Monday, October 01, 2007

Get Higher Attendance at Your Meetings


The company I work for is headquartered in Melbourne, Florida. But it's largest facility is in the next city south of Melbourne, called Palm Bay.

There are several other facilities for this company in about a 20 mile radius; a total of six.

There are actually company properties all over the US and even other countries, but those folks aren't required to attend meetings here (duh).

Most of the time, meetings that are called that are to have a wide range of people coming from the six local facilities in the Melbourne/Palm Bay area, are during the lunch period.

The company learned really fast that almost no engineer will leave the set of buildings he usually works in for a dumb, lunch-time meeting.

So they have the company that caters our cafeterias to bring lunch to almost all lunch-time meetings.

The food might well-and-truly be horrible tasting, but they get a pretty good attendance. Even if some of the attendee engineers have to drive across town to be there.

Nothing works like the prospect of free food to get an engineer off of his hind quarters.

We had just such a meeting last week, and on that particular day, I was feeling poorly. My electric eel of a left leg was having shooting pains with each step on it. I was seriously considering not going to it, even though it was at the particular group of buildings where I happen to work.

Then an email came out reminding us all (15 or so folks) of the meeting at lunch that day.

The reminder email also said that we were being served Chicken Pannini (or something like that) for lunch.

The thought of free food got me over there, gimpy leg and all, and I'll be dang if that wasn't some of the worst tasting stuff I've ever had the misfortune to put into my mouth.

It was chicken cooked in some kind of yellowish gravy-looking stuff, with what looked like peas in it, and rice and mixed vegetables.

I did eat my mixed vegetables, because even a cafeteria has a hard time ruining steamed vegetables, and one bite of my desert brownie.

That was the worst tasting brownie I have ever tried to eat. Seriously. How hard is it to make a bad tasting brownie? But they succeeded in grand style.

I scraped that nasty yellow "gravy" off of my piece of chicken and ate that with my mixed vegetables.

I've never been a very adventurous eater. I like to eat the same old things over and over again, mainly because I know that they taste good.

I definitely have scratched Chicken Pannini off of my list of things to eat henceforth and forever more.

But, I'm an engineer, and nothing draws an engineer to a dreaded meeting like free food being given out, so they'll probably get me next time too.

I'm hoping for just a sandwich or something at the next "required" meeting.

It's hard to ruin a turkey and cheese sandwich with some Lay's chips, ya know?

Today on John's Daily Digital Images, I posted a couple of "tilt/shift effect" images that make the world look like a scale model toy world for a train set or something.

It's a trick one can do in Photoshop to fake the look of using a tilt/shift lens. Tilt/shift lenses are lenses that will shift the glass elements within the lens to correct the look of a big building falling backwards in a photo. They are used in architectural photography and are specialty lenses.

The look can also be done with a view camera that has the big accordion lookin bellows on it which allows the lens to be tilted with respect to the flat plane of the film.

Years ago, photographers learned that using these lenses could make wide photographs of the world around them look like toys by angling the lens in weird ways.

It's kinda neat to see. Go check them out.


Babystepper said...

My hubs is always excited about his free lunch meetings. What is it with engineers and food? Maybe it's just men and food.

Come to think of it, though, I'm all about the free food myself. I seriously caught myself thinking the other day that it would be cool to have another baby (!) because the church would bring me suppers for a whole week.

JAM said...

Babystepper, that's a tough row to hoe isn't it.

Two sure-fire ways to get free food. Have a baby (Yikes!) or a death in the family (double yikes!).

Other than that I don't mind buying meals, it just somehow tastes better when it's free, doesn't it?

photowannabe said...

Ah, the banquet curcuit menu. I really hate it but haven't ha anything quite as bad as you described. I'm sure there is a drive thru near by to come to your rescue.

Qtpies7 said...

LOL at Babystepper! Our church does that too, but man, the 3 months of intense vomiting (if I'm lucky and its not 22 weekS)out ways any amount of free meals.
My husband is not an engineer, but he'll tell ya that all the computer geeks run for the lunch meetings, too. But his company, Symantec, buys EXCELLENT food. It makes me jealous.
And REAL chicken panini is awesome.

J. Lynne said...

Yup, It loves a free lunch too. Unfortunately for me, not all of the planners have caught on that a number of us are vegetarian or pescatarian.

I also find it strange that HR keeps sending us these emails about eating healthy and doing all these healthy things to complete these programs to keep down our health insurance and then they don't provide healthy choices at these free lunches or breakfasts. Such mixed messages...

Norma said...

No self respecting animal should produce yellow gravy.