Why do you think that when the wait person places the check on the table, the check is face down?
And that the person who picks up the check makes a point to keep the amount of the check out of conversation?
The two worlds of social norms* and market norms** collide when payment is offered for something that is part of our social life.
Were you even aware that there were vast differences in the way we handle business situations as opposed to social situations?
When you are at a dinner or social situation in a restaurant or coffee shop, even in the context of a business meeting, placing a price tag on the event, which is normally a social event, is a violation of how we handle social situations.
If we place a dollar amount on that social situation it becomes more of a business transaction, and people get very uncomfortable if the two areas are mixed.
You can still pick up the check, just be low key and never mention the amount.
You can get ahead in this life and I can help.
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*social norms = “friendly requests people make of each other.” “…provides pleasure for both (parties)…does not require reciprocity not immediately required.”
**market norms = “wages, prices, rents…” “imply comparable benefits and prompt payments.”