March 23, 2009

Dancing To The Organ Grinder

As a corporate executive whore, I have attained a certain level of assumed expertise in my chosen industry. There have been some nice awards and recognition, which have undoubtedly resulted in continued employment; if not the financial rewards that I should have received by this point.

However, in these uncertain times, in which my industry has been hit especially hard, employment is a very, very, very good thing.

The trade-off is that occasionally I have to involve myself in being interviewed for trade magazines, and participate in conference panels. These events go against my inherent anti-social, unfriendly and negative attitudes.

Most of my discomfort is due to the old "self doubt" gremlin, whispering in my ear. The "emperor has no clothes" feeling, that I'll be exposed for the fraud that deep down, I know I am.

To wit:

A few months back, I sat on a panel of industry leaders (I was the joker in the deck) for the Keynote Address at a conference and spoke about my business.

Here's some advice: It's probably not a good idea to use the term "corporate overlord" when speaking to a group of, well, corporate overlords.

While some at my place of business might feel that I am Mr. Executive Douchebag; I was blown away and exposed as a little twerp. I am pretty sure that the guy sitting next to me was wearing a suit that cost more than my car did. These guys were movers and shakers, and I was pretty much shaking the whole time.

It was an extremely long 90 minutes; and I noticed in the Q & A that no one was askin' me anything! Or coming up to me afterward. The moderater thanked me and told me I did a fine job. Yeah. Sure.

The really scary thing is that I keep getting invited to speak at these things!

So, today, I have another one to do. I'm on a panel with a couple of people that can run rings around me in knowledge. They'll be a couple of hundred people in attendence. I am expecting a disaster.

But you know what? I am totally relaxed about this one. It might be the certainty that, at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if I crap the bed or not. Or, I might FINALLY realize that I might be a moron, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that everyone else in my field isn't a moron either.

We're in such trouble in our industry, that we're all holding on for dear life.

I'll do my shpiel, it'll be over, and I won't look back on it.

I hope!


New York Dolls - Don't Start Me Talkin'

Lagwagon - A Feedbag Of Truckstop Poetry

Ween - What Deaner Was Talking About

New Bomb Turks - Bullish On Bullshit


infinite fool said...

Several times during my career:

Department Chair: We need someone to teach this class

Me: I'm not qualified

DC: Neither is anyone else on our faculty

Me: I'll need six months to prepare

DC: You've got 3 weeks

Me: Count me in

Lesson number one - nobody anywhere knows what they're doing. The upside is that, as Sonic Youth put it, confusion is sex.

AC'63 said...

Isn't it nice to realize you are not alone in the world .. kind of a epiphany.

I know what you mean by industry in trouble. My clients depend on monthly loans from banks to make salary. They don't have enough capital on hand to buy fringes like software right now. I'm 100k from quota, with 6 days to go.