Buffets Can be Taxing

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Jeff Davidson

Years ago, my wife and I used to take one overnight trip every month. We exhausted many of the trips that were within a two-hour radius of our home in Falls Church, Virginia, so we started embarking on three to four-hour trips. One such trip brought us to Virginia Beach, where we stayed at some beachfront hotel.

While perusing tourist literature, we came upon a restaurant called Captain George's. The restaurant specialized in seafood and featured a buffet that was alleged to be one of the best in the region. A photo in their advertisement looked highly enticing. Apparently, the buffet table went on for a considerable distance.

Truth in Advertising

We asked the people at the front desk about Captain George's, and they all responded enthusiastically that it was definitely worth dining there. So that evening, we drove to Captain George's. When we entered the restaurant and saw the buffet, it exceeded our wildest expectations; it had to have been 12 to 15 yards long.

Every type of seafood imaginable was available, and all of my favorites: scallops, clams, shrimp, and crab offered in various formats, such as creamed, on a stick and in butter. The per-person fee was, maybe, $11.95-- expensive at the time, but well worth it!

At Captain George's, you could return to the seafood buffet over and over again. If your normal daily caloric intake was 2,400 to 3,400, you were destined to bust it. We stayed for what must have totaled a 10,000 calorie meal. We felt stuffed to the gills (pun intended) but was an experience not to be missed! We talked about that seafood buffet for days, weeks, even months afterward.

The Information Buffet

One day, while speaking to a group, I realized that the onslaught of information that the typical career professional in our society is subjected to is, in many ways, analogous to Captain George's Seafood Buffet. Today's "information buffet" is truly of the all-you-can-eat variety.

Switch on your television to one of the scores of stations, many of them with rather worthwhile programming. Log onto the Internet, and be whisked away to any of the millions of worthy websites. Visit a Barnes & Noble superstore, and have as many as 150,000 books at your command, and more than 1,000 magazines to peruse.

Like Captain George's, the information buffet is an all-you-can-ingest proposition. It's okay to have a 10,000-calorie meal every now and then. What would it be like, however, to eat at Captain George's every week, or--my goodness-- every night? So it is with the information buffet.

By my observations, people who are besieged by too much information can become indecisive, exhausted, un-centered, and disconnected from others. A 10,000 bit intake on any given day is not debilitating. Ingest that level of information daily and you'll become bloated with the consequences.

Now, more than ever, you must take control of your personal environment or you will be overwhelmed, on a perpetual basis.