Little Mean Girl

Welcome to Powerpoint on PowerPoint

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This is one of the times when it’s really hard to be a Little Blind Girl.  At the training conference I was at, the teachers kept using PowerPoint, and they would turn the lights off and on over and over throughout each day.  It played merry hell with my eyes.  And as if that weren’t enough, there was a photographer there memorializing the event with flash photography.  Every picture was like a knife stabbing into my eyes.  After nearly ten minutes of this, I was about ready to drop him, I swear I was.  And the handouts had this miniscule font, which I couldn’t have seen anyway because the lights were off, and on and on and on…

At the end of every day, I had excruciating headaches.  I hadn’t forgotten you guys, but it was more than I could do to stare at a backlit screen and focus my eyes enough to type out a blog entry.  I stayed in my hotel room and didn’t go out playing with the other conferees and was generally irritable and antisocial the entire time, thus earning the new nickname of Little Mean Girl.  It shouldn’t be so hard just to try to keep up with the developments in my profession, just to try to do my job and live my life.  I shouldn’t have to lock myself in a dark room and avoid all company.  It shouldn’t physically hurt just to get through the day.

English: The rich red earth of Herefordshire T...

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Is it this hard all the time for everyone?  Am I being a whiny little babypants?  I probably am.  I’ll stop now and think about the starving children in China who would give anything to be able to attend a PowerPoint presentation.  I’ll remember how lucky I am that I can see anything at all; I may not have been able to see the screen for the training presentations, but I could see the hillsides as we drove to the training facility a little after dawn, red earth gleaming wet and dark against the  slowly brightening sky.  I could hear the presenters even when I’m pretty sure they didn’t want me to, and I could lean over and make snide comments to the person sitting next to me.  Really, as long as I can snark, I can make it through the day.

But if that photographer comes back around at my next training conference, I’m putting my four-inch heel through his foot.  Photographer, You Have Been Warned!

Training conferences by Dave Chappelle

I’m at a training conference. I like training conferences, they remind me of college. Except that I usually skipped lectures in college, and never ever attended a lecture before 10 AM, on principle. But it’s a nice change, sort of relaxing…a little too relaxing…all right, when they turned on the powerpoint and turned off the lights, I fell asleep.

Which is how I’ve come up with my latest idea: I think that training conferences should be planned and drafted by experts in the field, but they should be performed by professional comedians. Those guys know how to keep your attention for a long time without resorting to slides, overheads, or handouts. Plus, if you don’t like how things are going, you can heckle them. I would definitely pay attention if I got the chance to heckle the presenter. All I get to do now is write snarky comments on my notepad and slide it across to my table mate. It’s not fun if you don’t get to throw things.

Personally, I would like to see my training conferences performed in the style of Chappelle’s Show. I want lots of profanity, a healthy dose of cultural insensitivity, and little bits of stand-up in between the panels. There could be lecture skits about “When Keeping It Real Goes Corporate”, and we could hear about the financial impact of paper vs. digital from Rick James. I know you know what I’m talking about! If conferences were like Chappelle’s Show, I’d never miss a panel.