So, we go to lunch is this gorgeous 19th century traditional French restaurant, in Lyon, with beautiful old French décor (like the palace at Versailles), and these amazing May trees in full, pink blooms outside and 3 French guys sit down and start comparing mobile phones!!
Well, I appreciated the ambiance of the place and the food was exquisite. I had this grilled fish, which was “to-die-for,” while the French guys ate bone marrow for starters and horse meat for their main course!
At a local French government municipality that afternoon, I also used my French to introduce myself, but decided to do the presentation and demo in English, after the client was confused why InfoSol had sent a chef to discuss Business Intelligence report distribution with them.
Anyway, I had their mouths watering by the end of that demo and they were asking for pricing and discounting before I could finish. I was so excited, I had to go to the bathroom, and got lost on the way back.
Also, I have noticed how cramped things are in France. It’s not just crunched up little cars, to fit in minute parking spaces down tiny streets, and carousel style parking lots that go ten levels down underground, it’s their office spaces too. I visited one company today and they had no less than 15 people working side-by-side on laptops, at tiny tables, in a room the size of a regular director’s office. Telecommuting has not caught on in a big way, because “The French” work a 35-hour week, and usually get 6 to 7 weeks vacation, so they spend too much time at home already!