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Bella's Pet Peeve #542

I can't stand when techies celebrate "free beer" or "free food" in order to justify going to a conference, staff development meeting, xmas party, etc.  Along the lines of, "This sucks, but hey, at least there's free food!"  I recall wanting occassionally to go out to lunch on Friday's, but finding no takers b/c there was free pizza.  It's a $1 slice of pizza, you can pass it up once in a while.

Now, I know that in 95% of cases, it's just a figure of speech.  Trying to find the silver lining, or making a joke.  But I'm not sure this is always the case.  Is anyone really so broke that you can't afford a beer or ham sandwhich for youself?  Or do you value your time to little that you will waste 3 hours at an event that you would otherwise not go to, just to get a free 2 dollar sandwich? 

Is this just a human nature thing?  Like some deeper hunter/gatherer type of mentaility.  Can humans simply not pass up something free?  Look at the lines at those (not defunct) trade shows, where people would line up around the corner for a lame teeshirt (80% of the time) or free pen.

Bella
Saturday, March 22, 2003

1.  stay at the office, work, pay for my own lunch.
2.  goof off at a conference instead, eat free.

tough choice.

slacker
Saturday, March 22, 2003

read this soemwhere, FREE is the only word which gathers the most attention - among everyone.

Ofcourse there is nothing like a free lunch, and pizza & beer - an excellent, healthy choice  of food:-)

Lots of kids I know go to Career fairs purely to get their hands on all the "goodies" - ......

human nature  after all....

Prakash S
Saturday, March 22, 2003

I couldn't stand going to COMDEX (back when it mattered) with several coworkers because they defined the experience by how many ten cent pens and plastic pieces of crap they could accumulate. I had much the same feeling as you: Why do people waste their time for cheap little trinkets? I think it becomes a game to see how much free junk people can get, rather than caring about what they're getting for free.

Sorry, gotta run: I think I can score me a wrong-size ultra-cheap t-shirt with a cheesy iron on logo on it if I stand in line for 45 minutes! I'm SO there!

Jimmy Chonga
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Sometimes it is making lemonade when life dishes you lemons.

You are at the event already, and it sucks. The fact that you don't have to pay for your lunch is the only positive thing!

I would not attend something just for the free pizza, but if I am already there, then I won't turn down the free booze just to prove that I can afford to by my own drinks.

tapiwa
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Sad but true...

1. Grab free pizza slice.
2. Covertly slink back to cube.
3. Read Joel on Software
4. Clean keyboard when finished.

Nat Ersoz
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Nothing to do with being broke.

Ray Noorda, CEO of Novell at the time, and worth many tens of millions more than he could possibly count, was seen at an important meetins stuffing canapes into his suit pocket. His comment, "ain't it wonderful to live for free!".

One of the leading police officials Felipe Gonzalez's Spanish government in the eighties was asked in a corruption probe how he had managed to build up such an impressive property portfolio on a relatively meagre public service salary. His comment, "I'm a senior government officlal, everything's paid for by the state".

Stephen Jones
Saturday, March 22, 2003

What troubles me is the fact that doctors seem to be influenced by the glass beads given to them by pharmaceutical reps:

http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice/news.htm?story_id=3626&topic=Medical%20Malpractice

Alex Chernavsky
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Bella, this bring up memories of crap that employers do.  They want to to bust your ass and they dangle someting like pizza and beer as incentive.  Gee let me think, you're going to bill extra thousands and buy 50 bucks worth of pizza and beer.  Is it any wonder that I laughed at them when they'd make such a silly request?  Sorry, I don't have a number for my Pet Peeve.

Greg Kellerman
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Greg,

I think that free beer and pizza is a nice gesture. The monetary value and whether one can afford to eat out are not relevant. It's the thought that counts. Obviously though, pizza offered as a substitute for a living, competitive wage is not a square deal. But a fair wage plus free lunch and tee shirts from time to time isn't oppresion by the man.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, March 22, 2003

Dennis,

Free meals and beers is OK, but I started passing on them.

When you hear things along the lines of this; "Ah, yes. If you meet this very unrealistic deadline by working your asses off around the clock, you earned a night out." you should watch out.

This "work-your-ass-off-for-$30" mentality used by some are nothing but insulting.

Patrik
Sunday, March 23, 2003

Patrik,

I agree with you completely. If presented with that offer, it would be reasonable and expected to slow down work output, take full hour lunches and leave for home at exactly five.

But when it is presented as "Since you've been doing such a great job lately, we're having a pizza party." or "I noticed you guys are working late so I ordered you pizza and beer.", then I tend to think it's a good place to work.

But if someone is told "If you work overtime we'll consider getting you guys $30 worth of pizza." the appropriate response is, "Boss, I've got a much better idea, you come to my house, dig a fish pond in the back, paint the spare bedroom, and remodel my bathroom and I'll buy you a nice sandwich and a bag of chips."

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, March 23, 2003


I think the key is to figure out if it's appreciation or compensation.

For freebies, The first is good, the second is bad.



regards,

Matt H.
Monday, March 24, 2003

first-time conference goers actually go to the sessions! Even the morning ones!

success in any industry requires leveraging OPF (other people's food)

the goal of any succesful conference attendee is to eat exceptionally well without spenfding a dime. Even rich upper management types play this game. The trick is to get invited to the best hospitality suites and parties by faking interest in products you'll never buy. It's a hoot!

conference registration + 1 week salary + expenses. Expensive fun but it's not out of my pocket!.

leech
Monday, March 24, 2003

It's also a social thing: it's where all the the others will be.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

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