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Going Out with a Bang (or, They Probably Won't Have Any Video Presentations When I Leave)

Every summer we have a National Staff Meeting where all of our employees come to Memphis for FUN! and continuing education about the organization they work for. I think we're up to 440 people this year.

The NSM coincides with our National Convention, which is kind of like National Staff Meeting for our Board Members and Founding Family and Volunteers: They, too, come to Memphis for FUN! and education about the organization they volunteer for. There's about 300 of them.

So Staff Meeting begins tomorrow and runs through Friday morning with FUN! events (like VIDEOS! and totally FUN! powerpoint presentations by each of the VPs sharing what's NEW! in their area.)

The Convention starts Friday afternoon and runs all day Saturday. And I do mean All. Day. Until 9 or 10 at night. On a Saturday.

I guess technically, I could skip the whole damn thing this year. Since their pep rally will be completely wasted on me. But this year is special, and I wouldn't miss it.

Our CEO is retiring at the end of the month. So this is his LAST! staff meeting. And LAST! convention. LAST! Meet the Patients session. LAST! Volunteer Awards Brunch.

Oh my god! This is the last video he'll sit through with us! And that's the last rubber chicken dinner he'll eat with us! And that's the last time he'll shake that guy's hand! And that's the last vodka on the rocks his secretary will bring him!

(You can see that it very quickly turns into one overblown tribute dinner after another. I think - b/c our dept produces these things - we're up to two video and three powerpoint presentations in his honor.)


You know, all the funny photos of him in compromising positions. And 1970s hair. It'll be just one giant laugh riot.

Today they had the staff start signing a big banner for him. LIKE HE'S GOING TO READ ALL 450 OF THOSE NOSTALGIC COMMENTS. I wrote "I'll miss you...but we'll always have Monaco!" hee hee

Here's the part that really annoys the hell outta me at these things though: Forced Interaction.

Yes, for the convention dinner Saturday night, we have ASSIGNED SEATING.

Not "assigned" like: "These 18 tables in the back of the room are for staff...sit where you want." Oh no, no, no.

"Assigned" like: "You will sit for hours next to staff you do not like very much and volunteers you do not know at all. Even if they're asshats. And if in fact they do suck, may I recommend that you NOT drink too much wine, because they're probably Board Members." Assigned like that.

I sure do hate it when people try to force consenting adults to interact. Grrr...

I only hope that whoever did the seating arrangements hadn't heard yet that I'm leaving, and they DO sit me next to a Board Member...boy, won't I have an earful for them!