By Jeff Davis
April 3, 2000, 7:00am PDT
I’m disgusted. I’m writing this column minutes after leaving the scene of one of the mostinsulting and unprofessional spectacles I’ve ever witnessed in a business environment. Whether you’re a trainer in a formal setting or just making an in-house presentation to share some information, here’sone rule for instructing or presenting that you should always remember: Don’t eat in class.
Make time for lunch, Bozo
Here’s what happened. I left work to attend what was supposed to be aone-hour seminar starting at 2:00 P.M. When I arrived, there was a line outside the classroom door because the previous session was running late. Strike one.
When my group got to go in the classroom, Isaw on a desk one of those fold-over, clear plastic lunch boxes that contained a half-eaten salad, French dressing, and about half a sandwich. I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s tacky. You’d think theinstructor would throw away his trash.” Strike two.
But it wasn’t trash. After we were seated, the instructor picks up the box and says, “You’ll have to forgive me. I haven’t finished my lunch yet.”And, instead of teaching, he takes a big bite of salad and starts chomping on it. Strike three.
I wanted to shout out, “Sorry, dude, we don’t forgive you!” I realize that a person must eat, but Ithought this guy was way out of line. I didn’t pay to get into this little seminar, and maybe that’s why the instructor felt he could afford to be so rude, crude, and professionally unacceptable.
Heshould have made time to eat his lunch outside of the official seminar schedule. He should not have subjected us to the disgusting sights and sounds of his chewing.
Put food in its place
Here’smy rule: No food allowed in my classroom. Period. I don’t want to hear any crinkling, scraping, chewing, swallowing, or pouring. If it’s hot or the students request it, I occasionally allow soft...