April 20, 2005
Shhh . . . the baby's sleeping.
I expect people in my environment to stay awake under very few circumstances. First and foremost, I would like you to stay coherent should we be out to dinner together, so I don't have to interrupt my bean burrito to check for signs of life with my compact mirror. I generally expect that my beau will remain alert during sex, but even that is negotiable. I firmly, believe, however, that by the time you have graduated with a master's degree, probably have given birth to two or three rugrats, and are trusted with operating two tons of Toyota Corolla on a daily basis, you should be able to stay awake during a professional presentation.

This, however, seemed to be a tall order for several attendees at my presentation yesterday.

I was warned to bring 60 copies of any handout materials with me, so this being a relatively large presentation, I brought out the big guns. Mama even got up early to get her curl on, and with the assistance of some Finesse non-aerosol, perfected a do that even Ms. Paula Abdul would envy. I prepared a great presentation, avoided caffeine, shot myself in the thigh with a tranquilizer dart, and prepared to impress the masses.

Sixteen people showed up, and three of those were on the panel with me.

One would hypothesize that the limited attendance would cause you to be even more alert, given that the sound of your head hitting the table would be easily detectable in a crowd that size. Oh, no. That was of no concern to these folks.

Clearly tired from having to chew so much at lunch, one gentleman began reading his USA Today. He had hardly made it through his first colorful graphic before his chin was in his chest. Another gal in the back moved her seat to the front of the room at the beginning of the presentation, only to PUT HER HEAD DOWN AND SLEEP THE REMAINING 60 MINUTES. That's right, an entire episode of Maguyver. I'm gonna kick your little turtlenecked ass, I thought.

But that would have involved jumping over the other woman who had passed out with only ten minutes remaining. "Someone get Nancy Narcolepsy a brownie and turn on QVC, STAT!" Ah, the small joys that keep our attention.

At least I can put the presentation on my resume. If I can stay awake that long.

(Oh, and the cyborgs followed me to the motherland, too. The whole way home I saw signs for "Terminator" slots in Atlantic City. Mothergrubbing Stalkers.)


Anonymous your beau said...

Narcolepsy is a pretty big word to throw around for a sassy lassy who can't make it to the first musical performance on SNL.

PS Paula Abdul is a cyborg. She's 30% Briggs and Stratton lawn mower and 70% recycled cheerleaders. Think I'm joking? Watch her clap.

Blogger kitkat said...

That was a really funny comment about recycled cheerleader, Paula.

I think people are incredibly rude. For one of my classes, I had to lead a discussion of a poem. My professor was adamant that the discussion leader not talk much. He said eventually someone would talk. No one read the poem, however, and so I stood up there looking like a moron. Like I said, RUDE.

Blogger oregano said...

Are you kidding? Professional presentations are an excuse to sleep! It doesn't look as bad as sleeping at your desk.

Blogger Kris said...

NO no no! Sleeping during presentation = by its very nature *not* professional. As is eating poached eggs during said presentation, oregano.

Blogger kitkat said...

No one said you had to be interested in the presentation, but common courtesy, guys. Someone put work into something. The least you can do is stay awake.

I hate working in an office.

Blogger Sean said...

Hi Kris,
Just curious as usual, but what was the presentation about? You seem to have conveniently left that out ;)

Don't get me started on the Governator/Gropenator [pick one nickname, not both; you can alternate every-other day].

Blogger Kris said...

Good question! The presentation was on "The Association between Mutations of the K2 gene and Predisposition to Black Diamond Mogul Skiing."

Anonymous Vermont Neighbor said...

Was that presentation description about the greed of CEO's?! Either way, to face your audience and see such a reaction would make it hard to focus. And after all the work, who wants to put on anything less than a stellar presentation.

I always admire the survival stories from stand-up comics. They either acknowledge a heckler-type or worse, they just keep yakking away. Even when the room is empty or if 2 old guys are playing cards in the corner.

Just know that it's made you a fabulous dynamo for your next time up at the podium!

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am not sure if you are serious but association mapping is somewhat a dense subject. I do agree that it doesn't matter however; at least pretend you are listening, make a shopping list or something!

Anonymous Vermont Neighbor said...

Would a squirt gun be a fair response from the panel?

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