Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Free Lunch

Tomorrow I have an off-site thing for most of the day. Well, it is actually only three hours, but there is two and a half hours of driving, too.
I got kind of roped into being responsible for a particular technology at work.
And by "roped into" I mean I wasn't paying attention when my boss asked for a volunteer.
But so far being in charge of this thing has been pretty low-impact. I have no formal training in it, but I can pick my way around the interface like a professional now.
Anyway, apparently the company which makes it is hosting a "training class" tomorrow in North Carolina and since being up to date with the latest developments in this platform is a key component in our technology strategy I have to drive there first thing in the morning. It didn't hurt that it isn't costing my company anything.
I'm generally suspicious of anything free, and this training class is no exception.
The fact that the registration form included questions about products we haven't decided to use is a pretty solid tip-off that this whole thing is more sales pitch than training class.
A bigger hint was that the host invited my co-worker and I to lunch within ten minutes of our registration this morning.
The fact that I'm a consultant with no purchase-making authority pretty much makes this a giant waste of time for all involved.
I also have a suspicion that the technology they will be pitching is one which I used at a past job and really completely don't like.
The whole thing sounds completely not fun, but we pretty much have no choice but to attend.
We have, however, decided to attempt to make it as interesting as possible.
There is officially $10 going to whichever of us can go the longest without speaking to the sales guys during lunch.
I have my strategy already mapped out. When asked a direct question, I plan to repose the question to my co-worker. If asked a general question, I will maintain stony silence or pretend to respond to a text message.
I plan to spend my $10 on lunch Friday since it is wings day in the cafeteria.

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