I can’t tell anymore in which job I pictured myself when I thought about going back to work. But it definitely involved a change from my daily routine and the ability to focus on an intellectual task again. Two days a week would be perfect, I thought. I would arrive at my office, I thought, and make myself a nice cup of tea before I sit down and check my work emails. I would then start researching something, or create a project plan, I thought. I would be able to use the restroom whenever I need to, I imagined. I would be able to make phone calls and actually understand what the other person is saying, I pictured. After a productive morning I would have a peaceful lunch before I head home to pick up the little one and enjoy the afternoon with her.
Well. Yesterday at work I found myself surrounded by more than 45 roisterous, romping kids. I was bustling from one room to another, checking whether everything is fine with the cookie-baking, with the handcrafts, with the selling of the cakes, with the singing. I decorated, I replaced the people in the kitchen, I explained how to make gingerbread houses, I cleaned, I pushed tables, I prepared little bags with sweets for the Samichlaus (who comes on the 6th of December to every Swiss child and brings bags with fruits, nuts and sweets). Later I quickly made some more because there were more children than expected. I heard laughter, cries, music, singing, rattling, bells, high-pitched whistling, several sliding cars, shouting, door-clapping. Sometimes all at once. I worked seven hours, I didn’t have lunch, I only sat for maybe 30 minutes, I didn’t have time to go to the restroom.
Coming home never felt more relaxing!
This sound familiar to me, because organising conferences has the only difference that those challenging us are a little bit older but nevertheless noisy and tearing at me:-)!!.And I never expected that being back to work means also preparing coffee and doing the dishwashing etc!!
Oh yes, I can imagine that conferences and children events are much alike. Actually, considering one international conference I once helped out I would say that the delegates behaved even more childish!