Jerry Seinfeld has a great comedy routine about paying the bill after dinner:
Went out to dinner the other night, check came at the end of the meal as it always does. Never liked the check at the end of the meal system. Because money’s a very different thing before and after you eat.
Before you eat, money has little value. When you’re hungry, you sit down in a restaurant; you’re like the ruler of an empire. You don’t care about cost. You want maximum food in minimum time.
“More drinks, appetizers, quickly, quickly. Fried things in the shape of a stick or a ball. It will be the greatest meal of our lives! We shall eat like kings and queens.”
Then after the meal, once you’re, you can’t remember ever being hungry ever in your life. You see people walking in the restaurant, you can’t believe it. “Why are these people coming in here now? I’m so full. How could they eat?”
You’ve got the pants undone, napkins destroyed, and cigarette butt in the mashed potatoes. You never want to see food again as long as you live. That’s when the check comes. This why people are mystified by the check. What is this? How could this be? They start passing it around the table. This can’t be right. How could this be?
“Does this look right to you? We’re not hungry now, why are we buying all this food?”
That reminds me so much of being a grant writer. We supply the client with an estimate of the time and cost it will take to complete the grant. That is agreed upon. Planning meetings are conducted. Time has little value. We shall write the greatest grant ever! We want it all! Give it your very best! Whatever it takes! We want it all and we want it now!
Then after the grant is completed and submitted, desks and minds are cleared. Everyone catches up on his or her sleep. Our invoice (that is within the estimated cost of course - it has to be or we lose not them) is submitted and the client is mystified. What is this? How can this be? They start passing it around. This can’t be right. Does this look right to you? That seems like an awful lot for one grant. What took so long? Why so many hours?
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