If anything, this conference cemented my hatred of Power Point. Why prepare a coherent, intelligent speech when you can play with ClipArt and bullet points? I spent way too much time being read to off a Power Point. In fact, here are my (progressively less coherent) notes from one particular guest session speaker:
- Why do all cartoon people on slides look angry?
- Buy bread crumbs.
- I'm sweating like a pig. Maybe it's hot flashes. We've been sitting here for 20 years, and now I'm going through menopause. Jesus. Hot flashes at 28.
- Am I the only person not learning anything? Oh, wait, the person next to me is drawing an enormous spiral doodle.
- If it were physically possible to die of boredom, I would have done so twice already.
- If fluency in English is a requirement of my job, why am I being read to?
I have to admit the training wasn't all bad. In fact, much of it was very good. I met people with the same job as me from all over the world. If I ever drop by Laos or Turkmenistan, I have friends to look up. I even got a certificate on high-quality paper.
I went out every single night, saw friends, ate untold amounts of Thai food, bought a year's supply of long-sleeve t-shirts, stocked up on Altoids and liquid soap, drank Starbucks coffee every day, and shook off some of the dreariness of Sarajevo. And that's worth a few Power Points.
PS- Sarajevo's airport had reopened by the time I returned yesterday. I didn't, unfortunately, notice any Velcro on the runway.