UKOUG is a good conference.
It is also a big party and Birmingham is buzzing with techie-nerds, sales-nerds and expo-babes.
It is always interesting to see what kind of crowd you can link up with and have some good fun. After all, I never make it a secret that I mainly work to have fun.
I got two invites for Tuesday evening:
One from a "competing company" who did something nifty and for whose techies I have great respect.
The other was a last minute invite from a drinking club. Mostly elder men who have, via good marketing, via good beer and via good parties, made a reputation for themselves.
My management actually want me to try and join up to this club, as it would make good marketing sense. My management wants to get more "reputable names" out in the Oracle-world. The company tries to do that by re-selling Oracle licenses at high margins, and by sucking up to Oracle in general in the hope that we get a few more "Aces"-assigned (Not very successfull, as we seem to lack both the sucking-talent and the real talent - Talent tends to go Independent, I need to draw my conclusion from that).
So I decided to take the latter invite. I have already spent many occasions with these folks, and I got to like most of the colorful characters in that group.
They are generally good for a Laugh. And I might pick up a few good pieces of info and some IT warstories.
So, after the entree, the head-honcho and champion-drinker of this club took me aside, and said: "Since you represent the biggest company on the table, and since you seem to want to attach yourself to us... Why don't you pick up the bill? A big company should be able to do that..."
I explained that I could not pick up the full amount, but he was rather insistant on this and I found him to become rather rude.
Apart from my dislike of rudeness, I simply cannot spent that amount of money (some 40 ppl, good meal, lots and lots and lots of drinkies). Spending that amount without prior approval would get a minion like me in Deep Trouble from the "big" company.
And quite frankly, I did think it smelled of blackmail or extortion: you want to join us, why dont you show us your desperation ...
I would have understood this attitude in a latin country, but not from (what I thought to be) honest scandinavians.
Right. End of road for me.
And I am now looking for a "bigger" company to work for.
Or at least a different company.
And considering to move away from the Oracle arena as well.
Oh, and regarding payment for the meal:
I paid him (cash, no receipt...) approximately double what I thought my meal and drinks could have cost, and I left.
I just read about the fire-incident.
Really feel sorry for the people involved. Luckily they all seem to be OK and in good humour. Respect!
Good Luck in putting it all back together again!