I walked into a restaurant for an early morning breakfast meeting. The restaurant opened at 7:30am and there were five people already in the restaurant. Almost simultaneously, they all looked up wondering if I was the one there to meet them.I looked towards the table where I expected to see my friend. He had a favorite table and there were two people sitting there but he was not one of them. I then scanned the room trying not to make eye contact with the people who were still starring at me.
My friend was not there so I decided to take a table and wait. As I sat, another person came entered the restaurant and the starring began again. He did not see who he was looking for so he took a table. Seated at the table next to him was someone on his cell phone. He then asked "are you so and so". He responded yes. The two then connected.
As I waited, I realized I was witnessing the business equivalent of a blind date. I have had many such meetings throughout my career. They have ranged from meeting with job candidates to meeting a new boss. These meetings are normal occurrences and they are interesting rituals. I don't know if there is another way to conduct business. Los Angeles is a city where people want to be seen except of course, when they do not.