« Coaching Coaching Teams| Main | Putting on your Business Face »

Buy somebody lunch

| | Comments (9)

There's a guy I worked with four years ago who always bought me lunch. It was a large brokerage firm, and I was on and off-site for about a year. I probably saw him 30 or 40 times, and we went out to eat about a dozen times.

I never wanted him to buy me lunch, that's just the way he was. Wherever we were -- buying coffee, eating lunch, picking up a pack of gum -- he always insisted on paying for it.

I was thinking about him when I read this article on money and happiness.

money can buy us some happiness, but only if we spend our money properly. Instead of buying things, we should buy memories...Money spent on experiences - vacations or theater tickets or meals out - makes you happier than money spent on material goods...Why? For one thing, Van Boven and Gilovich argue, experiences are inherently more social - when we vacation or eat out or go to the movies it's usually with other people, and we're liable also to relive the experience when we see those people again. And past experiences can work as a sort of social adhesive even with people who didn't participate with us, providing stories and conversational fodder in a way that a new watch or speedboat rarely can.

Funny thing is, I still remember that guy. Think the world of him. He probably spent a hundred bucks on me over the course of a year -- god knows how much he spends on people in general because he's that way with everybody -- and for that hundred bucks he has a friend for life.

And we had a good time!

Years later, I still remember him fondly, and remember our lunches fondly. Everybody that I run into that knows this guy likes him and thinks the world of him. His friends are almost like a fan club.

That's a good lesson for me today: whenever I can, buy somebody lunch.

9 Comments

Cool

Is he Asian? LOL

That's the oldest way to impress people...spend money on them but you end up with sycophants and not 'friends'. I would rather have someone be my 'fan' for who I am rather than my money.

The but about buying experiences makes some sense but then even the act of buying 'things' can be a memorable experience like say buying your first car with your parents or a new house with your wife.

Yeah I think you're missing the point, Amit.

He didn't buy people lunch to manipulate them. The purpose isn't some kind of trick to impress people.

He bought lunch because it made him happy to do so. The other stuff was just icing on the cake.

I can understand a person feeling satisfied after buying lunch for someone who couldn't afford it but in your case it just seems that the guy was insecure about people liking him and this was one way for him to make sure they do...

Lets say he bought you lunch the first day and the next but then he stopped would you still remember him so fondly ? I guess not... I may sound too judgmental but this how I feel about it.

@Amit, Don't underestimate the potential of human beings. Generally speaking, we're pretty selfish and arrogant. Being generous is, unfortunately, the exception and not the rule. There's no reason to be suspicious anytime someone breaks the "rules" because it doesn't always imply there's an hidden motive.

I have a similar memory of meeting Eric Wittman when I started at Macromedia. We happened to be near the coffee cart, and he bought me a latte and a muffin. He, like I, genuinely enjoyed creating a memorable event. It's the texture of life. It comes from being happy, and wanting share a positive experience. It shows in your work and in the skip in your step. It's a good reminder: flex your giving muscle, and not just fiscally. It's easier than we think to find ways to give a little. It feels good, and it greases everyone's skids. Good on you for reminding us to notice, Daniel.

Amit you don't get it. Generosity feels GOOD. I have friends who always picked up the cheque - for decades. Sure I paid a few times a year, but the point was that they were not going to not spend time with me because I couldn't pay my way. I also have an acquaintance who is a billionaire. It is impossible to compete with that, but it sure feels good when I have the opportunity to say "Thank You" by picking up the tab when I can afford it!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DanielBMarkham published on August 28, 2009 5:23 PM.

Coaching Coaching Teams was the previous entry in this blog.

Putting on your Business Face is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Social Widgets





Share Bookmark this on Delicious

Recent Comments

  • Mankhool: Amit you don't get it. Generosity feels GOOD. I have read more
  • BalsamiqVal: I have a similar memory of meeting Eric Wittman when read more
  • Jaisen: @Amit, Don't underestimate the potential of human beings. Generally speaking, read more
  • Amit Nihal: I can understand a person feeling satisfied after buying lunch read more
  • DanielBMarkham: Yeah I think you're missing the point, Amit. He didn't read more
  • Amit Nihal: That's the oldest way to impress people...spend money on them read more
  • Doug: Is he Asian? LOL read more
  • Vijay Dev: Nice one! read more
  • Randy Ayn: Cool read more

Information you might find handy
(other sites I have worked on)





Recently I created a list of books that hackers recommend to each other -- what are the books super hackers use to help guide them form their own startups and make millions? hn-books might be a site you'd like to check out.
On the low-end of the spectrum, I realized that a lot of people have problems logging into Facebook, of all things. So I created a micro-site to help folks learn how to log-in correctly, and to share various funny pictures and such that folks might like to share with their friends. It's called (appropriately enough) facebook login help