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Small Ethical Dilemma

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Small Ethical Dilemma

George Lynch | Feb 2, 2001 06:44 PM

Here's the scenario:

You've made some new friends (or rediscovered old ones), and they invite you to dinner at their current favorite restaurant. They regard you as very knowledgeable about restaurants and such, and you sense that they are showing some vulnerability (and courage) by taking you to their favorite place. After all, what if you don't like it?

And that's what happens. Shortly into the meal, you realize you really don't care for the place. You find it to be pretentious, the food is pedestrian despite menu descriptions that suggest Julia Child herself is in the kitchen, service is adequate at best. You can't understand how your friends would come to enjoy such a place and then you think, maybe this is a bad night and they recognize that the place is not on its game. But, alas, no, they think it's up to par, just fine. And you KNOW they are eagerly awaiting your opinion.

So, what do you say when they ask you the question you've been dreading? Do you tell them, yeah, I love the place, I can see why you guys are crazy about it? Or do you tell them that the place really isn't very good and here's why?

So, let's say you cop out and tell them you really like it, primarily because you don't want to hurt their feelings and you know your negative vote will pain them. Then, the next time you are in their company, you all run into some mutual friends, and your dinner hosts tell them how much you liked this place. And based on that, your mutual friends say they will try the place.

How would you handle that?

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