Tuesday, October 25, 2011


For a Finance guy, month ends are busy and quarter ends are crazy. So just 3 days into last week, I was already feeling like a pilot trying to emergency land a plane with engine failure into a desert! Amidst all the chaos we were lucky enough to sneak out for a team dinner. It was a “despedida” for a colleague who was moving to another team. I was so spent that I felt I could use a lot of wine and some food too! So here we were spending 2 hours in complete oblivion of our Budget fears, projection misses, sales estimates and EBIT numbers!

Extreme exhaustion accentuated by hunger and the tempting aroma of food around, cocktailed with wine can sometimes give rise to weirdly random conversation! Our Director is French and my colleague is American which cooked up a spicy recipe of small talk and trash talk. We forgot about everything and engaged in absolute gibberish. Here are tidbits from that entertainingly weird conversation between my director (DIR), my colleague (COLL) et moi (ME).

DIR: Friends, here is to a hellish week and a bullish quarter. I hope we end it on a high today. Literally! Raj, you looking forward to the weekend, my man?

ME: I am looking forward to the next one as well!

DIR: As long as you get me the final P&L tonight! Kidding... It has been a rough month actually. But it shall pass.

COLL: I think I have heard that before! So Raj, how do you feel about your role? Happy to be working with a lot of figures, eh!

DIR: "Well, with the wrong ones apparently!". There was the first sprinkle of French humor!

Our weird conversation brought the waitress to our table. “Would you like to start off with a drink tonight?”

DIR: Let us get some authentic French Wine. Bordeaux please!

COLL: Oh yeah.. Time for some elegant French wine and good American food. And Raj, add your masala chai to that and we have a nice cultural mélange here!

ME: "Why not! On our way back home for sure! Oh, by the way, historically you guys have had a love hate relationship, don’t you?” Obviously the wine was already working on me. The seed for trash talk was thus sown!

COLL: Well, that’s a rather interesting dinner topic. The French and Americans have been good friends and supported each other on most occasions.

My friend was quite diplomatic about it. Well, our director had a different spin on it!

FR: Well yeah, often times. Although, I remember something really funny back in 2003. When we didn’t support the US war in Iraq, one of my colleagues swore that he will not eat French Fries!  

ME: Whoaa… If that had happened, our 2 friends would have been out of business: McDonalds and Mr.Obesity!

DIR: Well, here is the fun part. I told him: “My good friend! Be informed that French fries didn’t really come from France.”

COLL: Holy cow! I didn’t know about that. But obviously there must be some connection, right!

DIR: Not really! We don’t take credit for French Fries. As far as I know, the potatoes came from Ireland. And unproven records tell that the concept of French fries first originated in Belgium.

COLL: Wow.. Now that’s a gracious Frenchman for you! I doubt how many of your countrymen would agree to that though! But, seriously, what did you guys have to do with it, then?

DIR: Ohh.. we do eat a lot of that, of course. He burst out into laughter.

COLL: But hang on, why isn’t it called “Belgian Fries” then?

DIR: Well, “French fries” sounds better, doesn’t it?

ME: May be! But I can shed some more light into this. Apparently the term “French fries” was introduced by American soldiers during World War I. They were in Belgium and loved the fries but they called it “French” because it was the official language of the Belgian Army. All of this is unverified though!

DIR: Ahh.. there is our “Wiki”-man!

ME: Yep.. i-Wiki! I said winking at my i-Phone.

COLL: Perhaps, it is just the wine, I guess! If he does the P&L now, our EPS numbers will look even prettier!

"Would you like some appetizers?" The waitress interrupted our scientific discussion.

COLL: Belgian Fries please.

Waitress: I am sorry Sir, we do not serve those.

ME: Oh yes you do!

We all had a hearty laugh much to the amusement of our waitress!


  1. hahaha
    i am surprised you'd remember the conversation so well
    some night it was!

  2. Yeah Sujatha. :) It was some night! I did get back and did some work too. So remember most of it! :) Hope you had a great Diwali!


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