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I'm here in Las Vegas (also known as "Come-See-How-Much-Money-You-Can-Lose-Ville") for a mandatory conference. Three days of presentations that all say the same thing. Shudder.
Call it a failing of mine, but I just don't understand the point in this sort of thing. For every conference like this I have been forc…um...lucky enough to attend, they gather everyone together in a beautiful location at some truly fabulous hotel, and then plan 12-15 hours per day of meetings guarenteed to bore you to tears…but yet it's somehow supposed to be fun? Relaxing? Why waste all this money? Why not rent the nearest high school gym and stuff all 3000 of us in there. It would accomplish the same thing and save tons of cash to boot. What's the point of taking us to some lovely vacation spot if we don't get the chance to do more than just comment on the scenery as we walk past, heading for yet another mandatory meeting?
The problem is, I just don't have the right mindset for this type of thing. I don't drink alcoholic beverages and I truly hate schmoozing, or going to cocktail parties where I know no one. It's a hold-over from the days when I used to be shy, I suppose, but meandering around buffet tables trying to make small talk with thousands of strangers, most of whom are doing their best to drink their jet lag into oblivion, is not my idea of fun. Nor is sitting in long drawn-out marketing presentations, especially when they have little if anything to do with what I work with on a day-to-day basis.
Part of my discontent at being here stems from the fact that my little corner of the company is barely mentioned. Imagine going to a three-day long event and being subjected to painfully dull presentation after presentation on something that you never deal with and could care less about. I'm still trying to recover from being part of the little fish that got swallowed by the big fish over six months ago, and now we're being required to go to the big fish's events. It would be nice if maybe, just maybe, they tried to make it remotely interesting or informative or even *useful* to those of us who still deal with the little fish's technology, but that's not the case. New products and services are discussed and my little group gets an aside of 'oh, and you'll get that later. Maybe. Someday. If you're really lucky.'
Sigh. I suppose if I enjoyed gambling this might be more tolerable, but I have failed to learn to like that particular vice either. Last night I got $20 worth of quarters and spent about 45 minutes feeding them into a slot machine. I had no glorious dreams of winning. My plan was to keep feeding in coins until they were all gone. There. I went to Las Vegas and gambled. My duty is complete.
One more day left. I'm leaving early - and had to get special permission to do so because this literally was mandatory (and trust me, I tried my hardest to get out of it too!) because I've got things planned on Sunday. And I suppose there have been one or two perks out of the whole deal. I got two days off from work. As is typical of technology firms, they've given us lots of neat little gadgets and other goodies, and of course the required shirt. If you work for technology companies long enough you will acquire an entire wardrobe from the waist up. Seriously. Also, I got to meet my new manager, which gave me a chance to let her know that I really want to phase out of consulting. Actually, that went surprisingly well. She said she'd keep her eyes open for opportunities for me - and it's not going to be for another six months or so anyway. At the very least, I've started that particular ball rolling, and it won't come as a nasty shock to the managers when I start actively pursuing it come the end of this year (fingers crossed just in case though).
One more day until I can fly home. And only about 12 more hours of Death by Power Point. I can make it. Somehow. Sob.