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It’s Not About The Food

January 12, 2018

I’m doing a lot of traveling this month. I’ll be in Utah, Kentucky, Richmond, Florida and Louisiana during the first six weeks of 2018. I’m really hoping that I can get to the Medalion level for Delta airlines if I get this much travel in early.

But, my flight schedule aside, it means I’m going to be eating out more than I’m eating in. Yesterday I talked about my approach to eating on the road. (Are You Going To Eat That?) But, often eating while travelling isn’t about the food.

Roger and I went to dinner with Jerry. Jerry was in town, like us to do a survey on our site. Jerry was a very thorough investigator. Even though we were well prepared, we were somewhat nervous during Jerry’s investigation. A red flag would mean follow up reports and remedial training. Jerry kept his finding pretty close to the vest during the day.

Tell me about your backup process. Tell me about your security settings.

How often do passwords change?

What software is installed on the workstations?

Who has access to the data closet?

It was a huge relief when we had the Findings meeting at the end of the day. We passed with just a couple of documentation questions that we had to follow up on.

So, Jerry, when do you fly out?

Tomorrow morning.

Do you want to go get some dinner?

Sure, what do you have in mind?

It wasn’t exactly a casual invitation, but stopped short of a formal meeting. Clients are people too. We would be working with Jerry in the future. The dinner was more than to consume calories.

It went great. It turns out that Jerry is a completely different person after work. He was jovial, laughing and telling interesting stories. The food was gone and the desert too. I kept wondering how long we were going to stay when I realized that I was the driver.

It wasn’t about the food.

Next week, I’ll be in Virginia. While there, we’ll have some of these “more than food” dinners. I will also make a run to WalMart and buy 5 pints of their most expensive ice cream. Probably Haagen dazs, but Ben and Jerry’s if needed. The ice cream will be for the analysts who work on the production floor. When there’s an outage, I work with those analysts very closely. They are my eyes and ears on the production floor.

I don’t eat ice cream. In fact, I don’t eat many sweeets at all. There is nothing that requires me to by ice cream. In fact, I had to get permission from my manager to expense the cost of the ice cream as a business expense. If hed said no, I’d still buy it. Because, it’s not about the ice cream. In fa weird sort of way, it’s also not because I’m a nice guy. I’ve done it at all our sites.

Thanks for the ice cream Rodney. That was really nice of you.

You’re welcome, but it wasn’t nice of me.

What do you mean?

I mean I didn’t buy you ice cream to be nice. It’s a bribe.


Yeah. See, I know you have lots to do. There will be times when I need you to do something for me and someone else needs you to also do something for them. I figure if I bribe you with ice cream , when you have to choose between the two, you’ll pick me over the person who didn’t buy you ice cream.

Ha, ha. That’s funny.

They don’t understand that I’m serious.

It’s not about the food.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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