Friday, May 09, 2008

My Baby's Got Sauce

condiments[1] Out of just over nine hours on-site yesterday, eight of them were spent in meetings.
That is a reasonably average full day completely made up of a progress meeting, a status meeting, two work sessions and another end-of-day status meeting all strung together with hallway conversation about the project between the people leaving one meeting to go to another room, all together, for another meeting.
I was actually double-booked at 3pm.

By the time I left work, I had a slight buzz from dry erase marker fumes. Not that I mind.

You are the only one who understands me, dry erase marker fumes.

Towards the end I turned to survey the smoking wreckage of the day. What did I get accomplished? I conducted an interview. I listened patiently while a sales guy from Dell tried to bash Apple notebooks and then I treated the room with the blissful silence which follows the question,"How long will we be able to buy them without Windows Vista?"

I spent a total of about ten hours this week talking about one tiny aspect of our migration plan. Unfortunately this tiny aspect is one which has become some kind of political poker chip around here, so in the end the decision was made by non-technical people.
The decision is, in my opinion, self-limiting and short-sighted.
However, short-sighted decisions by people in the executive wing do nothing but provide me with job security, so I can't even muster concern. All I've got is, "It will work. For now," followed by uncontrollable maniacal laughter.

After work, my manager called my cellphone to tell me to come back so that a few of us could go for dinner. It was kind of another meeting, but I didn't want to bill for it since human company after business hours is so rare right now. How sad is that?

Over dinner (and beer) I learned a few things. Sure, I learned a little bit about the political history of the company and I learned a bit about how my manager chooses people for his team, me especially. That is another post completely.

Most importantly, I learned about regional food variations. They don't stop at faux nachos.

We went to a place that features wings (and beer).
Wings are universal, or so I thought.

There is a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter or margarine coating, with the ratio dictating mild, medium, and hot. Sure, there are Caribbean jerk varieties and barbecue and teriyaki -- But varied flavors are in addition to the standard. The "Buffalo" sauce is what it is.
Except here.

In South Carolina, ordering "Medium" gets you something other than "Buffalo" sauce. Again, the chefs around here turn to the condiment area to churn out a ketchup-based sauce with (possibly) horseradish. Like shrimp cocktail sauce. Combining it with ranch dressing is even less pleasant than you might imagine.
My coworker ordered barbecue as, being two weeks newer than me, he wanted to try some of the world-renowned South Carolina specialty.

Friends, in South Carolina barbecue sauce is mustard-based.
Around here, ketchup becomes both salsa and wing sauce and mustard becomes barbecue sauce.
I lie awake at night hoping no one comes up with something to do with tartar sauce. Or Tzatziki. Or Marshmallow Fluff.
When I stated earlier that local salsa is "ketchup-based", I'd assumed I was creating the term for insult value. However, last night both the waiter and my manger referred to the sauce on my coworker's wings as "mustard-based", so apparently the condiment-centric nature of the flavors around here is not only admitted but embraced.
I didn't know things were actually "condiment-based". I assumed (call me sheltered) that sauces were rosemary-infused or sage and citrus-blended or, perhaps, raspberry-chipotle glazed. But apparently in some places basing a sauce on a common lesser sauce is a mark of honor.

On the bright side, they wheel popcorn and cola into the actual theatre to sell it just before the previews roll. I think that may even the culinary score.


Jane said...

That popcorn and soda thing is AWESOME. Now if only they had a bathroom actually IN the theater, because I don't think I've ever gone to see a movie where I didn't have to leave halfway through to speed-pee.

Garrick said...

I've solved that issue by ordering a large Diet Coke with an extra cup.