My job involves me visiting the offices of several different customers, often the whole day. Usually, for lunchtime, I either bring my own food, buy something from a local store close to the customer's office. I recently read this question, which reminded me of how somewhat recently the customer invited me for lunch while I was working there. The meal costed about 25€, which was more than I would have been willing to spend on my own lunch, but less than what I would consider "lavish".
Could this possibly be interpreted as an attempt at bribery? Could it have negative connotations for my career for accepting the offer?
Some further context about my situation:
- I have no say in which projects are done or not done.
- I have no say in who is assigned to which projects.
- Them inviting me for lunch did not impact the quality of my work.
- The anti-bribery policy at my employer explicitly forbids me from accepting gifts that could be "improper" or in cash.