Its Christmas/Holiday time in corporate america, and that means time for "Vendor Gifts"! I work in IT: can't these guys send me a Palm Pilot or something that says "Thank you for dropping $75K on our company's bug-ridden software that nobody at your firm uses anyway"? No, they have to thank my department with a giant Harry and David gift basket, which would be nice if they'd send us the stuff Harry and David are known for: fresh fruit. No, we get the Harry and David gift basket with the chocolate. Gee, there isn't anything chocolate around here at Holiday time.
What makes Vendor gifts harder is that these aren't the standard slice and bake sugar cookies with the cutely pathetic cement-like frosting that people bring in, or the occassionally excellent "my aunt's secret recipe" shortbread cookies. I've already talked myself out of these. No, vendor gifts are usually from gourmet shops so instead of regular old fudge, you get peanut butter fudge with macadamia nuts with a hint of some liquor you've never heard of. Curry-baked almonds dusted with gray salt from the south seas. Stuff you'd never buy because you've just about heard of it. Stuff you want to try not because you love it. You don't know if you love it. You're just curious. You eat it just because you want to know what white-truffle-oil packed sun-dried tomato spread tastes like.
So, I'll give it this. I will have just a taste of this stuff. I will NOT eat nasty old cheese spread out of a plastic container with a swath of port wine cutting through like some sort of infection. I WILL put a bit of truffled tomato spread on a little cracker, and I will note what it tasted like. I will NOT eat a whole box of Aunt Beulah's Extra Buttery Shortbread Rum cookies. I WILL slice myself one sliver of hungarian garlic summer sausage.
And then I'll go back to work and figure out why we do business with these guys.