I spent the last week in Ottawa closing up the biggest project by far, of my year. I worked with an amazing technical crew that works with me on this project every year. It was a year of hard work in the making.
There were a few arguments, some raised voices on occasion, frustrations, crossed wires (figuratively and literally). But mostly it was just a lot of flat out hard work accompanied by a lot of laughs, giggles, the occasional beer, good food, and a bunch of hugs.
I’m happy to say, it went smooth as silk. Hands down the best gig we’ve ever done.
And nobody on my team shouted about it on twitter or facebook or in a blog post (until now, that is. Because I am shamelessly writing a post about them!). Nobody was worrying about their personal brand or if this would improve their traffic or ad rates or if it would get them a book deal or a tv show. I mean, seriously… who would read a book about IT people making diagrams or running cable? But… come on… I know you would watch a show about the Real IT/AV Project Team of Canada. Maybe somebody would push somebody into a rat’s nest of cable!
I spent a week working and playing with people who for the most part do not blog. Or tweet. Or Instagram. Or even really Facebook. They don’t spend a lot of time on their Berries or Androids (not an iPhone in sight, by the way…). In fact, I was probably the most guilty of that and I consider myself a mild phone
It was all a little weird, if I may say so… like I fell into the twilight zone!
So, I’m being a bit tongue in cheek here, obviously. (I hope it was obvious – if not, I surely won’t be getting a book deal!)
I’m sure at some point you’ve all had to explain to somebody exactly what your food blog is. It’s fun isn’t it?
You write about food… that you just made… and you take pictures of it… even when you go out to eat… Sooo… ok… why exactly do you do this? Do people read it? They do?? But why?
Umm… well… I don’t really know why! Because?
And if that wasn’t fun enough, then try to explain to them how you started up an organization for fellow food bloggers… that’s when you get a lot of puzzled frowns, a few questions and then a “well that’s kinda cool I guess” and the conversation moves on. Invariably it moves on to my dog… Sam is way more interesting to most people than my blog. Everyone asks about him!
It was good though. It put things into perspective. We’re not performing brain surgery or determining the economic future of the world. We’re having some fun, playing with food.
Food blogging is not, as one fellow food blogger said recently “a contact sport”. Nor is it a competitive sport. Lately, it’s felt a lot like both!
It also made me realize that as much as the internet opens up many doors and brings new people into our lives, it doesn’t replace, and nor should it eclipse, the people who are physically present at any given moment. Family, friends (real life friends) and colleagues are important. Really important. They shouldn’t be taken for granted. Nor should they take second place to people who we barely know outside of 140 characters at a time or who we’ve never met.
They’re the people who have to put up with us every day, for better or worse. And they’re the people who know all the little things about us that we can’t hide on the internet… and they still put up with us! This seriously amazes me on a regular basis!
They don’t deserve attitude or snark. They don’t deserve being made to feel like also-rans. They don’t deserve to find out about our lives’ big moments through facebook or twitter. They do deserve a heart felt thank you now and then for being there or an apology when we’ve screwed up. Or just a random “hey, how ya doin, I was thinking of you today” phone call.
I’m guilty of so many of these things. It was good this week to have some enforced internet black out time and spend it with people who made me feel like I was important to them. It made me realize just how guilty I am of putting the real world second sometimes.
And so… I just want to say thank you to “my boys”, as I so fondly call them, because I know they won’t blow their own horns. I could say “you know who you are” but I hate that. If somebody does something awesome… tell the world who they are or else keep it quiet and thank them privately. People deserve to know directly when they’ve done something awesome.
Roger, Hank, Howard, Krzys, Andre and Yuri, you rocked it. You knocked it out of the park. Again. Every year you make me look good. And every year you keep me in stitches with your silliness and your humour. I wish every job could be as much fun. I love that you go sightseeing with me, that you are mildly amused by my picture taking in restaurants, that you bring me chai lattes just because (and that you remember that I like chai lattes), that you always make sure I have somebody to eat dinner with in a strange city, and a million other things that you might not even realize that I notice. And I love that you work your collective butts off.
And now all of you reading know just how awesome these fellas are. They are a big deal.
More to come on Ottawa in the coming days/weeks. We did hit up some great eateries and I had the pleasure of meeting fellow food bloggers Cameron from India on My Plate and Janice from Kitchen Heals Soul (no photos were taken during either meeting – go figure!)