Thursday, December 03, 2009

Let Them Eat Pizza

Inspired by a tangent in yesterday's post/comments and feeling that I have not previously delved in sufficient detail into the topic of Women's Mentoring Pizza Lunches, other than this attempt last year, I shall elaborate on this topic today. I shall do so by asking myself FAQ and providing the answers I give when asked these in real life:

What are these mentoring pizza lunches? Why are you mentoring pizza and/or women?

It is not uncommon for FSPs and other professional women who are invited as visiting speakers to another university to have an informal lunchtime discussion with students and postdocs (and others) about life/career issues. In some cases these mentoring sessions are a major motivating factor in the invitation to visit and sometimes they are an add-on feature to an otherwise routine visit by an invited professor who just happens to be female.

Are these only for women or can male persons attend as well?

Whatever my hosts arrange is fine with me. Most typically, anyone can come, but male persons almost never do (see related anecdote about men feeling excluded when all/most speakers at a professional event are female). Perhaps if male visitors were invited to talk about life/career issues as well, it would become more natural for anyone to attend these lunches.

I recall visiting only a few places where the lunches were specifically restricted to women. In at least one of these places, there were major problems in the department with male professor/female student interactions and the women who organized the lunch did not want these men to show up. That was a very tense place with issues for which I could provide no real help, but we had a very constructive discussion that seemed to provide comfort, if not confidence, to some of the women.

What do you talk about and/or what are you asked about?

The Big 3 are: (1) my career path, (2) when I had a child relative to my career path, and (3) how my husband and I managed to get jobs in the same place.

Do you have to eat pizza?

In my experience, 97% of these lunches involve the eating of pizza in a room in the host department. Also in my experience, these lunches typically involve my watching other people eat while I talk.

Do you enjoy doing these or are they a burden and/or humiliating because MSPs don't do these?

I enjoy them. I meet a lot of interesting people and we talk about important things. I think these mentoring sessions used to be more essential when there were fewer female students and postdocs, but I get asked to do just as many of them now as I did 10+ years ago.

These days, the mentoring lunches and the specific designation of women visitors as a distinct category from male speakers might be counter-productive in some ways. Even better would be if there were recognition that visiting male speakers might have interesting things to say about life/career, although I admit that it boggles the mind to envision certain Distinguished Professors being asked to do a pizza lunch with students and muse about their personal lives.

I once visited a university as a Distinguished Woman Speaker and found that the male students weren't comfortable talking to me about research. When I tried to talk to one male PhD student -- whose adviser had specifically arranged for me to meet in the hopes that I would give him some input on his work -- he asked me "Aren't you just hear to talk to the girls?". I replied "If you are unable to explain your research, I would be happy to ask your adviser to arrange for me to spend this time speaking with someone else."

I most prefer to have lunch with a diverse group of students and/or postdocs and talk about a wide range of topics, from research-related to career-related, but I certainly don't mind doing the FSP-as-role-model thing if requested to do so.


Ms.PhD said...

I have just one question. Do you think a pizza could be a professor if given sufficient mentoring?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that you do these and I attend them whenever I get the chance on my campus.

But you're right. Men don't do formal group mentoring Q&A sessions on career path. They talk about research over pizza; and if you want mentoring, you better get invited to dinner or drinks or strip clubs.

Hope said...

These days, the mentoring lunches and the specific designation of women visitors as a distinct category from male speakers might be counter-productive in some ways.

Yeah, I tend to think so. We don’t have these “mentoring lunches” in my dept. Where I’m employed, we have a group devoted to the discussion of women’s issues in the workplace (or rather, issues that affect everyone but are traditionally seen as “women’s issues”). Men routinely attend these meetings (we invite speakers of both genders), and I like it that way. Especially when the director of our lab shows up.

Rob1606 said...

I'm curious what this male PhD student replied? His reaction seems so foreign to me. Makes me wonder what field you are in :-)

Male Theoretical CS not-yet-prof

Jamie Bougher said...

Thanks for posting this! After reading yesterday's post, I considered asking you this very question, as we are having a colloquium this speaker to talk to us about diversity in our science, why it's good, and how research demonstrates that women face actual bias.

We were planning to have students from our newly-formed "Society of Women in [Research Field]" go to lunch with the speaker, and I didn't want her to feel like she was asked to come solely to "role model" for our female students.

My confidence is restored!

a physicist said...

When I was an undergrad, I saw my female friend in a room and went in to say hi, and Vera Rubin (extremely famous astronomer) was getting ready for her pizza lunch with students (all female students). Vera Rubin twisted my arm and convinced me (male) to stay in the room and join them for lunch, along with a couple of my other male friends. It was extremely interesting, 100% discussing life issues / women in science issues. I have always been glad that she convinced me to stay. I even asked one question. :-)

I have occasionally gotten to have lunches with students when I give talks at places. I always enjoy them. In one place, I remember that I gave my talk and then the entire audience (students+faculty) trooped over to the faculty club for lunch. The faculty were assuming that I would sit with them, but I asked if it was OK to sit with the students. I did so and we had a great time, discussing both science + life issues with students of both major genders.

gmail guy said...

Can I go off on a tangent as well and ask a question?

I remember someone had mentioned about gmail ids in older posts. I personally think the university's internal email system is absolutely awful. I always use gmail for my work.

As such, I send out email messages to my students regarding the class from my gmail as well. However, many of the students also agree with my views on the university email and use gmail as well.

But gmail has this irritating feature of automatically adding other gmail users I email (or receive mail from) to my contacts list.

What worries me is that these students can now see my status messages, which often involve explicit sexual wording, political ranting, foul language and such other things as I would never share with those other than my friends. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?

BB said...

The last time I had to do one of those lunches it was a religious fast day for me. They ate pizza while I watched. For some reason, the grad students thought thast asking me questions was out of bounds.

Anonymous said...

The department I did my PhD in had a pizza (or other foodstuff) lunch every week with whomever the seminar speaker was (male or female). The only exception was if the seminar speaker was from our own institution (then a seminar, but no lunch).

Both male and female grad students and postdocs attended. Both male and female speakers tended to discuss mostly career and mentoring issues, and science only if the students/postdocs asked follow-up questions from the seminar. Yes, even the distinguished old white d00ds did the mentoring thing, although for both men and women some seemed more comfortable than it than others.

So I can't relate to the scenario you describe...did I just happen to land in an incredibly forward-thinking department, or...?

amydove said...

Where I went to grad school we started this exact kind of thing, only we took the speaker to happy hour for a better environment for talking. The free alcohol also did a good job of bringing in some male students as well. We started with women, but later on we had some male speakers do the happy hours too. We just had to do some reconnaissance beforehand to see who would be a good choice (for the men and some of the women too). We also changed the name from women's happy hours to family balance happy hours. After a while it gets a bit repetitive, but it is a great way to hear ideas and get to know the speakers well.

Anonymous said...


Next thing Ms. PhD will be complaining about some special success mantra a male postdoc received because he happened to be in the men's room peeing alongside the PI. And we will have Ms. PhD demanding that 10 foot by 10 foot steel dividers be installed between urinals in the men's room to prevent such information from being passed on.

There is a lot that could be said about MsPhD's negative attitude and false sense of victimhood. If you ask me, this is the main reason she is a failure; but then why would you ask me. That's just my 2 cents worth.

And there is no reason any male scientist should have to change his/her personal habits just because some crazed female almost ex-scientist like Ms.PhD feels otherwise. And if a male scientist thinks its okay to go to a strip club or get drunk, I think it is his personal choice and there is no reason it can be held against him. And while he is at a strip club, I don't think anyone has a right to blame him if he can think about/discuss his research while getting a lap dance.

Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago my lab group invited a number of speakers on a weekly basis. The whole lab group had pizza lunch with each speaker. My advisor (male) was interested in the speakers' career path and advice, but noted at the end of the quarter that the men were a lot less comfortable talking about family issues and in a lot of cases their wives had taken most of the family responsibilities. Lesson from this - maybe it's men who need advice on balancing career and family or they will end up clueless when a partner expects them to contribute in both places. Having a partner who expects to balance family and career would make it much easier on women too, leading to less need for women to be mentored on how to do all the balancing alone.

PhD Mom said...

My only thought...if you really wanted to have a FEMALE mentoring lunch, serve sandwiches or salads, not Pizza.

Cloud said...

Usually when I do these things, it is as part of an "alternative careers" panel, and men and women both show up. And there's no pizza.

I did do a more specific women in science discussion once, but it was a favor for my former adviser who had a specific student he thought could benefit from some direct exposure to a woman in her chosen field, so a little different.

My local AWIS chapter once organized a panel on work/life balance in which the speakers were married couples with children who talked about how they made things work. That was probably the best such panel I ever attended.

Anonymous said...


You can turn off the option to add contacts automatically. Then you'll have to add contacts you actually want manually, but I think it's better to do this than worry about privacy issues.

scicurious said...

I have to say that I find this very interesting, I've never had a science prof brought here to my Uni to talk about women's issues, it was all about the science. The idea that a male student would be unable to talk RESEARCH with a female prof is...kind of pathetic to me, actually.

lost academic said...

Gmail guy,

They can't see YOUR status if you set your account such that no one can see or contact you via chat without being added by you specifically FOR chat. Go to Settings, at the top left, pick the Chat tab, and click the radio button next to "Only allow people that I've explicitly approved to chat with me and see when I'm online." That should take care of you.

If you use other things that might pull your status from Gmail, make sure they aren't posting your status updates or something in a public place. I have to remind students NOT to link certain things to LinkedIn - if you change your status 15 times a day, I'm going to see it when I log in.

Kevin said...

Although male, I've occasionally been asked to give mentoring talks. Most often this has been at second-tier institutions, to advice undergrads how to get into grad programs in research universities, but occasionally it has been mentoring for grads.

Incidentally, if you like doing mentoring, sign up to be a mentor for (they are especially short of mentors in biological sciences).

Comrade Physioprof said...

Men don't do formal group mentoring Q&A sessions on career path. They talk about research over pizza; and if you want mentoring, you better get invited to dinner or drinks or strip clubs.

I would say about half the time I visit another institution to deliver a seminar, a lunch is arranged for me with post-docs and students. I have always used this as an opportunity to discuss career path and other mentoring issues, and it has always been a lot of fun for me and the trainees who attend.

Strip clubs have never been on the agenda for any of my seminar visits over the years. If it ever were, I would refuse to attend.

John Vidale said...

@anonymous at 8:39

Personal attacks have no place here.

FSP, I recommend deletion. I can't imagine the utility of leaving that post up, aside from making men look bad, if that was even a man posting. It reads much more like a parody.

Anonymous said...

In response to:
"But you're right. Men don't do formal group mentoring Q&A sessions on career path. They talk about research over pizza; and if you want mentoring, you better get invited to dinner or drinks or strip clubs."

The ASCB has a yearly lunch at its annual meeting where faculty each speak with small groups of students about various professional and life balance topics. They were started by Women in Cell biology (WICB) but many men and women participate as Table leaders and discussants--I have done a family/work balance table myself, as well as one on how to find a postdoc..

The strip club remark is a bit out of line.

Mark P

Anonymous said...

I've seen many variants of this type of thing in my departments. Department 1 often had lunches with grads or undergrads, and if the women in physics group wanted a slot, they could get one too.

In Department 2, there wasn't much activity in terms of meeting speakers or visitors of any sort.

In Department 3 (current dept), the speakers have lunch with those in similar research, have drinks post-seminar with grads & faculty, and dinner, again with the host/similar research group. Sometimes there's a special slot for grads at a non-meal time, to just discuss work/career path/etc issues with the speaker.

At Uni 3, too, we have a women in science and engineering group that does host meals/teas with awesome visiting women, and as one who attends these quite frequently, I appreciate what role model FSPs do. And I always love it when guys come.

Most "women's issues" are actually just departmental issues. Family leave policies are good for all, diverse applicant pools give better scientists across the board, and learning how to juggle academia well can help everyone. I love it when guys come to these things. It brings the discussion to a whole new place and opens everyone's eyes.

Anonymous said...

These days, the mentoring lunches and the specific designation of women visitors as a distinct category from male speakers might be counter-productive in some ways.

I agree except that in discussions of work life balance or kids many many distinguished MSPs will say either that they don't have family OR that they don't really know which end of the baby the diaper goes as mom took care of most of that. Yes, there are exceptions but they are exceedingly rare as you go up the distinguished/seniority scale. This may well change as more currently junior MSPs are recognized as senior though (fingers crossed).

I am typically asked to have informal lunches with students but mostly to talk about getting jobs in industry as I worked in industry (with occasional visiting prof stints) for almost ten years before taking up a tenured university job. We typically ask most visiting women to give these sessions as well as men who are very approachable and/or had interesting career or family trajectories. We also typically have senior undergrads (mostly female ...) attend and try to present the most hospitable future working environment possible about University research. We sweep the misogynists and clueless under the rug hoping they will be far more anomalous in the ever perfect future.

[I should point out that I am the only male member of a national committee for the advancement of women in my area.]

Anonymous said...

I think one of the reasons that younger men won't come to life/career talks is because life/career is code for no men allowed.

Then you get a bit older and tha balancing act becomes reality...

FSP/Scicur- It could be that the PhD student was simply confused by this given his very low ranking in the power hierarchy. He could just be an utter knob but it could be that he thinks as a male he's not worthy of your help. He doesn't qualify.


PS I have never witnessed science being discussed at either a strip club or a urinal.

Anonymous said...

It's possible that Ms.PhD was exaggerating to make the point, but also quite possible that she's not. As one specific example: 3 months ago, my male colleague went to a major national conference, and arranged to have dinner with a professor in the field. Where did they go? Hooters. Ok, it's not a technically a strip club, but it's not far off. I would not have felt comfortable joining them.

Anonymous said...

We have every distinguished visiting speaker have lunch with a self-selected group of grad students. They tell me that the talk naturally goes to career path and life issues in about half of lunches, regardless of the gender of the speaker. In fact, one of my female students was amazingly inspired by a very distinguished MSP who talked about how his first funding came from a 2-bit agency completely unrelated to his chosen field and discussed all the weird science he did to stay employed before he was famous and could do the revolutionary stuff he's now known for. During that lunch, he talked a lot about how hard it was to have small children at home requiring support when his income was so volatile and how much he missed out on but how he balances his work with true team parenting now that they are teens. I think that did more for the confidence of my students that they could have a career and family than any other speaker in the last couple of years!

Anonymous said...

I think one of the reasons that younger men won't come to life/career talks is because life/career is code for no men allowed.

That's an important point. As a white MSP, I'm not very comfortable at events focused on under-represented groups because I suspect (and often hear) that they need these events as their own space, to talk about their issues and experiences and see role models without the over-represented barging in and opining.

Put it this way: I often have lunch with my female colleagues and discuss contentious department topics and disagree with them without feeling awkward, even if (as sometimes happens) I'm the only male at the table. (Yeah, yeah, "some of my best friends are..." but here I'm saying that I'm comfortable disagreeing, which I think is a bit different and shows a more honest degree of comfort and familiarity than just "Look, we get along fine!")

However, if it is a formally organized "Women In Science" lunch, and the intended topics of discussion relate to that, I am not comfortable. (And I have sometimes been invited to these lunches because I have female students in my group.) I figure that my participation is at best superfluous and at worst a detriment.

PlantHead said...

"...he asked me "Aren't you just hear to talk to the girls?". I replied "If you are unable to explain your research, I would be happy to ask your adviser to arrange for me to spend this time speaking with someone else.""


Also, my current department and BigStateU and my former department at SmallStateU both had graduate student lunches with weekly speakers, and these frequently end up in discussions about personal life - regardless of gender (as mentioned by anon 3:02pm). I think these are the best becuase all genders (major and nonmajor) can participate. Plus, there's something nice in talking about down-to-earth topics with Prof. BigName.

PlantHead said...

Secondary also: why is it always pizza?? This was not the case at SmallStateU, only BigStateU... Thoughts?

lost academic said...

Anon @ 2:51: I LOVE Hooters. The wings there are the BEST. And I've been there enough (A LOT) to know it's very far away from a strip club. Plus, it can be fast, inexpensive enough, and reliable.

I've also noticed that established professors (and board directors, and business folks, and so on....) really don't realize how intimidating they as people are based on their accomplishments and position in career to people just starting out, as students or as postdocs. It's important to create the right environment that people feel comfortable having the conversations about the not-so-peripheral aspects of this lifestyle. It doesn't have to be at a bar, for sure, but it might not be all that easy to have at an official luncheon in some conference room downstairs from the lab.

Anonymous said...

although I admit that it boggles the mind to envision certain Distinguished Professors being asked to do a pizza lunch with students and muse about their personal lives.

But would MSPs who are non-white, be asked to do similar pizza lunches with non-white students? For example my postdoc advisor was a non-white MSP, and also was a very bigwig in the field and director of this center and that center and always had tons of students and postdocs and millions of dollars in grant funding. I know for a fact that he has done things similar to pizza lunches for foreign students coming from the same ethnic background as him, often he would speak in the native language to them during those lunches (while he always used only English within the university.) I don't know how often he does those types of pizza lunches, since I was not of that ethnic background and thus not invited to them. From what I understand, his pizza lunch topics included helping his foreign students to adjust to american culture. I thought highly of him because he took the time out of his busy jet-setting schedule to help students beyond just regularly scheduled group meetings, even though I was part of that type of mentoring (since I didn't need it).

I suspect he is the exception rather than the rule as far as MSPs and pizza lunches go.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon@8:46.

I find that most young MSPs are clueless about work/life balance because their wives shoulder the bulk of the domestic responsibilities. This in my mind, is NOT work/life balance. It is partitioning roles according to gender.

I find that among my non-science and non-academic friends, the split in childcare and housework is more even between the spouses. Whereas among my science faculty colleagues, it is more traditional gender-role based.

Also the FSPs that I know have tended to marry men who are also in science or academia or at a similar level/importance of career. So they are dual-career "power couples." (and they have or had to grapple with the Two Body Problem.) Whereas almost all the MSPs that I know have married women who were either unemployed or whose careers are clearly second-fiddle to theirs (and who had much less of a Two Body Problem) What's going on here??

Hope said...

@Anon 4:47 (white MSP) – I understand why you feel this way, and perhaps there are some people that feel that they need “their own space.” But I think that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks when it comes to having men present at the “Women in Science” lunches. For example, when the director of the national lab at which I work attends these events, and then puts into practice changes suggested by the discussions that ensue, I find it a lot easier to believe that he is serious about diversity. I’ve not met a single woman so far who’s told me that she finds it awkward to have men present at our lunches. So the next time you get invited, why not ask your grad students if they would think it was weird if you attended? Ask them if other MSP’s go. And maybe consider going yourself. Just because you’re there doesn’t mean you need to dominate the conversation, does it?

@lost academic: you’re joking, right? I might go Hooters with a friend if they really twisted my arm. But there’s *no way* that I can see myself having a serious conversation about my research/career with Prof. BigWig there. Do I really need to explain why?

Anonymous said...

In a smilliar vein, we organise mentoring lunches between indigenous visiting speakers and indigenous students. I consider these highly sucessful, and the students have talked about the impact these meetings have had on them. For many, it is their first opportunity to see, let alone speak to, an indigenous scientist who has made it. Invariably, these students would not be comfortable or confident enough to talk to this scientist in more formal settings. Occasionally non-indigenous stundents may attend if they have a particular connection or interst in the area, but we find that indigenous students are much more likely to talk about their concerns etc if not overwhelmed by a different dominant group.

Incidentally I find the comment on MsPhD disgusting.

Anonymous said...

These days, the mentoring lunches and the specific designation of women visitors as a distinct category from male speakers might be counter-productive in some ways.

I totally forgot to mention that while it can be counter-productive in some ways, I think it has a definite positive net worth. Oftentimes affixing a label/category to someone makes it seem as though they fit into no other category (ie Distinguished FSP" means that you would not be distinguished outside of that F part). Also, males can miss out on much of the work/life balance discussion.

However, while the environment is improving in science for women, there are still issues, and these lunches still do a world of good. I heard a talk from an FPP(female physics prof) the other day where if the linear growth in female % continues, it'll be another 120 years until %women~% men.

This FPP runs one of these women in science groups and made the point that things are getting better, but often groups like these talk about policies that help everyone, and they help make those people struggling feel as though maybe someone else understands.

I'm sure in your many lunches, you've helped at least one lowly FSG (female science grad) feel a bit less alone in the struggle. Maybe we should fix those titles of talks- leave the whole "female" part of it out, and actually invite guys to the table to talk. I'll do that next time I see the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

@the Anon 12/03/2009 08:39:00 AM, who blasted Ms PhD: it's one thing to argue against someone's point of view, but personally attacking and insulting someone who has not said or done anything to you, only makes YOURSELF look pathetic. that's probably why you posted your vitriol anonymously. What a cowardly act.

Ms.PhD said...

@FSP, sorry to draw that fire on your comment list. Yeesh.

Seriously though, I'm not making that up. I'm writing from experience- at two places where I have worked (major tier 1 universities, incidentally), interviewees were taken to strip clubs (not just Hooters, although Hooters was also a favorite hangout where I would not feel comfortable in a work-related scenario). This occurred a few years ago in one case, and just last year in another case.

@CPP- I'm sending you an e-hug for your response.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you posted this. I am a female grad in male dominated field and participate as much as possible to Women in Science/engineering groups. Your previous post made me little worried that our invitation to fsp's could be sometimes irritating..

Anonymous said...

@ the people who don't like personal attack on Ms.PhD and find it disgusting

Would you rather have it that I insult the integrity and intent of all female scientists than blame one person? I do not feel qualified to do the former. Since I have followed Ms. PhD's blog for a while, I feel qualified to comment on her online personality.

You should read some of the stuff Ms.PhD writes in her blog that insults all men in science in the most horrible manner. One of her recent gems is that "Publishing is sexist".... yes that's the exact language she used. You can go to her blog and see it.

Another of her allegations is that her PI never told her that it was important to publish in top tier journals. Yes, you heard that right as well. A postdoc expects the PI to hold her hand and tell her that publishing in top tier journals makes you a more attractive candidate than those who publish in lower journals. Apparently, this isn't obvious to a person who feels qualified to be an independent scientist.

And last, I did not attack Ms. PhD INSTEAD of her argument. I attacked Ms. PhD AND her argument.

amy said...

@Anonymous personal attacker: after reading two of your posts, I feel qualified to comment on your online personality as well. However, I will refrain from doing so. You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

And last, I did not attack Ms. PhD INSTEAD of her argument. I attacked Ms. PhD AND her argument.

So you admit you attacked MsPhD personally even though she has not done anything to you personally. Her rants on her blog about the people and events that have affected her personally, somehow warrant you coming out of nowhere and taking cheap shots at her specifically. And yet despite your obvious disgust of her, you still keep on reading her blog. What do you think this all says about YOU? It's good that you post anonymously as your behavior reflects very poorly on you.

a physicist said...

Hmmm, Ms. PhD wrote "publishing is sexist". And then she provided a link to an article with data showing that the referee process is sexist (link to article that Ms. PhD cited, doi:10.1016/j.tree.2007.07.008 ). Do you object to data?

As a long time male, tenured reader of Ms. PhD, I respect her opinions. I don't always agree with everything she writes, but I do respect her point of view.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Physicist,

I do not "object" to data. I know enough about data to say that data makes sense only when there is some basic evidence to believe the conclusion. Otherwise, the pitfalls of misinterpreting data, of introducing conscious or unconscious bias, or simply misunderstanding statistical methods are just too easy to fall into.

So, consider the background information: At nearly every level in high school and undergraduate school, women students prevail and this is an extremely well documented fact. And when a study claims that kids who have grown up in this system in which female overachievement is the rule, are deeply chauvinist, I would question the data gathering and interpretation process.

That is the rational thing to do.

a physicist said...

Well, at least now you're questioning a peer-reviewed article (which is fine, we all know a lot of stuff gets through peer-review without necessarily being flawless). Disagreeing with an article is a few steps up from personal attacks.

It would probably help if you read the article so that you could critique it more directly... but since I haven't read it either, I can't argue for or against it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:39 There is a lot that could be said about MsPhD's negative attitude and false sense of victimhood. If you ask me, this is the main reason she is a failure; but then why would you ask me. That's just my 2 cents worth. And there is no reason any male scientist should have to change his/her personal habits just because some crazed female almost ex-scientist like Ms.PhD feels otherwise.

Wow, what a self-righteous, hateful and bitter person you must be. So you are judging someone to be "a failure", are you? Who are you to judge and what business is it of yours to judge MsPhD? certainly don't sound like a rational person.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say, as a junior FSP, I once ended up lunch at hooters. Annual huge meeting was in Orlando and tens of thousands of scientists descended upon the dozen or so restaurants near the convention center and Hooters was the shortest wait for a table. I swore to never go to Orlando again for the rest of my life...