A meeting secret weapon: the potato

One of the security podcasts I listen to–I’m not sure which one, but this sure sounds like Liquid Matrix–gave some advice the other week about meetings: Bring a raw potato.

With any luck, you won’t need it. But if the meeting gets out of hand, whip out the raw potato and–hopefully you washed it first–eat it. Yes, just like an apple. Supposedly the meeting ends very quickly when you do this.

I was at a meeting about backups last week where I really needed this. We’re at a stalemate. I need some disk space and the ability to connect to it via NFS or SCP. My protagonist wants to come in through MySQL. He’s not coming in through MySQL, and we’re not reverse-engineering a product that costs more than my house. My stance is that we’ll use the product precisely the way it’s designed, so that next week when we need the vendor’s support, they don’t blame whatever problem we’re having on the backups. The product has the facility to back up and restore its data through one of those two protocols, and setting it up takes less time than a single meeting.

Too bad it was a conference call, where I’m not sure it would have the same effect. But the next time I get a meeting request about this when what I need is a destination IP address, account credentials, and a protocol, I’m bringing a potato.

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