Thursday, August 10, 2017

Day 447

Today I did something really amazing: skipped out of two boring conference hours. I'm still sort of stunned. Totally pleased with myself but stunned that Dutiful Girl shut up for once.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned the tedious all day conference. Well the morning session was little talks by the various Important People and these talks made it clear that all the -real- decision making was 1) dependent on the findings of a consultant engagement which wouldn't be out till November & 2) going to be made by the Important People. So the afternoon "breakout workgroups" were pretty much  going through the motions for the sake of tradition rather than anything meaningful. I sat through the first of three hours and realized that not only was it stupid work but also there were some really unpleasant dynamics in the I bailed at the first break.

I felt very much like that line from Breakfast Club: being bad feels pretty good, huh?

So that was the big event for the day. I suppose lunch played a part too: for the first time in the 10 years I've been going to this conference lunch was "bring it back to your spot at the big u-shaped table" for more presentations and it was also surprisingly minimal. Usually there is a big buffet or we join the regular dining room buffet at the hotel (it's always in the same local venue) but this year we got pre-made sandwiches, no sides, one bowl of fruit. two bowls of trail mix and two big plates of cookies. The beverage choices were water or iced tea, period. I was happy it was -good- iced tea for a change but clearly we were taking cost containment to a new level.

The inexpensive fare was on nice plates and the meat eaters got a choice of ham-stuffed croissants or white-meat chicken salad on wheat or overstuffed roast beef on Kaiser rolls. I was happy there -was- a vegetarian choice but it was difficult to eat: roasted eggplant and yellow squash on slightly stale ciabatta with the barest scraping of a too-garlicky hummus. The sandwich was so tall I had to take it apart and eat the veggies with knife and fork. But hey, at least the eggplant was good. So was the trail mix.

I am amazed that I decided not to get increasingly tired and resentful for another three hours of conference. This is the first time I put personal interests over duty in a work setting since...well, ever.

A side benefit - in addition to the three hours of at-home time - was avoiding any and all pressure to stay for the "networking cocktails and heavy hors doevres" except they spelled that French word for "party snacks" correctly. Totally sidestepped the whole "now we -deserve- to drink" rah-rah which was a nice thing too.

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