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It’s Not About The Food

January 16, 2015

Hey Mark, want to get some dinner?

Yeah, I just need to finish up this payroll processing.

Okay, let me know when you want to go.

Three hours later I was still waiting. But, we were headed to a really nice restaurant. The Brick Tap House in Louisville, Kentucky.

I’ve been to Louisville several times and eaten at the Tap House, or is it Brick House? (I’m never sure.) I could never get past the steak and ‘shrooms to try the rest of the menu. But, today I was really looking forward to the drunken chops. I was clearly going to have to wait a while longer.

Another hour went by while I thought about the fact that I was really happy I didn’t have to do payroll processing.

Why was I even waiting? I could have gone by myself, right? Four hours is practically enough time to have eaten and been ready to eat again. But, still I was cooling my heels in the lobby waiting for my coworkers. Because good as it was, it wasn’t really about the food.

When I travel, I love to stay in Residence Inn by Marriott. Part of it is rewards points and free breakfast and stuff, but more importantly is the kitchen. Food isn’t that important to me. Even really good food. Given my choice, I’ll stay at my hotel and cook frozen burritos.

So why was I waiting to go to dinner?

Finally, at 9:30 it was time to go. We had a wonderful dinner. The drunken chops were everything I was promised they would be. But, it was the conversation that was the real treat. The people I was having dinner with were men that I’d worked with to get our Louisville site set up and running over the past several months.

No talking about work during dinner.

We spent the evening talking about many thing. We talked about being poor. We each discussed where we were in 2008 when the economy crashed. One man lost two businesses. One lost his job. One ended up living in barn. One had a good safe job. . .where everyday people were trying to kill him.

We talked about growing up. One man picked vegetables every summer from the time he was eight until sixteen, for $50 for the summer. One man grew up in a home with no electricity and no indoor plumbing. One man had 7 different step dads growing up.

We talked about professions. Two men were former Marines. One had never been in the service, and I’m not sure about one. We talked family. One man had 13 kids. Two others had no kids. And the other one I’m not really sure of. We talked of music and friends. Cars and coworkers. Food and vacations. Politics and religion.

No, the food wasn’t the point. The real value of the evening was a bonding that only happens when you break bread with people.

The pork chops were good, the company was better.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and one grandchild.

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