Hosting arrangements and expense accounts

So the convention when you meet someone who has traveled to your city for whatever reason is that the host pays. It seems to be a result of the commenting that you offer food and drink to someone who visits you. So meeting someone even in a restaurant in your city is like you hosting them at a meet and so you pay for it.

And this is a convention that I’ve followed for a while now. If someone’s visiting Bangalore and I meet them here I pay for the meeting. If I’m travelling and I meet someone and they insist on paying, I let them. It’s all part of the convention.

What turns this around, however, is corporate expense accounts. I just met an old friend for drinks and dinner, along with a few other old friends all of who stay in Bangalore. Now we had met because this guy from Gurgaon was visiting, and convention demanded that rather than him paying, all of us together would pick up the tab.

But then it turned out that this guy was in town on work, and hence on a corporate expense account, and so the dinner expenses would be taken by his employer! So when he pot in his corporate card and insisted on paying, and we protested, he said “next time any of you is in Gurgaon you can return the favour”.

It’s all quite bizarre! The conventions have been completely overturned! All Thanks to corporate expense accounts!


I just spoke to the sponsor of tonight’s drinks and he has confirmed that he sponsored them out of his own goodwill and that our drinks were not sponsored by his employer. The error is regretted

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