In this photo: Gallery :: MySQL Users Conference 2006 :: 3 it seems that Jeremy managed to capture me (in the background) explaining to the O’Reilly conference woman (I forget her name…. Arjen knows) that it really wasn’t too hard for them to get me lunch considering that inside the building the restaurant staff managed to get food for me (so why can’t they do it outside). I also expressed my dismay at my interaction with the staff around an (afternoon/morning… i forget now) interaction involving a request for an apple (see “How not to do customer service“).
This was after the catering staff took over an hour and a half to bring me a small plate of vegetables (mostly spinach – which I do like – but there’s only so much you can eat) and a salad (that never arrived).
I was also rather dismayed at the comment (from the conf woman) about how they “didn’t cater for vegans”. I then gave an explanation (that she seemed surprised by) that all vegetarians can eat food that is vegan – and a whole bunch of stuff they had out there could be vegan with next to no effort (e.g. not putting cheese in salad,Â vegetarian fried rice without egg). There’s also the fact that the sushi bar and the food serevd at the bar in the hotel (not 10ft from where we are) has managed to get me food easily and relatively promptly before.
Things did improve after this. Things like soy milk being available with morning/afternoon tea coffee (and being well used, I’m not the only one who drinks it). Also, the appearance of fruit. Not surprisingly, it mostly gone rather quickly (people like fruit).
Lesson for all conference organisers: have fruit. Everywhere. People like fruit. It’s good snack food that keeps your brain going (not your gut).
Oh, and I, of course, would have filled out the bit on the web form saying my dietry requirements. So it’s not as if they can claim ignorance.
Everything did work out eventually though. It just would have been nice to have lunch go smoother. Also, note to catering staff – kosher does not equal vegan. It really, really doesn’t.