Monthly Archives: June 2014

Large Company Travel Policies

This is somewhat unrelated to the topic of this blog, but worth posting about anyway.  Many large companies used to be small companies.  And their policies don’t always keep up with their size or make sense.  The majority of employees at my company travel quite a bit, so expense reports get scrutinized pretty closely.  I have to document every single cent I spend on meals.  EVERY SINGLE CENT.  When I billed the government, I had the option of using a zip code based per diem.  That made sense.  For my current company, I have to spend a half hour of my time scanning receipts, and writing an expense report using a completely unusable web-based interface.  It costs my company OVER A HUNDRED DOLLARS every time it happens.  This is not exactly a productive use of my time, but we save every cent.  No matter how much it costs.

The reason I bring this up is because we also have a $50/day limit on meal expenses.  Doesn’t matter if you are in Omaha or San Francisco, $50/day.  And we’re supposed to stay well under that.  In Omaha, $40 is breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a few drinks too.  In San Francisco, skip breakfast ($0), eat lunch but drink only water ($15), and find a cheap place for a nice sit down dinner ($25).  Don’t even ask me about my expense report from Orlando.

If I spend more than the per diem because I eat at nice places, I’m *MORE* than happy to swallow the difference.  And if some poor soul with kids wants to make a slight profit by shaving a couple bucks of his travel budget by buying bread and butter at a local grocery store, more power to him.  But don’t make me collect and scan 10+ receipts every time I travel.  You’re just preventing me from doing my real job.

 

Dinner was much less disappointing

After the meetings on Monday in the financial district, I decided to head over to Chinatown which is right next door.  Guided by urbanspoon on my phone, which usually saves me from bad culinary experiences, I found my way to Bund Shanghai Restaurant (92%), and ordered the Braised Silver Carp:Image

 

It was wrapped in green onions, and covered with an unusual smoky sauce that was completely foreign to me.  But of course, braised whole fish is always awesome.  I used to often make braised whole trout with tomatoes and lemon; I have a saved recipe for braised salmon that I will probably make soon.

This blog is named after the first instruction in almost every recipe I cook.  It will have posts about what I’m currently cooking (with pictures), and the food I eat while travelling.  I was just in San Francisco last week, and have lots of pictures of the excellent food there, so those will be going out over the next few weeks.