Vendors are companies you buy supplies from, in large, business sized quantities. When I worked in the office of a restaurant, I cut checks to vendors like Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Sysco, and Louisiana Seafood Exchange. Now I deal with PPG, an auto paint vendor, Reynolds & Reynolds, who supplies us with our computers, and Zee Medical Supply, who kindly re-stocks our supply of Menstrual-Tabs in our office's first aid cabinet.

But I don't deal with them in quite the same way. They get their checks from commercial billing. Now their job is to keep our business, which means schmoozing us. Buying us dinners out or renting commercial fishing trips to the Gulf for the guys in the body and paint shops. My boss got us all new PC's and a laptop for himself. They give us courier bags with Safelite Auto Glass logos on them; I use mine every day for a gym bag.

Now, since the schmoozing act goes both ways in business, we do the same thing to insurance companies as well, taking adjusters out to lunch in an effort to gain direct billing accounts with whatever company they represent. Often, just like the vendors, we do this merely to maintain friendly relations with the people who basically supply us with our work, which is wrecked cars.

It seems so false and corporate, but I can't help having benefited from working for a corporation. But my benefits have been reaped mainly in house and not having to do with vendors at all. You reap from them when you're higher on the ladder, when you get them their money.

But for now, I'll take my cheap oil changes and my free courier bag. I like the bottom rung, thank you.