Phun with Phyzikz…

Even i have limits.  i can tolerate a rather remarkable amount of pain – particularly in regards to enduring meetings, workshops and technical conferences.  i have developed tools and techniques for staying awake

Physiologically?  They call me “The Camel”, as i am generally able to drink my weight in coffee in a half-day meeting and never require a mercy break*.   That – and my ability to sleep on airplanes – is one of my most important business skills….

Friday was Day Four of a Hardcore Tech Workshop.  The first three days of the meeting were at our on-site conference facility – allowing me the option of sneaking home for lunch and avoiding getting my leg humped by aggressive and/or needy academics looking for research funds.  They often have no table manners, and will corner me during lunch, sharing the merits of their particular microcosm of the research universe whilst spitting chunks of squishy pasta salad in my lap. 

The final “invitation only” geekfest was held at a downtown hotel… less convenient for an escape.  With about 200 people at the events earlier in the week, it was easy to disappear and escape notice.  The final day consisted of a smaller subset of researchers, maybe twenty folks total.  This presented a much greater challenge – especially since i was one of only two “senior leader” types in the room…

So it had to tough it out.  This little topical workshop was focused on a piece of my technological pie.  Since i’m the techno-strategist du jour for my new group, i felt obligated to feign as much interest as possible. 

i pulled out all of my standard tools.  Fantasize about someone in the room?  Umm… right….  Mostly physicists.  Next trick, please?  Discreetly surf the news on my blackberry?  Nope.  Seats were crammed too closely together in a small room.  The speaker would see me doing it… just too rude. 

Oh, for the love of Maxwell, these fuckers simply would not shut up!  We were destined to run late.  On a fucking FRIDAY afternoon.  But i was hangin’ tough.  Going through my “to do” list for the weekend in my head.  Playing games with the words being spewed**….

At 1:30 pm, i began to squirm… the dreaded “Post-Lunch/Pre-Cookie Break” chasm of death.  Nowhere to stand and pace in the back of the small meeting room.  i was trapped.  When the final speaker of the session launched into an impassioned discussion of non-hermitian hamiltonians, i cracked.

Looking at my blackberry, with my trademarked “Oh, There’s A Highly Urgent Management Matter I Must Attend To” furrowed brow, i stood, grabbed my coat and briskly walked out of the room, off to the parking garage and squealed my tires outta there. 

Sometimes they simply can’t pay me enough…


Phuck all y'all!

* In fact, i have used this particular skill to accelerate the decision process.  After filling the urn in the group conference room with coffee, gathering my management team around the table, and hashing out the advantages/disadvantages of a particular course of action, i can wrap a meeting up fairly quickly with the statement:  “No one is leaving this room until we come to a decision!”  They’ll squirm, cross their little legs, and sometimes even pace a bit, but eventually, we’re done and there’s a mad dash to the cans…  Yeah.  Evil, but highly effective.

** One particularly enthusiastic speaker, who was Greek, managed to hold my attention inadvertently.  Every time he said “PT Phase” it sounded like “Pretty Face”, and therefore made his presentation much more entertaining…

14 thoughts on “Phun with Phyzikz…

  1. I must confess to having used the same escape technique before. It’s the only thing I miss about having a Blackberry. And one of the big things I don’t miss at all about corporate life.

  2. nursemyra – i get things done. and punishment is delivered to the deserving along the way…

    alex – oh, crap… there’s a long running gag at work about me and Dr. Hawking. Making the comment that i am generally knocked over by brilliant men, i said that Stephen Hawking was a fine and sexy man… the guys at work have never let me forget about it.

    jimmy – so good to see you back! and thank you!

    chris – you can also use a text message on cell phone if necessary. i’m not going to make it much longer in the corporate world, i’m afraid… losing steam fast…

    renalfailure – definitely you, over mr. larkin. real men vs imaginary any day… left work early-ish and did some running for halloween costume bits and pieces. as good as shots for a halloween-junkie like me…

  3. this was a very funny post daisyfae….forget living to work, we here in florida work to live and the weekend, is afterall our time! never hurts to get a head start!

  4. The ability to sleep on a plane is major. When I think of all the wasted hours on red eye flights that I couldn’t nod off I want to scream. And those big corporate conference cookies are almost worth what you have to suffer through in order to get one.

  5. rob – personal space? hardly. but it’s the “chewing with the mouth open” thing that drives me batty… must be part of the grad school training program for physicists… ack….

    lynn – oh, i’m that happy penguin on fridays! used to live to work, then got my mind right… it’s ok to be good at what you do, earn your pay, and not take it home with you! thanks for the ‘snort’…

    unbearable banishment – yeah, those cookies. i was a member of a ‘study’ team a few years back. on the road for the better part of 6 months, eating in meeting rooms. breakfast pastries, yummy box lunches with brownies as big as your head, then afternoon cookie breaks… oh, then exhausted at the end of the day and had room service. gained 15 pounds. which is the last 15 i’ve been trying to lose this year. grrr….

  6. Bb – i’ve actually called myself (from my personal phone to my work blackberry) just to get out of the room. sad. very, very sad… i’m a wuss. i admire the people who just get up and walk out.

  7. silverstar – i’m sure we could understand it if we put some time into learning it. just that i’d rather do a million other things… including waxing my ladybits… rather than think about matrices and transformations and blah fucking blah blah blah….

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