by Esther Elizabeth Suson
[An edited version. Thank you Ms May!]
Watching the admin/staff for any event is a fascinating experience. They become, simultaneously, the most needed, the most invisible, and the most hated people on the planet.
Like the machinery inside a clock, they are the secret behind the ticking clock-hands. Those hands don’t move without the machinery all whirring together behind them. What’s even more important, ticking clock-hands don’t tell time properly if there’s no perfection in the way the machinery works together.
At the same time, like for most clocks, the machinery is hidden behind a face with numbers. (Or no numbers at all). People don’t go to events to shake the waiters’ hands or get the organizers’ autographs. They go for the ticking clock-hands. But then, invisibility is the trademark of the profession – their job is to make the ticking clock-hands look like they are moving effortlessly, and entirely on their own.
Besides being definitely needed and necessarily invisible, Events Admin/Staff also make it to the ‘Most Hated’ list. They’re the ones behind the crowed holding up the “10 minutes” placard for the speakers to ignore. They’re the ones sneaking into rooms of breakout sessions to break them up when it’s time. And all the time they tend to deal with the fact that whatever is being done at the moment – speaking, discussing – it seems to be too important to be timed.
At least, that’s what the speakers and participants think. And the organizers are smiling until their cheekbones want to retire, and (in their heads) running through all the extra charges they’ll incur and what everyone will be late for and the possible problem of having to deal with the next group to use the room and…
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Don’t forget; the machinery moves the clock.