It’s 8:15pm and I’ve got my feet propped up on the spare chair. My suit jacket is flung over a third chair, and my pantyhose are balled up on top of it. My shoes are around here somewhere. The only sound in the office is the click of the keyboard as I type, and the whirrrrr-thump-click of the copier down the hall.
I’m printing 500 copies of a 6-page document for the opening plenary tomorrow. It’s an amusing sort of bookend to the day, since exactly 12 hours ago, I was doing the same thing, for the same presenter, for her morning workshop. Except then, it was 50 copies of an 11-page document, and I was racing the clock for every last second to make it back before her workshop started at 9:00.
I’ve been passing the time by doing my timesheet. Fun fact: I have 10 hours of overtime for TODAY. By the time we close up shop on Sunday, I’ll have accrued a total of 32 hours of overtime. You’d think I’d be dead on my feet, and maybe I am and just haven’t noticed yet. But as I sit here, my feet reminding me that even my “comfy” heels aren’t meant to pace non-stop up and down hundreds of feet of hallway for 15 hours, I’m feeling pretty good. We had some fires to put out today, and I did have a slight breakdown at one point (don’t TELL me to calm down when I’M not the one panicking!!), but by and large people seem happy, things have flowed smoothly, and I’ve gotten lots and lots of compliments.
15-hour days ain’t so bad if people appreciate the result. 🙂 This actually isn’t as stressful as the last LegacyCon I planned, and I think it’s because here — well, number one, I wear a badge with a tag that says COORDINATOR, and people expect me to run stuff, not try to socialize AND pull it all together. And most importantly, it’s ok to visibly plan a conference like this. People expect you to put a lot of time and effort into making it run smoothly, and while we don’t give them a backstage pass necessarily, they at least KNOW that there is a backstage, with a lot of guys in black running around making sure everything happens as it should. LegacyCon is hard for me because to some extent, it’s a casual event, and people think it’s weird to “plan” it too much. But on the other hand, any time fifty people get on a plane or take a roadtrip to come to an unfamiliar place, where they will be at our mercy for food, entertainment, and lodging for the duration of their stay, there are pieces there that have to fit together…or you end up with 45 lbs of raw sausage melting in your sink for three days.
LegacyCon is like competitive figure-skating — you have to pull off something really complicated and hard, while not looking like you’re trying…or really even paying attention. “Oh, was that a triple-salchow with a twist and a lift at the end? I didn’t notice.”
Back at the hotel, there’s a wine reception and, I’m sure, lots of laughter as our people wind down from the day. In theory, I’d like attending (I hear it’s good wine), but this is the closest thing to utter silence I’ve experienced in ages, and it’s exactly what I need. I’m decompressing at my own speed, allowing my introversion to show, and it’s glorious. I’ve been efficient, professional, outgoing, public relations, calm-in-a-crisis ginny for 15 hours, and the batteries are drained.
And yet, still not particularly tired.
whirrr-thump-click. 316 copies to go.