meeting I had was with an editor of a magazine, a woman who I had never met but had wanted to meet for a while. I asked HER to meet ME, so when she suggested a time and place, I accepted. The place she chose was across the street from her office, definitely convenient for her. Not so much for me.

But, since I’M the one who asked HER to meet ME, I said, “No problem. See you there!’

The second meeting was with my accountant. We both wanted to see each other, but since all my papers are in his office, I had to go to see him.

The third meeting was with a hotel PR woman. I accepted because – this is awful – but I knew she’d buy me lunch. I like the hotel and I like free food. So I didn’t mind meeting her at the hotel, because at least I was getting something out of it (free lunch/good connection.)

But the FOURTH meeting was with someone who had been asking to meet ME. I did want to meet her. I just didn’t really have the time to travel across town. The first time she asked to meet, I suggested an area I knew I was already going to be around. That area/time didn’t work for this person.

So this person sent me an e-mail asking if I could come down to their offices the following week. I agreed. Why? Because I wasn’t THINKING.

I certainly WAS thinking, while stuck in traffic, wondering where I’d find parking, how much parking would cost ME, why the heck I was going way out of my way to meet this person, when I wasn’t really getting anything out of the meeting and she was. Why hadn’t I said, “No, that place is not good for me. Why don’t you come to my house?” (Saving me the stress of traffic, parking, time spent in car, when I could have been working.)

I asked Louise Fox, an etiquette expert, from the her thoughts. If you’re having a meeting, or want to meet someone, who’s the one who should get of his or her butts?

1. So many people, she says, don’t think of the person they asked to meet. “They only think of what is convenient for them.”

2. Bottom line, says Fox, is that the “onus is on the person to make it convenient for their guest. IF they want to meet you, it should be convenient for YOU.”

3. Fox suggests saying politely that it’s not “convenient,” but make a SUGGESTION that works for you. Or at the very least, is convenient for the BOTH of you’

Obviously, if you’re going for an interview, you have to go to your potential employer. If you’re going for a facial, you have to go to the spa. If you’re asking for help from someone, you’ll go to them. But what if you’re both helping each other? Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Do you get off your butt when really the other person should?

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