This post is labeled under Personal Development
Are you one of those who feel unease when setting up a date, gathering, or simply throwing a treat. As experts say, man is a “social animal”. The need to interact with other human beings (other than family) is a part of life you can’t avoid.
The whole point of making a plan is for others to enjoy the camaraderie once you are given the chance to host an event. Not necessarily a-different-kind-of-experience type, bringing pleasure to a group (or a date) is enough to prove yourself worthy on the opportunity given to you.
First rule: Plan
I ate once at a not-so-popular diner one evening. The place is simple, the food was presentably organized, and reasonably priced. An idea came to me to invite my friends and try the place out. During those time, I was still attending a week-long seminar and was required to put up a treat the next day for our group lunch. I thought my problem was solved…
I asked the cashier if they have branch near to where our seminar is being held. She can’t give me a straight answer then for the information I have asked. I looked it up in the internet for the branches they have nearby.
Because I was not sure of the place and the time of its opening, considering the distance and the one-hour lunch break given to us, it would be irrational to push with my plans. (Hmm, first attempt failed?)
Second rule: Have Plan B
The first plan was not possible. I looked for an alternative. The diner must be near to the seminar venue so we won’t be stressed once we go back.
Next Dilemna: Fast-food is a no-no. It should not be expensive; it should be different than the usual food we eat; and everyone should have fun!
Given all the choices available, boom! Italian restaurant? Hey, is this place pricey? Let me check first their menu. What are these foods? You can’t even pronounce it and seems expensive. Oh, well! Why not? I’ll just use charm when all else fail.
Ultimate rule: Have fun
Lunch time. I asked the group on where they like to eat. We’re four of us. I said the place. Someone objects that one from our group does not eat pasta. At the end, there was a consensus: everyone agreed to my suggestion. (Of course they would! Did they forget I was the one throwing the treat?)
I asked everyone if they had already checked out the place. Someone mentioned one or two of the few times. But to the other two, not yet (me included)!
At the place, I waiter gave us the menu:
ME: (addressing the waiter) Hey, how are you doing? Here’s a thing. I’m on a limited budget right now but I want my friends to enjoy our time here. Can you suggest a setup for us to have a nice time? It should be the best as if you were the one who invited your friends over. We should have your famous dessert. That should be included in the setup.
WAITER: Sir, you can try __________. I will serve your dessert after you finish the main course.
ME: (addressing the group) Any thoughts on what he said? (Someone added a few changes on the recommended menu). Ok, good to go!
It took a while before the food was served. While waiting, the group happily talked about the bloopers observed during the seminar. On how the lecturer handled the situation to cover up the errors in a discrete way.
The food was served and the conversation continued. One of us suggested of what we could implement the inputs of the seminar once we go back to the workplace. The dessert was served. I silently observed the reactions of each one if they enjoyed our experience in the place. Everyone seemed happy.
We paid the bill. The waiter gave us a 500-peso bill insisting that we paid more. We returned the 500-peso and informed the waiter that we are sure we paid close to the exact amount and the money was not ours. We left the place 20 minutes after 1PM.
“Oh, are we late for the seminar?”, I asked everyone.
Funny thing was almost all of the seminar attendees left the food places within the area at the same time. We were laughing with our lungs out going back to the venue.
It is sometimes stressful to get things done just to impress a date. Thoughts of what they will after if you failed to make a mark because you are ill-prepared. Here are some tips:
- Try new experience. The element of surprise losses it essence if you stick with the tried-tested formula. Because you don’t want to commit a mistake, you are hesitant to leave your comfort zone. You can turn the tables if you want. Instead of you being stressed out from the preparation, let your date have all the anxiety of guessing of what would be the next to expect. Let the fun begin; go with the flow.
- Ask. Because you are the host of the event, you are expected of what food you suppose to order. Initiate the idea of what should you order. Have you noticed I checked diners’ websites first before the event? Do not forget that the experts on the place are the people who are operating it (waiters, food handlers, manager). Ask them what is the “specialty of the house” to have a pleasurable dining experience. Don’t be bothered of what your date will think or the waiter you are asking for suggestions. You’ll get their admiration for being candid and honest; of course, be confident while asking. Just tell them of what you want and people are happy to help and create also an impression about what they can do. Have faith on people.
- Listen attentively. Most of the people are eager to tell their side of story. A few of them forget that productive conversation takes place if there are two roles played: one who talks and the other listens. Let others shine especially people who seldom talk. Do follow-up questions. Assume the role of a listener. People will not forget those who listens and how good they feel relating the story.
- Resist temptations. One positive experience may be ruined by a negative factor during the event. Avoid topics that may degrade others. Interrupt with wit if someone tries to insert a topic that may malign other people. Look for a more productive topic.
Did I mention that my money was not enough before the treat? I already borrowed few bucks to a colleague before reaching the place. To think of situation we went through, I may not even have to owe anyone should I accepted the 500-pesos returned to us. Again, this is a temptation that may ruin the experience and you should pass on this with flying colors.