A few weeks ago, Derek wrote about an upcoming meeting of the austere CMEpalooza planning committee that was on the calendar after weeks and weeks of coddling and begging. As those of us in the industry are familiar with, getting anyone to carve out time in their schedule for a planning call can be quite painful.
Well, imagine dealing with a whole cadre of egos (“My time is more important than your time”) where any affront is taken personally (“Wait, why are we rescheduling this meeting because she is unavailable? I told you I was unavailable, and you told me that was too bad. I hate you guys.”) and perhaps you have a sense of what Derek and I have to deal with on a semiannual basis.
OK, OK, so perhaps our planning committee isn’t quite as austere as I hinted at earlier. OK, OK, perhaps it is just Derek and I. Nonetheless, scheduling was a bit more challenging this year than most.
As you may recall from Derek’s near-catastrophic snafu with jury scheduling this spring, he is not always great at planning around important events in CMEpalooza-ville. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he bailed on our first meeting when he realized he had to see the dentist to get a few cavities filled. That’s what a lifetime of Laffy Taffy every night after dinner will do to your teeth, folks. (Note from Derek: Tough but fair.)
I was to blame (well, kinda sorta) for the second cancellation – water damage to our property caused by massive construction going on next door that is slated to be completed… oh, sometime in 2068.
But never fear my feathered friends, Derek and I persevered! Our personal assistants stayed with it, cross-referencing dates and times to find a Friday afternoon where we could both sit down and talk through ideas for CMEpalooza Fall.
But alas, another chink in the armor. Derek chose a Mexican restaurant near his house as our meeting spot. We show up. Oops. “I guess it isn’t open for lunch,” he says.
For some people, this would have been the last straw, but again, we persevered! Fortunately, another mediocre restaurant was located just across the street. What luck! OK, OK, there are lots of restaurants within a few blocks of where we met, but I’m simply trying to create some drama here.
Anyway, we sat down, ordered our iced teas and lemonades, and got down to business.
Let me approximate how these planning meetings typically go.
Me (rifling through many pages of notes and doodles during my preparation for the meeting): “So, what session ideas so you have for the next CMEpalooza?”
Derek (rifling through a blank notebook): “I dunno. Maybe something about grantors?”
Me: “So it’s on me again, eh?”
Imagine then my surprise last Friday when Derek actually had, gasp, several good ideas! I mean it everyone, a week at the beach must have sparked a few neurons into creative overdrive deep within Derek’s cerebral cortex. Between my mediocre ideas and his, we actually have a good collection of topics and formats for the Fall meeting (Wednesday, Oct. 16). We still need to flesh things out, get moderators/presenters on board, negotiate schedules, and everything else, but hey, at least we’re building momentum.
Let’s just hope life gets out the way for a while.