Thursday Things

1. I’ve learned something important about myself over the past few weeks: there is a zero percent chance I will make a career change into event planning.

Through a variety of circumstances (shifting roles at work, agreeing to responsibilities without fully realizing what they would entail, among others), I’ve found myself at the helm of not one, not two, but THREE different events. I have very quickly learned that I hate–HATE–everything involved in the event planning process. I hate the research required, I hate the endless phone calls and emails with prospective vendors, I hate the endless phone calls and emails with hired vendors, I hate being the middle man between the people paying and the people who need to be paid, I hate the feeling that the success or failure of the event rests entirely on my shoulders: I hate all of it.

This, honestly, has come as an enormous surprise to me, because prior to being in the thick of event planning, I thought it sounded like a really cool and fun way to spend your time. I enjoy project management–having a gigantic task that needs to be completed and breaking it down into little, consecutive steps with deadlines that add up to completing the entire task–so it seemed like event planning would be right up my alley. I’ve even assisted with events before! I’ve been involved with race organizing before and generally enjoyed that, so how much different could event planning be?

I suppose event planning really isn’t that different, but what I didn’t realize with my involvement in race organizing was just how minor my involvement actually was. There is a BIG difference between working packet pick-up or race day information tables and being the person who makes those things happen: the person who has to find the venue, who has to schedule times for it to happen, who has to make sure the venue checks off all the necessary boxes (location, ease of access, convenience, etc.), who has to organize all the things that will be in the packet to begin with, etc. I, fortunately, have not had to plan any events on the scale of a race, but even the tiny events I have had to organize have been TOO MUCH.

I also now genuinely admire people who do enjoy event planning and make a living out of it. You’re all heroes in my mind, because no sum of money could make me ever want to do this full time. Or part time. Or on an as-needed basis. Or at all.

(As an aside, it boggles my mind how bad some vendors are about responding to inquiries. Like, you realize I’m trying to throw hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars at you, right? I shouldn’t have to follow up via phone AND email multiple times to get an answer out of you as to whether or not you can provide your services for my event, especially when two of the events I’ve needed to plan have been during decidedly off-season times. If I were a vendor and someone reached out to me with interest in using my services during the off-season, I’d be falling over myself to get their business locked in as soon as possible.)

2. Another thing I’ve learned about myself recently: I do not have a future as webinar leader.

I led some training at work last week and earlier this week, all of which took place virtually. I’ve never had trouble with public speaking, so I figured this would all be fine. I don’t actively seek out opportunities to get in front of a bunch of people to give speeches, I suppose, but a situation arises that requires me to address a group, I generally don’t have any issues with it.

Until I had to lead these webinars! Holy cow! I’ve been a nervous wreck for all of them! I think it’s because there are so many more things that could go wrong with a webinar. What if my internet flakes out? What if my phone connection is static-y? What if people can’t see my screen? What if I click the wrong button and break everything?

And then, of course, there’s also the issue of the complete lack of feedback you get during a webinar. I have all the trainees muted while I’m going through my spiel so they can’t interrupt me, and we haven’t used video conferencing during any of the sessions, so I don’t get any audio OR visual feedback on how well my training’s going. Is anyone paying attention? Are they getting anything out of it? Do they think it’s funny that I used Parks and Rec characters for my examples? I have no idea! And it makes me so uncomfortable!

Too bad my annual review isn’t for another 11 months, because I’m going to have a LOT of things to tell my manager that I learned about myself and my working preferences this year!

3. Mark it down: February 26 was the first day I heard a cardinal singing in 2019. Spring, despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary, must be on its way!


^ almost certainly not the cardinal I heard singing, but a cardinal nevertheless.

Last year I heard my first cardinal song on February 18, so it looks like the birds are more or less on the same schedule as last year! I’ve also seen some daffodils popping up in the first spot I noticed them last year, which is a bit more surprising. I’d think the weather would have more of an impact on them, but apparently not. Only 11 more days until we get to see the sun in the evening again! Probably a lot more than 11 more days until it’s warm enough to matter, though.

2 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. OMG, I think we are the same person with event planning. I was voluntold to plan the holiday party on my team I was on a detail on last year and F*CKING hated it. For all the same reasons. I hate researching. I hate chasing people down for info. I hate how the decision makers changed the dates after I sent out the first RFQ. Applause to the people who like this! Your events will turn out well but planning them will take all the fun out of it. I hope it’s only those three for the year! (Also, this is why Steven planned our wedding)

    Running meetings and training is HARD. That is something I am watching for training for so I get better at it. Can you ask your boss to meet before your review?

    • I meet with my boss every other week, technically to check in on my goals for the year, but realistically to catch her up on what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. But since the meetings are supposed to “replace” our annual review (except we still have annual reviews, so obviously they don’t…), it would be an appropriate time to bring it up! Thanks for the idea šŸ™‚

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