The life of an industrial spy

For the next couple of days, I’ll be spending my time at the IBM location in La Defense, two RER stops from my hotel but definitely not in tourist Paris. I’m at an IBM internal meeting; everyone here works for the CIO’s office or is an official representative from a business unit. Well, everyone but me; I introduced myself as a spy, since my group is not at the right level in the organization to be officially represented.

The good news is that I have connectivity here without having to watch the phone bill; the bad news is that I’m inside a windowless auditorium instead of outside enjoying Paris!

About 30 of us converged for dinner at
Sam Pepper, which claims to be a “New York Bistro”, and which has an interesting assortment of cuisines, including things like Pastrami Quesadillas. None of the beers on offer were French — or even European; they had three Mexican beers and Budweiser, so I had Bordeaux instead. And I ordered one of the set menus, which was all French and very tasty, especially the dessert: Fondant au Chocolate Amer. The neighborhood was very familiar — in fact, Sam Pepper is across the street from the laundromat which we used on our vacation in 1998, though we never considered eating there on that trip.