Let’s Get One Thing Straight

Today I went to a workshop for work, and at the beginning we received an agenda that gave a run down of the day – the morning sessions lasted until noon with one break, and then after an hour for lunch, the afternoon’s sessions would last til 5:00. By the last morning session, I found it really hard to focus. I was sleepy, hungry, distracted by the woman Facebooking in front of me, and tuning out all the really dry material. I began counting down the minutes until lunch. And boy, did those minutes pass slowly. By 11:58, I was ready to bolt for lunch, but the presentation went over. At the end of it, at 12:17, they asked for any questions from the audience, and I thought “Please, no questions, no questions, no questions…” I just wanted some caffeine and lunch. And I had to figure out somewhere to pump and fit that in some where in the lunch break, without being rude or strangely abrupt to whoever I would end up sitting and networking with. So I was praying nobody asked questions that required us all to sit there politely and behave.

Once lunch ended, the afternoon sessions began, and the first presentation went by pretty fast, so I was surprised that break time was upon us so soon again after lunch. But then they just dove right into the next topic and presentation with no mention of the scheduled afternoon break. I thought I must’ve been mistaken about the timing of the afternoon break, so I checked the agenda again, and looked at my phone, and sure enough, we were supposed to have had a break 20 minutes ago. I glanced around, no one else seemed antsy, so I figured, Sweet! We’ll get out of here 30 minutes early! I can get home earlier, spend at least 10 minutes with baby before she taps out, and not have to pump in the resort’s bathroom stall again.

But that second afternoon session was extremely boring, and just kept getting more and more off-track with anecdotes and, since they’d taken away the coffee after lunch, I found it harder and harder to stay awake, focus, and listen to anything with any interest. I looked at my email, popped onto IM, did some web surfing, and still, only 10 more minutes had passed. That session had slowed to a crawl. I must not have been the only one totally distracted and disinterested because the next thing I hear is “You guys look zonked. We were supposed to have a break earlier, but let’s take it now and regroup. So, how about we take a break, regroup in 30, and then we’ll go til 5:30, ok?”

No.

No, no, no, no, no. Ever since I read that agenda this morning and saw that we’d be wrapping up no later than 5:00, I had been anxiously awaiting 5:00. So, no. I am NOT staying til 5:30. I am tired, the coffee surreptitiously disappeared right after lunch, there’s no more caffeine around here, and staying til 5:00 is going to take every ounce of patience and focus that I brought for the day. Or, if you would rather hear the unfiltered response from my brain, “Do you really expect us to sit here an extra half hour today? Let’s just plow on through and get out of here early as planned. That agenda? It’s more like a contract, and you will NOT fuck with my expectation of getting out of here at 5:00. My boobs are going to explode, I’m sleepy as shit and there’s no Diet Coke, no coffee, and my phone can only entertain me so much longer before I run out of here screaming, so no. No, no, no, no, no. NO!”

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