It's true what they say: There are no free lunches

Posted on 04 Feb 2010 at 2:27pm

… At least not in Uptown.

See, I was invited by a publicist to a press event at an Uptown gallery — oh, let’s call it a “foundation” for the hell of it — to preview an art exhibit by a famous gay painter. The event was scheduled for today in the middle of my workday (which is also when the paper has to go to the printer: 1 p.m.), which made it kinda inconvenient, but the opening deserved to be covered. And anyway, I reasoned, there was a benefit — and I’m reading directly from the invitation here — “A light lunch will be served.”

Now my day doesn’t revolve around who gives me lunch, but when I’m rushing to get the paper out by noon so I can get to a 1 p.m. event, finding lunch waiting for me is a great relief and time-saver. It can save me woofing down McDonald’s on the car on my way there and means I might actually have energy at the end of long week to get the interview done and done well. And I, as a bright-eyed and trusting journalist, assume people keep their word.

When will I learn?

There was no lunch, light or else. Not even the offer of a cup of water. And never — never — an apology or explanation for why the lunch wasn’t around. The result? On the way back to my office, I ended up woofing down McDonald’s.

Look, I don’t care all that much about a sandwich from Jason’s Deli. But where is the courtesy and professionalism associated with actually doing what you  say you will do? Those buzzards at the publicist’s office were either liars or incompents — there is no other alternative. Why would they want to be either? And more importantly, why would they want to broadcast to a journalist their untrustworthiness and/or incompetence? Don’t they know I have to blog about something today? Might as well be this.

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