I saw this picture today, in which one of the officials has a platter of cold cuts next to him during an official (presumably hours long) meeting.
I remembered the meetings of the good old days, especially those between people from two companies. The host company would prepare a platter of cold cuts (as sandwiches) or pretzels or other finger food. I was in this situation both for day-long meetings (although lunch was provided separately) or in 2 hour meetings.
The questions are:
- When is it polite for one to eat from the platter.
- How much is it polite to eat?
- Is it impolite to not eat at all?
- Does anything change in the case of online meetings? - if the people are connecting to the meeting from their own computer, is it impolite to temporarily turn the camera and microphone off while eating?
The last 3 times, I had one piece of what was on the table after the host asked a second time that we eat, underlining that the food is free (it is invariably the same joke).