‘Tis the Season

February 3, 2014

It’s once again that time of year in which I forget to take a lunch break and wind up staying much later at work than I really want to. (And by much later, I mean as little as 15 minutes. I want to leave at 3:30 dammit!)

I should have known better than to trust that my DD planning committee would really do anything without me there to remind them that speaker info sheets were due October 1. I mean, they’ve never paid attention to deadlines before. But I kind of thought the fact that my baby, you know, died might make them think it might be, you know, nice to lighten my workload and maybe, you know, take some initiative and actually do their job without me sending them emails Every Single Day. Nope. Not in the least. (As one of my speakers put it today, they didn’t have my back when I most needed them to. I’ll get back to that phone call later.)

So we had planned to open registration and send out the brochure for this year’s Annual Developmental Disabilities Conference around the first of January. In order to do this, I needed all of my speaker info sheets in October so that I could send out the application for Social Work credits, and the application for Educator credits, and the application for Adult Foster Care Administrator credits with enough advance notice to get the approval for each of those credits before the brochure was finalized. And I’m sure some of you are reading that and tearing out your hair at the thought of the work. Honestly, I really do love this part of my job. I love the detail-work of planning conferences. But I’m not the content person. That’s why I have a planning committee. They are responsible for finding the speakers to fill out those info sheets so that I can create the schedule and all of those applications and the brochure.

Well, I wasn’t at work on October 1, so we missed that deadline. And I told them I needed everything by Thanksgiving, but they missed that deadline, too. So we absolutely had to have everything in by December 15. And January 4. And the following Friday. And the one after that.

I finally sent out the ultimatum last Thursday. I was going to be finishing the brochure and sending it out on Friday. Sorry. Can’t wait any longer.

Which naturally meant I had four new workshop info sheets in my email the next morning. And I had to rework the schedule to fit them in when they were available. And I ran out of time to get everything into the brochure. And proofread. And hyperlinked. A reprieve, if you will. I also got an email from one of my committee members saying she could ask one of our frequent speakers about doing a workshop. I wrote back that Tracy was already doing two workshops, but if she wanted to do a third, I’d be happy to add her to the schedule. Her info sheet was in my email when I got to work this morning.

No problem. I moved a few things around so that Tracy could fill a hole without having two of her presentations scheduled at the same time. And then I finished the brochure. Except for the internal hyperlinks. And I was making my notes so that I could put in the hyperlinks without jumping from page to page when I got an email. From a speaker. With her info sheet. Which meant my pagination changed. As did any internal hyperlink that was going in after the time slot of this new presentation.

I probably should have taken a lunch break then, but I really wanted to get this done. I did finally take a break in the midst of putting all of the internal hyperlinks into the brochure. But it was painful. The work was just staring at me.

But I finally got the brochure finished. I converted it to a PDF. I emailed it to the thousand people on my mailing list. And then I got a call from the above-mentioned speaker. She’d found a typo. The dates on the front of the brochure didn’t match the dates inside the brochure. Yes, I’d forgotten to change the 2013 dates inside the brochure to the 2014 dates. I’d changed them on the front, but not on the inside. I confess to a very unprofessional grumble about my committee leaving me in the lurch when I was on leave. The speaker asked if it was a good leave. I told her that no, my baby was stillborn, it was not a good leave. She was very sympathetic and bitched my committee out on my behalf.

Yes, I have corrected the dates. No, I did not have time to email it to the thousand people on my mailing list again. I’ll have to do that in the morning.

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