I am a professional; highly educated, certified, and experienced. I’ve forgotten more about this kind of work than most people know. Today, however, I am going to be a warm body filling a seat because someone at echelons higher than reality has determined that the most mission critical thing 500 of us can do is make sure the auditorium is full during a presentation.
I’m sure whatever this graybeard has to say will be very interesting and informative, but not at all relevant to any of the eight or nine assignments sitting on my desk waiting to get finished in a semi-timely manner. It’s all a matter of priorities, I suppose. In this case the priority is clearly on looking good rather than actually doing good. As long as I know that up front, I’ll happily adjust my expectations accordingly… and make sure my Kindle has a full charge.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.