I did the Backstroke when boarding my plane.
This past weekend I was in Wellington, NZ for a national meeting. Here’s what I learned.
1. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to talk to the hotel’s pet bird. Unless you want to hear an ear-splitting SCREECH!! Everytime we walked by the cockatoo would say “Hi!” “Bye” “Hi Pickles!” (his name), make kissing sounds, or screech at the top of his lungs. But he’d only screech when we responded to him.
2. Sometimes sitting at a table on the outskirts of the room isn’t a good idea. The glare from the lights gave me a horrible headache. When I moved to the centre of the room (right in front!!) my headache went away. Also, my table was never last called for mealtimes.
3. Sitting at the front of the room (see #2) is also not necessarily a good idea. It meant the team leading the meeting saw everytime I checked or used my mobile phone and saw when I was doing a sudoku instead of participating in the discussion. My table was never first for mealtimes, and I couldn’t sneak out of the room during a discussion!
4. If you leave your table to go get food and other tables (on the outskirts of course) are left behind, be prepared to have your seat, your cutlery, or even your chair stolen.
5. If another table steals your seat, cutlery, or chair, wait until they go to get their food and then do the same (or worse) to them. It’s fun. Even better when the other tables join in.
What? Yes. We were all adults. (smirk)
6. Learning how to play a ukelele and taking it with you to a National Meeting is an excellent idea. Especially if you can play songs that everyone knows and can join in. If that’s not possible, convincing the Facilitating Team that it is a good icebreaker or group activity works well. (No, it wasn’t me!! But I can sing you a new song!)
7. Watching a room full of 70+ delegates from all around the country discuss, argue, stand their ground, discuss some more, but eventually reach a consensus is extremely humbling, motivating, and amazing.
8. Sometimes reaching a consensus means not getting everything you want, and instead involves convincing other people to meet you half way.
9. Ordinary white glue WILL stick metal to wood. And sequins onto wood that has been coloured over with green pastel. The sequins will fall off the wood before the metal does. And it’s very hard to get one pastel to colour over another pastel. By the way, Canadians and Kiwis pronounce pastel differently. Clarification was required as to what the heck I was talking about.
10. Wellington airport does not encourage air travellers to run through the rain on the tarmac to their plane. The tarmac is slippery when wet and they don’t want people to slip and fall. However, they do allow the breast stroke, butterfly, freestyle, or backstroke, and show extreme good humour when you take them up on that offer.