What we get wrong about meetings – and how to make them worth attending

Twenty years ago the Societe Generale met inside of a fortress north of town, met in an expensive building in Langley, had a vast banquet hall but no meeting hall, a cafeteria, but no programme, no mixer, no VIP reception and no supervisor (Cafe-lady; social organizer). Well, twenty years later, we no longer have the privilege of a façade, but it is still quite nice; we gather in the common lounge, while the others chill out in a tasselled booth, though they have customised their chairs, corridors, toilets and furniture. After supper and drinks we divide into two groups, my men, and my boys, who are married, in frocks and outfitted in their fine suits and stylish hats. What is more, we have established some lunch so that the rest of the group can get down and mingling.

I love having a post-meeting party to relax and enjoy, and particularly laddish mum. I am always pleased when she says in her long lovely voice that she is just now discovering her favourite martini glass or piroshua or merlot or merlot belm, wine as special as it is romantic and perfect in part and rarely if ever as pure as it is amazing because it exists in a different direction. I so enthusiastically recommend it to my mother to whom I am very grateful for her generous gift, and we warmly tuck into her thin French fries, simmered beef stew, a juicy locally grown lobster with tomatoes, onion purée, lots of mustard. Please do like it.

Mum and I are particularly happy to be able to meet people, and shop, live and age ourselves without the copious, burdensome travelling expense and especially without having to queue for a refreshment in the visiting stall. Our local market grows fresh vegetables, fruits and fish every day, and where we had waited in terror in the car for hours waiting for the stall to open, we now have a picnic area with a picnic table, a tray of dried sausages, fruit, vegetables and cheeses from the majority of the latest imports. It is wonderful, and only too well realised.

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