Conference is going perfectly. Well, almost. There are a few glitches here and there but nothing Earth-shattering or show-stopping. However, there have been some pretty funny moments in Nashville!
Here is a taste of them (excuse the pun.....you will understand after you read the post!):
Sitting in the staff/volunteer lounge on Friday, enjoying the Tuscan White Bean Soup (VERY GOOD!) and there were 8 or 9 volunteers sitting at the table directly behind me and the third party planner (let's call her Nic). Lunch that day was pizza, soup, salad, and assorted ice cream bars. One volunteer commented to another, just as she was getting ready to bite into her Cherry Garcia bar, "You know, the ice cream is a little soft now and bacteria--E. Coli--- grows in ice cream. If you go to the store and the ice cream is soft, they have to replace all of it in the store. You can DIE from it!" Oh gee, thanks for letting us know right before our first bite!!!! This conversation went on for 15 minutes. At NO time did any of the volunteers sitting all around Nic and I tap us on the shoulder and ask for us to get the ice cream replaced; a practice they knew we could handle for them. At some point, Nic decided enough was enough of that conversation and called Catering for new ice cream. However, NONE of the us (Nic, me, the catering manager we were working with) could get over the "Toxic Ice Cream Debacale of 2006"!
Meanwhile, down in the Exhibit Hall, the Boxed Lunch was going on. Well, there were 1100 people in there lining up for their sandwiches and chips. Due to space constraints, we couldnt provide seats for everyone but it was better than last year so we were okay......we thought. Tray Jacks were set up around the Hall for the dirty dishes. One attendee decided that was the PERFECT location for him to eat. When the wait staff came over to use the tray for its purpose---dirty dishes---at the end of this "gentleman's" (I use the term loosely!) meal, the attendee freaked out. Screaming, yelling, waving his arms all over the place, and demanded every email address available in the hotel. Once I got over to the "situation", I was trying to explain why the waitor did what he did (it was his JOB!), the man got mad and started yelling that I was insulting his intelligence, etc, etc, etc. And so, he has written a letter to the hotel management describing how unacceptable it all was. The next day, he saw Nic (she also insulted his intelligence!) and gave her a hug. Yes, a hug in the middle of General Session.
There are a ton of funny stories and stories that make me cringe. Overall, the conference was a great success! I wore a pedometer the entire week and my grand total of steps is 63,296, equivalent to 30-something miles. Yes, my feet hurt and my back hurts. But I should feel ALL better after the Hot Stone Massage scheduled right before I get on the plane to take me from Nashville to HOME!!!!!!!