The earlier post on tone deaf writers and what I would have done elicited this:
Okay, that is how you repair your relationship with the editor. Now, what do you say/do to the writer? Fire him on the spot? Have a long talk with him? What do you say? Writers do dumb stuff. Readers of your blog want to know what's fatal.
Honestly, I have no clue. I'm blessed with an extraordinary roster of clients, all of whom are pretty smart about how to behave in business situations. They understand that expressing frustration to me privately is cool. Asking about how things work, and what to expect BEFORE we get to the lunch (or even afterwards if something made them wonder) also cool.
I know for a cast iron fact that my authors know how to behave in public. I've seen them deal with things we still laugh about (none of which I am ever going to post on this blog, so don't even hope) with a gracious presence of mind that makes me profoundly grateful to be part of their team.
Part of that is this kind of boorish behavior doesn't just pop up unexpectedly. Someone who is this tone deaf here at the lunch has probably done or said things earlier. Those are the people who aren't clients of mine. I'm pretty careful about who I sign. As you should be about who you sign with too. Every editor has stories of agents who are tone deaf and behave like nutcases. More of those than author stories, frankly. They see more of us.
If that had happened to me I would have been pretty direct with the author about why that deal was dead now, and why I wasn't all that happy about having to go out and find another one. But no, it's not a firing offense. Yet.