Today is the day I get to test my mettle. Today I get to show what I am made of. Today I get throw down and defend my honor. It’s the annual office Chili Cook-off.
I have only worked here for the a little over a year, and in that time period I am still not very well known. There is nothing odd about that, it comes with the job. I’m in charge of maintaining the network, and the servers, and all the interconnections between them. I no longer interface with users and very rarely answer the phone or speak to humans beings outside my group. As such when I show up some place with a screw driver and start removing thousands of dollars with equipment people always freak out.
“Hello?" She eye's me with suspicion. "Can I help you?”
“No thanks,” I show them my badge. “I’m just here to work on the network.”
“Does Bill know you're here?”
I sigh. I can feel a quiz coming on. “We don’t have a Bill in IT.”
“I was just checking... What is the IT directors middle initial?”
“T. His middle initial is T.”
“What year was the company picnic canceled due to ...”
I suppose I can understand, here is this fellow you’ve never heard of, walking into your office, with limited social skills, taking your server out with him.
I decided last year to enter into the chili cook off mainly so that I could have some interaction with my peers. I spent hours looking for the right recipe, hunting for the right combinations and spices. I took three different recipes and merged them into one. It took hours to prepare and I agonized the whole time. I get there and I find that were aren’t allowed to say who’s is who's. I put down my anonymous chili #12 and wait. I sample some really bad chili, talk to almost no one, and wait for the results. I ended up winning second place (a tie) and my certificate came with a twenty-five dollars prize. I had spent forty five on ingredients.
So for the last year I have been staring at this ‘6th annual Chili Cook-Off Winner’ certificate on my wall thinking about what a waste the whole thing was. So what do I do? I entered again this year. The contest is today at 11:15.
We shall see.