Thursday, January 31, 2008

The p2 Show

With six days left at this job I had to put on the p2 show one more time.

I have a talent. Let me be clear I am not talented - I have a talent. This talent is more like hubris, bordering on narcissistic. I can stand in front of an audience and be entertaining. Employers find this talent to be most beneficial during “team building.”

Part of my job has been to turn this four-hour lifeless quarterly snooze fest with a 150-slide black and white power point presentation into something more interesting. Over the last year the powers that be slowly began to listen to my suggestions. It has gotten better. But it is still pretty dull when they ignore my suggestions.

So today I was asked to put on the p2 show. This is the most excitement the poor group may ever see. It was teambuilding morning for 119 people in a warm ballroom dreaming of a free lunch in a few hours. So mentally I am imagine myself as the most energetic an engaging person ever. If you dream it, you can do it. Now in the right mindset and with six days left at this place, they hand me a microphone and stand me up in front of the entire company. These people are idiots. I was very tempted to be really funny. Funny at the cost of others. But I pull back from a vile and vengeful rant. Instead I am just funny enough to start the morning.

After a little team building everyone is very excited. Then the boss gets in front of them with the power point. The energy drops. I start to answer emails on Ike the cell phone. When they are done another team gets up front and picks the energy back up. We take a ten-minute break.

Everyone is back in the room and the p2 show starts. It is good. I am hot. On a roll. Add another cliché. After about 20 minutes I am half way through the exercise. Things are great, but the big boss wants to split the agenda. So I hand the microphone back to him.

Death by power point starts once again. I am certain the old man was one of the friars during the Spanish Inquisition. Once he wraps up I have to bring the energy in the room back up or the day will be a waste and the work lost. I am not sure why executives stop listening to the talent they hire. If I hire someone to do my taxes, I am going to listen to them. They are an expert. They know more than me on this topic. So if he hired me to run the show… why won’t he listen to me? Well. Not my problem anymore.

I am able to get things back on track. The morning ends really well, no thanks to the big boss. Looking back, to all of the progress they made over the last year, to finally catch a glimpse of the full potential of the p2 show, and to know that I am leaving next week… I am taking full pleasure in watching them realize what a great opportunity they have wasted.

I guess that is a pretty mean and narcissistic from the nicest guy in the world.

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