Sometimes I think I’m a consultant too. I just finished consulting with a nice batch of onion pakoras that I made using the recipe my mother-in-law patented years ago. Before consulting in the kitchen over hot oil, I was consulting over an awards ceremony lunch held by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club where I got a prize for a story that I was consulted on, and wrote, of course. To get to the Crowne Plaza for the event, I had to be a car consultant to my editor Jaya who is, kind of, like a consultant—to me and to many others.
Be warned, though. I’m not a “Consultant Consultant” in the way all the youth of the day are. Youngsters like my son, they are the real thing. Colleges in America give birth to 21-year-old consultants every year. Companies like Bain, McKinsey, BCG and scores of others, hire them, right out of their party circuit and funnel them through grueling rounds of interviews. They anoint them and administer—as the Archbishop of Canterbury did to the Queen of England—the oath: “From now on, may the world know who you are. Go forth and Consult.”
Consultants are not just Analysts or Developers or Architects or Doctors or Engineers or Scientists. Don’t ever ask a Consultant what he or she does. Please, have some respect, for they are Consultants.