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Changing times

Just when I was getting comfortable on the new role, my manager has a quiet chat with me. During a recent overseas trip back home, he had put an offer on a house. This was quickly accepted by the seller and his plans to return to his native land are now accelerated.

So, my short stint with him is all I get. It’s such a pity – I have enormous respect for him and working with him was a big factor in my move. Such is corporate life.

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(The real) final word on the conference

Morning #2 of the conference was always going to be a seedy affair. The company I work for has a reputation for getting banned from venues after conferences – such is the willingness of employees to let loose.

As far as I could gather, these were the shenanigans of the evening:
– one guy went for a swim at 2am after hours if drinking (back in his room safely, though)
– a large proportion of the 200 attendees squeezed into a single room for the “after party” (damage costs – $150)
– one guy decided to shave off all his hair in the midst of all this
– various wigs remain unclaimed from said party

The rest of the day was just a group of sobering employees being spoken to. Successive yak/presentations was all that was in store for the day. It all finished with a Q&A session with the Marketing Director. Again, he laid down the law. Again, I felt a level of respect for him and what he’s trying to do.

I’m just not so sure about the rest of us.

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Final word on the conference

I forgot to wrap up my previous post on the conference.

Last time I wrote, I’d covered everything before dinner. The evening activity was a costume party where tables had to dress to a (organizationally set up) movie theme. People walked up to the dining room on a red carpet with papparazzi and cameras making a fuss. It was an interesting experience to say the least. This was then followed by an awards ceremony to celebrate the department’s best performers – in the spirit of the Oscars but executed like the Logies.

The greatest surprise of the evening was a very special guest speaker – Bryce Courtenay. Since the theme of the overall conference was “Once upon a time” or the heart of storytelling in marketing, having a writer of his insight and experience was chilling. I had never read his work but his telling of his life as an orphan in South Africa, his drive to become something more, his struggles and misery of losing his son to debilitating leukemia made you feel so strongly for him. It was simply great storytelling.

It was also a great way for me to end the evening. Soon after dinner, at the modest time of 10:30pm, I went to bed. This was much earlier than everyone else, but that’s a story for another post.

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