caught in the act of explaining how easy it is to provide food for me

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,  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.

4 thoughts on “caught in the act of explaining how easy it is to provide food for me

  1. That was the first time I have ever been at a conference where they left out Soy Milk.

    I am pretty sure I drank every container of it that I found :)

  2. totally. Unfortunately the coffee wasn’t that good – needed soy milk. Usually I just drink black coffee (if the coffee is good enough).

    Had some good coffee at a little coffee shop in downtown Mountain View though (Mikal knows where).

    It’s a good sign when you go into a coffee shop and they’re advertising coffee tasting sessions on the weekend. Was good coffee too.

  3. As a carnivore who is conscious of food choices, YES! Fruits and veggies are a must, particularly salad not drowned in dressing, too. Whenever I go to a potluck, everyone else brings brownies, I bring a fruit salad, and it’s the first thing to go.

    I know that bagels and croissants can be stored for longer, and nobody wants canned fruit, but it shouldn’t be that difficult to get fresh fruit and veggies.

    I can’t believe I spent a week in california and did not peel one orange (I think there were mandarin oranges, probably from a can, in one of the lunch dishes on chinese food day).

    Or grapes! I hear they have those out there.

  4. it doesn’t even have to cut fruit (which doesn’t last out as long).

    Whole apples, bananas, oranges etc last a while.

    The organic fruit shop down the road has some absolutely gorgeous Fuji apples at the moment. I keep buying them because they are soooo good. Seriously, there are not words to describe these apples. They are that good. sweet, nice texture and flavoursome. yummy. just had one.

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