I have always disliked incurring what I feel are unnecessary expenses for my employers. They have invested a great deal in me and they pay me for working here. Given that, I generally dislike overly schmoozy lunches with clients. I understand the point of client interaction and wining and dining, but it's not something I enjoy, but simply something I have learned to fake my way through. (I'll explain that in another post.) How nice lunch is or how many beers (or blended coffee drinks) I have with someone has zero impact on what happens in the field. Either we do a good job in the field or we do not. Lunch, dinner, and socializing have nothing to do with it. And yet, it does. (As a side note, in order to look semi-normal at many of these functions, I have probably had as much alcohol in the last month as I did in the prior five years. That probably says more about how little I drink during my own time, then any Bacchanalian partying that goes on here.)
The boozy behavior of excess is one of the root causes of why we're seeing these oh so minor economic problems at the moment. I had a lunch with a client that took three hours. That's three hours of me doing no 'real' work. Sure, we swapped stories and talked shop, but nothing specific. Now, service was slow and I'll never recommend going to that restaurant again, but three hours is an almost soul-crushing amount of time to spend at lunch. I guess that's what you get for eating at a Mexican restaurant called Gringos in Hungary.
The problem is the disconnect between what people do and what really matters. I was reading an excellent post that had some good comments in it from The Big Picture/. The post was on the disparity between how some financial advisors (or whatever ridiculous titles they give themselves) perform versus how they get paid.
It makes you wonder why you'd pay anyone to manage your money.