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Monday, February 27, 2006

Washington DC Day 1 Highlights and Blackberries

After arriving yesterday and sleeping 10 hours last night. (I was exhausted after only 3.5 hours of sleep the night before) I had a great day.

Here's the highlights of what I learned and experienced today.

At the US Chamber of Commerce:
There are a lot of issues that I had no idea that a chamber of commerce would even care about. However, after hearing them talk about some, I'm glad they do. In a week, when I get back from my trip, I'll spend more time on these issues, but for now, I'll leave it that I experienced why our country is so great, yet so messed up politically. It takes 3 organizations to debate and argure who's right and wrong so it can take a couple hundred people to decide what's going to become a law.

I managed to lose my cell phone in the taxi cab that took us from the US Chamber to the AARP building. While I was waiting patiently and confidently amid my panic attack for the cab driver to return sith my phone after calling 20 or so times before some passanger found it on the floor of the cab, the rest of the group took a tour. It's probably okay that I missed the tour, because I'm a long way's from 50 years old and wasn't very interested in it anyway.

They did feed us lunch, which was very nice and tasty too, so in that regard, I'm glad I went.

Small Business Administration:
The meeting went something like this.
Us: Here's what we do...
Them: Here's what we do...
Us: We're ticked off because you screwed our city out of this or that, what do you have to say for yourself?
Them: That's an interesting question, I'm going to defer that to my superior who isn't here right now, but please leave me your card and I'll pass the question on.
Us: Uh... okay.
Politics at its finest I thought.

I did make special note based on my observations of one of the speakers. I realized this when I became bored of being bored while listening to blah blah blah for 10 minutes and looked around to see who else was feeling the same way. I wasn't the only one. I counted 20% of the group was checking or sending email on their blackberries. Another 5% were actually sleeping or at least had thier eyes closed. And I couldn't quantify, but I would guess another 20% were doodeling or doing something else. So let's call it 45% of the group wasn't paying attention. Out of 20 people that's got to hurt if your the one speaking. Mind you these are professional adults, not hung over college students either.

My 3 suggestions on preventing boredom while you speak:
  1. Have some passion and conviction about what you say.
  2. Don't appear or communicate rude or smug.
  3. Whatever you communicate, say it so that it relates to your audience's point of view.