That Smell

Tandoori Chicken, Mumbai

Image via Wikipedia

The Mrs. and I went out for dinner the other night and since it’s Foodie Friday I thought that could serve as our food-related jumping off point.  It was an Indian restaurant, the latest branch of an excellent group.  We’ve eaten in two of their other places in nearby towns and were kind of excited to try something only a few minutes’ drive away.

The food was excellent – generous portions that were well prepared.  The service was good as well so you’re not going to get another customer service rant today.  However, we probably won’t be eating there again and the reason why is instructive.

It stank.  Literally.   Not in a garbage dump way or like we had to be concerned about the food.  More like when you walk around the mall and get near the candle store:  a cloying, overpowering smell.  I’m not sure if these were candles or some weird air-freshener they were spraying into the room, but it didn’t go away and really distracted us from the excellent food in front of us.  Trust me:  distracting me from a meal is really hard to do!

It’s something to keep in mind as you go about your business.  Even if you do really excellent work, there are a lot of other factors at work in other folks’ perception of you and that work.  Obviously I’m not talking about you literally smelling bad (but don’t!).  It’s more the “would I want to go out for a beer with him” factor.  Or maybe the “so good but such a diva” factor.  I’ve worked with brilliant people from whom the entire team benefited.  Unfortunately, a few of them were completely inept socially and often created more problems than they solved by their insensitivity to the rest of the team and to process.  They stank up the room and distracted from the other good stuff that was there.

We absolutely will get take-out from this place but we won’t sit there and eat unless they do something about the smell.  That’s not a great outcome for either of us, I guess.  The food isn’t usually as good when taken away and they miss out on the bar tab, tips, and spontaneous fits of over-ordering.  But as Lynyrd Skynrd said – ooh, that smell…

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