T Nation

Conference

People are funny.

Not ALL people but most, at least most of the people I work with anyway. People are funnier when you take them out of their “natural” environment and place them somewhere slightly uncomfortable and foreign. Someplace like a business conference, which by the way were developed by undergrad Phych students at West Lubbock Community College (Our “Bocks” are the “Lubbiest”) to see just how much alcohol could be consumed in what they termed the “Hospitality Suite”. Unfortunately this exercise has been perpetuated by CEO’s who are of the firm belief that “the more uncomfortable the employee is, the more growth they can experience”

The day will come soon when your CEO can just come into your office, poke you in the eye with a sharp stick, throw a hat and coffee mug on your desk and run out with a “Hope you enjoyed the conference!” tossed over his shoulder.

And while you are sitting there trying to stem the flow of blood from your freshly poked eye you will think “Hey, at least I didn’t have to travel!”

Yes sir, happy days are coming but until then we will be forced to spend sporadic weeks trapped with our co-workers from divisions across the country in remote locations teamed up in the most unlikely of groups and assigned tasks like: Pass this egg back and forth.

Now, many of you may not be able to quickly spot the absolute GENIUS of this exercise so I will explain it for you…

See, “Ed” from accounting has a poor attitude, his insistence that expense reports be filled out so that $12.00 plus $3.67 does NOT equal $7,584,607.99 is a continuing thorn in the side of operations. Demanding that kind of accuracy is not only too much to ask but is damaging TEAMWORK. As a matter of fact, a little known fact is that a fellow named “Edimus Maximus” was the Director of Finance for the Roman Empire just prior to collapse!

Coincidence? Phhtt!, Hardly.

Anyway, “Ed” has problems relating to people in a real world way, which isn’t to say he has problems with everyone just with everyone he knows. So this only becomes an issue when he is awake and the obvious solution here is to demonstrate to him that if he were to pass an egg to one of his Team mates he will magically realize that he is part of a dynamic, fluid team that is constantly striving for a common goal held by all and that the functional participation in this team is a rewarding and enriching experience not only professionally but on a personal level as well.

Group hugs, Sunshine and Lollipops for everyone.

But “Ed” obviously doesn’t care about this because he is too busy adding up the costs of the broken eggs and screaming at his Team mates to stop “wasting company resources!”. This helps build “Team spirit” in the most unusual way. We are ALL committed to using “Ed” to set the Guinness record for “largest and most painful wedgie”.

And stealing his luggage.

Needless to say, “Ed” missed the point of the conference but I on the other hand learned many valuable things such as:

~ Raising your hand to answer a question in daily debriefing sessions is only the first part in the process, if you can mumble something about this being “A whole new paradigm” you can get bonus points for your team.

~ The coffee served at conferences is specially formulated to cause intense bladder discomfort within minutes of consumption. This is to ensure the alert attention of those who participated in the previous evenings “Hospitality Suite” experiment.

~ Winning isn’t everything, it’s only for those cheating, whining pussies from the Red team.

~ When the fire alarm goes off at 1:29 A.M you can bet it had something to do with “Dave”

~ I am going to miss “Dave”

All in all a fairly good week, I can’t wait until next year.

I am running low on mugs.

“The vice-president of an advertising agency is a bit of executive fungus that forms on a desk that has been exposed to conference”

~ Fred Allen

Dilbert, is that you? Another good one!

~ “Intelligence has less practical application than one might think.”

  • Scott Adams, in a Dilbert strip.

It’s an anecdote like this that reaffirms my belief that conventional employment is not for me. Oh, Ed’s a real douche.

Sorry Mike, I posted and abandoned…Thank you, I feel sometimes that I may just BE Dilbert, I work for an amazing company but sometimes…well…PHB city. Quite disappointed in the embarrassment that the cartoon turned out to be…

That being said I did get a really cool jacket too!

“Wishing of all employments is the worst”

~ Edward Young