24 September 2008

For all to see!

I would describe myself as something of a perfectionist – when it comes to something that has to be done, it has to be done right. If it needs to be presented to someone else, if it is going to be circulated, it has to be just perfect… perfect presentation, perfect layout, perfect grammar and spelling, perfect logic of thoughts. Anyone should be able to follow what I am putting forwarded, easily, so that my message gets across, with all the relevant information. In other words, when I am working, I pride myself as being the “ultimate professional” – I know, I know, it’s kind of sad. :-(

But having said this, you should see my desk at work; or better still, what I call my “study” at home… a spare bedroom with the pc and a mess of papers, files, stacks of stuff… it can be quite a frightening sight! It balances things out I suppose.

I organised a small conference for work last week: Theme, programme, venue, invitations and confirmation of attendees, guest speakers, refreshments… I was also doing one of the presentations, and worked at it for hours (Powerpoint is my “Pet Hate” - I find the whole thing so illogical). On the morning itself, I arrived very early to set up, connected my laptop to the massive overhead screen – yes, a full screen, integrated into the wall, not just your small flimsy rollout portable screen. I was making the 1st presentation, then the 2 guests speakers were going to follow with theirs.

I hate it when you are in a work situation, in the middle of a discussion with someone, looking on their laptop at support material, and there pops a family picture! It can be cute, but also very distracting… I have always thought this is so “unprofessional”. To avoid all possibilities of this happening, I cancelled my screensaver sequence – I did not want the magnificent (at least I think they are) photos of my 2007 dream holiday popping up in the middle of a presentation, or the during the Q&A session - who wants to see Sri Lankan elephants and Maldives coral reefs while trying to follow a debate? I cross-checked twice to be sure it was off!

I then loaded the guest speakers’ presentations next to my own, opened the three of them in sequence, and left each one on the 1st page – my idea was simple: no need to go back to the desk top, we could easily flick from one presentation to the next, seamlessly. Remember, everything I looked at on my laptop screen was projected onto the massive screen on the wall of the auditorium…

And yes, it was seamless. The morning went very well, my presentation had no hitch. At the end of it, I clicked on the next one for the first guest speaker; after that one I went back over to switch to the third one. Q&A session followed. All well! Our chairman closed the session, every body stood up, and started talking, chatting, networking. I was one of them, totally absorbed in the discussions around me. The “ultimate professional”.

Then I turned around...

And looked up...

And this is what I saw....

For all to see, Cathal looking down at us from the Big Screen!

It seems that while we were all chatting, someone (I still don’t know who) had very kindly gone to my laptop and closed the last presentation, also closing down Powerpoint in the process, and thus revealing my desk top with “my” baby – photo high-jacked from his Mammy’s PC last month (if it looks familiar, that’s because she had it on her own blog for a while).

After my initial and very loud “Oh!” … I tried to gather my wits, and I explained: “The new man in my life…”, while smiling to all around.

Back in the office, some of my colleagues who had witnessed this remarked that they had wondered at the time…

Goes to show two things:
- This child never leaves me! He has invaded every aspect of my life!
- And you can never prepare for every eventuality!


Jeffrey Goble said...

Well, of all the things that could have popped up, this one's the best possible, yes?
Great story!

Sesame said...

nan p that's one pop-up I wouldn't be blocking..he's such a cutie

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sesame that is one pop-up I wouln't block! He is so cute - you should show him off whenever and to whoever you can!

Yes it shows that he has invaded your life ..... and why not??