Best. Client Bribe. Ever.

March 31, 2010 · 7 comments

The Knife

A Good Client thanks you for quality work done on time or ahead of schedule. A Great Client thanks you for the work you’ve done with a gift, what my friends in the biz call “client bribes.” I’ve received some fine bribes in my freelancing career: chocolates, bottles of wine, port, or scotch (a 12-year-old Macallan).

My newest client was referred to me by a friend. She contacted me on Sunday, needing a complete web site by Tuesday morning. She had already wireframed the site layout, complete with content and basic navigation flow (which automatically elevated her to Great Client status) — all I had to do was come up with a clean design. It was such a change of pace to work with a Great Client again that I delivered a prototype design twelve hours later and finished the site by Monday evening.

It turns out that she reads this blog, so one of our phone conversations eventually turned to cooking. We have very similar tastes, all the way down to the knives we use. I thought nothing more of the conversation until today, when I received an unexpected package. There was a black box inside, with a very familiar logo:

And inside that box was this beauty:

That’s a Shun Ken Onion designed seven-inch santoku. It’s perfectly balanced, as sharp as Occam’s Razor, and feels like it was designed to fit my hand. I took it for a spin while prepping dinner, and now I have a new favorite knife.

What can I say? My loyalty can be bought. And if this client calls me at midnight asking for an emergency site update (she never would, but that’s another thing that makes her a Great Client), it will be done at 12:15 AM.

And the site I designed? That’s for another post.

7 comments

Ryan March 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Ahahaha, now that’s a fine how-do-you-do! I always figured that the Ken Onion would be a bit unwieldy for some reason. Sounds like I have it all backwards from your post.

I do love the Shun knives though, and bought my wife one of their nicer blades for St. Valentine’s day last year.

David March 31, 2010 at 8:30 pm

It’s a bit heavier than my other Shun santoku, but that’s a plus. It also has a slightly flatter curvature near the tip. It’s so sharp I knocked out a cup of thinly-sliced shallots in about half a minute.

BTW, I liked the flank steak post and your handling of the vegetarian heckler.

Ryan March 31, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I’ve been waiting to use that line on a overly zealous anti-meat person for a while now. Maybe we’ll start growing tasty meat in tubes at some point, making the whole debate moot.

Oh, and thanks for the kind words on the flank piece. I’m really enjoying the column.

Jeff March 31, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I was at a local shop and a salesperson caught me looking at that very knife, she ran over, opened the case with the key, and slapped it into my hand (fully aware of what effect it has on people). It was an amazing feel and it changed the way I now hold a knife.

David March 31, 2010 at 11:12 pm

It’s the first knife I’ve held where I didn’t automatically brace my thumb against the side of the blade.

Bryan April 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Boy, I have to start looking for a better class of clients.

I remember when I was at FCI and Chef Dom was given a Ken Onion chef’s knife–he couldn’t stop going on about it, kept it on his desk on its little display stand, had to show it to everybody. I’ve got a Ken Onion utility knife, and yeah, you can’t really do “the pinch” with it. Have fun with it.

David March 31, 2010 at 11:10 pm

“When do I get to tell you what to eat?” I’m totally stealing that retort.

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