Taking care of bidness…

So last night I pretended to be Mr. Businessman.

The job has me on the road, and they pick up the tab on food. Next to my hotel is an Outback Steakhouse. I usually eat at “local” joints when I travel and shun the chains, but for some odd reason I had a hankering for a steak and salad. Walking into the place, I could see the crowd was already queuing up but there were open spots on the bar. I rarely eat single, so I thought “what the heck?” and grabbed a seat on the bar to skip out on the wait.

In about 15 minutes I was elbow to elbow with a full bar of businessmen and just sort of listening in. Some were drinking a bit heavy, others were talking about visiting a strip club down the street, a lot were interested in sports.

The two to my right were construction contractors who were on the phone trying to get as many people into the area as possible. They had evidently came here from Kansas to deal with the extensive hail damage from a storm here about a month ago.

They even spent some time trying to convince the guy behind the bar to do some temp sales work for them: Going door-to-door to pick up roof-repair jobs that would be paid out by peoples’ insurance companies. It was an interesting look into their work and hiring tactics.

The hard sell was the money, plain and simple. They were saying that in this climate, if you worked hard, you had an opportunity to pull down around $50k over the next 3 months as a sales guy on their team.

Even assuming some overstatement, it was a powerful argument. Interestingly enough though, the bartender was happy with his current gig and turned them down. (He explained that he works real-estate during the day and bar-tends at night.)

They tried to talk me into it for a bit, but I too, politely turned them down. They asked what I did for a living and about halfway into the first sentence that included “virtualized machines” they both had this odd mix between a glazed-over expression and fear. So I used my usual non-technical short description for my day job: “I clean up other peoples messes to make them look good.”

Their conversation wandered off to hitting up large fraternities at the local college for finding warm and trainable bodies. I wonder how many of those guys will be skipping class to cash in on this.

It’s an interesting taste of another world, and a fun thing to people watch. Usually I don’t have a taste for the loud business-bar thing, but maybe I’ll people watch a little more tonight.

Leave a Response