How To Dine At a Conference

  1. Always aim to dine with a group exclusively comprising members of a superior social/research status class (big shots).
  2. Never dine with people who would actually like to dine with you. They are probably applying rule 1 above.
  3. When you see a group of people leaving to dine with their minds made up as to where they will go, ask to join them, then wait for more of your friends, and argue that you should dine some place else.
  4. If you are a big shot invite some students with you, suggest to dine at an extremely expensive restaurant. Make it vague in advance whether you will pay, but when the bill comes make it very clear that you will not. It can help to leave your wallet in your jacket, which you conveniently left wit the waiter. [This is a good test of future acolytes].
  5. When playing the lobby game never commit to joining a group without some let-out clause in case a bigger shot happens to come by.
  6. Always carry your jacket with you in case a big shot invites you along; nothing is worse than waiting to go up in the elevator to get your jacket and seeing a whole elevator full of big shots coming down.
  7. If you find yourself in a restaurant where at another table there is a collection of bigger shots that at yours, don’t feel shy about taking your plate to the other table and joining them.
  8. Enjoy the meal and treat your fellow diners in a manner that ignores their big-shot status; disagree with them if need be or ask them to explain stuff that you do not understand. If you are in a group of N people you should talk at most 1/N of the time.