Tomorrow and Thursday, I get to join several thousand of my closest non-friends at a local Media Event. Lucky me.
This is one of the aspects of my work that I deeply despise. I hate going to press conferences where The Speech is boringly predictable, no matter who's giving it. Since I never, ever quote executives from the companies whose products I write about, I won't be taking notes or even paying much attention.
I already know what they'll be showing, and what they'll all say.
But that's not what makes me wish I was getting serial root canals or having multiple broken limbs set for the next two days. No, indeed. It's simply that I have to spend 20 hours of my life cooped up with a bunch of egotistical jerks -- some of whom are there simply because they know how to get in and aren't professionals at all -- that I cannot now be, and never have been, able to work up the slightest shred of liking or respect for.
I will have to make nice with people who owe me money, people who have cheated me, people whose attitudes depress the living bejeebers out of me and people who have horrifically inflated opinions of themselves in order to spend a few minutes assuring various company reps that I'm still out there, and still care.
The frauds in my business -- and there are many, because some of the perks are sweet -- will be congregating, hoping to impress both the people they get the freebies from and potential clients.
I've never been good at that. I'm a reasonably nice guy, and I wash regularly, but I have tended to let my work speak for itself. Glad-handing is something that makes me feel -- and look, I'm sure -- like a Grade-A, number-one phony.
And I have always believed what I once said to a self-important "publisher" who was doing his I-walk-on-water act in front of some fellow journalists: "save the act for the civilians; it doesn't impress your colleagues."
I'm hoping I'll be able to see the people I need to see on the first day, and simply forget about the second day. If nothing else, it'd save me from having to pay one day of the atrocious parking fees at the convention center where this fester will be held.
On the bright side, it'll get me away from the bad news on the radio and in the papers, bill collectors' calls and the loneliness that presses down harder on me as the calendars moves inexorably toward December 25. I won't be here to wait for the returned calls that never come, or the checks I am in greater need of with each passing day.
This sure as hell isn't the way I thought it would all turn out....
8 hours ago