Halloween is the day when people want to feel scared. I really don’t understand why people actively seek out scary things but given the number of scary movies and haunted houses it seems a lot of people like to be scared. I’m not one of those people.
My travels took me to a work-related multi-day conference that was attended by a few thousand people from around the world. I arrived a few days late and left a few hours early and yes, my abbreviated attendance was a clear reflection of my interest in the event. I went, hung out with the person I wanted to hang out with, did what I had to do, and left. But the sights and sounds continue to haunt me.
Clearly, some mothers didn’t teach their kids to dress for the occasion. Mini skirts that are way too mini, cowboy boots that don’t go with that men’s suit, and bedazzled booties with a tweed dress just don’t fit the professional occasion. What made you put that on, look in the mirror, and say to yourself, “This looks good”? It doesn’t look good. It won’t look good even after I have a few drinks in the hotel bar once the conference ends for the day, or maybe an hour or so before the conference ends for the day. Professional means professional. Don’t scare me with this other stuff. I don’t like to be scared-even on Halloween.
Another clearly, is that some teachers didn’t teach their students to avoid reading their notes when speaking in public. The scary part is that those students grew up to be teachers-teachers who read to professionals at a conference. Do you wanna know what I saw everyone doing while the ‘speaker’ read for 20 minutes? Tapping their pens. It was like a drum line had formed in the audience as listeners of the reader tapped, tapped, tapped their pens to keep time until the end of the reading. The scariness couldn’t be over fast enough….and I mean the reading, not the tapping. The tapping gave all of us something worthwhile to listen to.
My last clearly is that somebody forgot to teach people the importance of staying home when they’re sick. I’ll blame this one on dad since mom already took some heat. None of the 40 people crammed into the 80-degree conference room was happy when the first cough was released by cougher #1. Instead, all 40 of them looked around to see who did it so they could estimate their distance from the germ droplets that floated in the air. They did the same thing when cougher #2 and cougher #3 coughed. Germs scare me and I don’t like to be scared-on any day of the year.
I don’t actively seek out scary things but clearly, scary things found me this year. Sure, I could have looked away, stopped listening, and held my breath, but what the hell-it’s Halloween.