This is the longest I’ve spent without writing in months, maybe years. Interestingly, no one noticed. What happened was - I had work to do. And by that I mean, sort of time-sensitive stuff: I was working on organizing the booth for a fairly big company (in France’s top 40, because we like comparing companies to songs) at a fairly big event (where Emmanuel Macron — the French president — and John Kerry — you know him — happened to drop by). I do work sometimes, thank you very much.
When I say ‘organizing the booth’, it was technically simpler than that (this time): we were actually sponsoring a (startup) pitching zone at the event, meaning we didn’t actually have to build the space. I’d been doing that for the past couple of years, so I know what that entails: you end up counting the plugs, checking lightbulb power and deciding where the speakers should be. On the other hand, you get to do your own thing, which, if you have a good design team, can be great. If you don’t, well, you have other problems on your hands before you should think about attending a global event.
Sponsoring doesn’t mean you don’t work, though: we were still involved in plenty of things, like inviting jury members, hosting some of the sessions ourselves (and then it’s back to the drawing board) and managing a client/VIP space where we got to do whatever we wanted. Meaning: count the plugs, check lightbulb power and decide where the speakers should be. But it only took a sixth of the usual space, so that was alright.
The last day of the event was a Saturday, meaning it was public (the other days were business only, meaning they were expensive): instead of hosting clients, we got a bunch of students coming at us and looking for jobs, which was fine since we had half a dozen HR colleagues on the booth to answer their questions (there are so many different jobs in this company that I couldn’t exactly tell applicants what to go for even if I tried). My boss/client (former boss and current client, essentially one and the same in the end) came with one of his own kids, the youngest, who loved how big the hall was and wanted to run around everywhere (note: all in all, the event had 125 000 people in attendance, great to loose a 4-year old kid).
We happened to also be sponsoring the finals of an e-sports event (that’s a very real thing: they probably get paid more than me and I could technically be their father) on another stage at the event. My fiancée, who’d come by to see me at work (for once), took the kid to see the show while we were managing students (and speaking sessions: not like we were on vacation, in case you were rightfully wondering). And we didn’t see them for an hour. When they came back, I asked my fiancée how it went:
- All good. Once he was sitting in front of a huge screen watching a video game being played live, he was absolutely still.
- Good. Wish older kids, I mean students, would do the same…
- They probably would, if it wasn’t for paying the rent and all…
- That’s fair. To be honest, I would too, if it wasn’t for the fact I would very likely get my ass kicked by gamers who could be my children.
- There is a fair chance this will happen.
- True. Which is why I will keep on working in an office with computer games.
That’s the real reason.