Saturday, April 17, 2010

Interesting Conversation Today

I write this simply to share a bit of a conversation I had with a customer today, and so that I'll have a piece of it documented. I found the customer to be an extremely interesting individual.

Today at work I spoke with an individual, I'll call him Dave, who works very close to a high-level US government offical. He was actually calling for support from a department in the US government in regard to an issue that was affecting a Secretary of something. Once I discovered this, and we had a bit of time, I had to ask the question, "So Dave, doing the work that you do, are you very political?"...Dave is VERY MUCH into politics.

We talked for over two hours while waiting for certain tasks on his server to complete while troubleshooting his issue. Political conversations with my customers are very rare. Most individuals are very focused on the purpose of their call and I dare not attempt to stray onto something as divisive as politics without a very large opening. When I do, because of the underlying reason for the call (business), I always censor my approach to a topic and position my questions and statements very diplomatically. This always leads to a more pleasurable and informative conversation than when I enter these types of debates outside of work with individual I am more comfortable with.

During my conversation with Dave, this is what I learned about him:

Dave enjoys talking about politics almost as much I do; maybe more. Dave has met two presidents in his life-time: President Reagan and President Obama. Dave served in the marine corps during the 1980s. Dave worked for the DEA. Dave has worked for President Obama's transition team after the 2008 election. Dave is extremely involved with the Democratic National Committee. Dave is assisting the Democratic National Committee in regard to strategy for the 2010 House and Senate elections. Dave keeps three books next to his bed: the bible, the US constitution and a guide regarding the Marine Corps. Dave can recite the Constitution word by word. Dave has read all 2000 pages of the health care reform bill, twice. Dave generally disagrees with the insurance mandate and doesn't believe it will be enforceable. Dave does believe an individual has the right to health care, though Dave seemed to understand an individual doesn't have the right to the labour of another (once I brought this up). Dave likes Ron Paul and thinks Ron Paul represents the intellectual right in the United States. Dave also thinks that if Ron Paul had won the nomination of the Republican Party in 2008, and had Mitt Romney as his running mate, that Ron Paul would have beat Obama in the general election. Dave generally agrees with everything Obama has done so far and seems to have an unwavering support for the majority of Obama's policies, domestic and foreign (under the rationalization that Obama is doing the best that he can). Dave earns more working in IT for a government department than the average doctor (Dave's wife is an OB/GYN) earns. Dave lives in Washington, D.C. Dave is African-American.

Dave and I had a very interesting 2 hour political conversation.

Dave is part of the political class.

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