Back in the days of expense account yore, it was not unusual to drop $300 to $400 on lunch with a single client. Beers before lunch, wine with lunch, after lunch port and cigars. This was relationship building and I sure as hell wasn't going to endure three hours of a CFO's gushing about his favorite ride at Six Flags on my dime. Especially when my employer had an iron clad non-compete.
I have seen clients expense golf clubs, fur coats and prostitutes. That's not so much about building relationships as it's using your position to grab something for yourself. The client who bought a fur coat also bought this tie for me. Or, was it a pair of box cloth braces? I'm not too sure. It was after a very long lunch that we stumbled into Paul Stuart. The client wasn't so much generous as he was buying my silence when he whipped out company plastic to pay for a fur lined Loden coat.
That was 17 years ago and this tie remains a favorite despite its unethical origins. Everybody thinks it's a baseball tie until they take a closer look. Hugely popular with Brits and Bermudians, it never fails to secure a surprised double take. I guess they wonder why a Septic (Septic Tank- Yank) would wear a Cricket tie? They should ask the guy who expensed it.