Steak Tartare is a French dish of raw minced beef served with a raw egg and seasoning. It’s a dish that made an impact on the Badger soon after joining the IT industry many, many moons ago.
The situation was this. The Badger, jaded with some aspects of being a university researcher/lecturer in Materials, decided on a career change and joined a growing UK IT company at the forefront of building clever new systems and software for many different industries. Within a few days of starting at the company, the Badger was assigned to a project developing a relational database product. The project team were already well established, close-knit, highly intelligent, motivated, extremely skilled and had an extraordinary team-spirit – helped, in part, by a monthly, company funded, ‘Friday team lunch’ at restaurants in London’s Fitzrovia district.
Shortly after joining the team, the Badger attended his first ‘Friday team lunch’ at a quality French restaurant in Charlotte Street, London. Being new, the Badger was apprehensive. Visiting good restaurants wasn’t something the Badger did often and the whole menu was in French! Most of the team ordered steaks of one form or another, so the Badger followed suit and ordered Steak Tartare in the belief this would be just ‘normal’ steak but with a different sauce. The Badger’s plate of raw minced beef topped with a raw egg was the last to be served, and its arrival caused the hub-bub around the table to cease! All eyes turned to the Badger who somehow managed to conceal his own shock! The team conveyed their amusement and respect for the Badger’s choice, but wagered the Badger would not clear the plate. The Badger, of course, ate the lot… and hasn’t eaten Steak Tartare again since!
So what learning did the Badger take from this episode? Firstly, it broke the ice with the team and it speeded up the development of relationships with other team members. The Badger learned that doing something that makes you stand out or generates comment can help speed up your assimilation into an established group of people. Secondly, the Badger learned never to be reluctant to ask questions or seek clarification, and to always ensure you fully understand what you’re getting from the outset. Thirdly, the Badger learned to brush up his French.
So, overall what’s the message? Simple. Don’t be afraid to be different, don’t be shy, ask questions, learn about yourself and learn how to make an impact on others. Don’t be frightened of trying new things. Try Steak Tartare yourself – you never know, it might have an impact on you that you’ll remember for years to come too…