Helping is my Focus
Today is the second day of the Interchange, and I've spent most of my time at registration. I'm not actually assigned to be there today, but I tend to gravitate towards registration at Interchanges, because it's one of the best places to be on hand to help. I'm CDISC staff: helping is my purpose here.
It's no hardship. I enjoy hanging out with my fellow staff, and helping people is always satisfying. Even if I can't answer a question or solve a problem, I can at least hear it, and hopefully pass it on to someone who can. When I'm not needed, there's a table and I can doodle away to my heart's content.
I was the time keeper for Session 5, which was tightly packed with a lot of speakers. I sat in the front row with a stop watch and a list of expected times for each presentation, and as time ticked by, I would change out signs to show how much time was left: "10 minutes" ... "5 minutes" ... "Time's up!"
It can be hard to cut someone off, especially when they're in the middle of an engrossing thought, but it's not fair to the other speakers to let them
run over their allotted time, and it's not fair to the audience either.
The speakers I did have to show the "Time's up!" sign to were all very good about wrapping up quickly, and the session let out a couple minutes early (before 5:30 -- who isn't ready to go home by then?), so I guess I was successful.
You know that old adage about "many hands make light work?” As long as it doesn't get caught up with the one about too many cooks spoiling the broth, it's absolutely true.
We handed out bags to conference attendees this Interchange, containing the program, a bingo card, and some promotional material. At the science fiction conventions I attend, they're called "goodie bags,” and they have to be prepared in advance. There were 500 bags, and one or two people could have done it in maybe an hour and a half to two hours, but with a party it was all done before everyone could finish showing up.
Same thing with breaking down: with eight of us, we had everything sorted, the booth packed away, and anything education couldn't use for the courses the next day was packed up and ready for shipping in just about an hour. Instead of one or two or three people feeling harried and working through dinner, it became a positive team-building experience. I'm really glad to have been a part of it.
By Darcy Wold, CDISC