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Life in the Corporate Theater

is an AV/IT tech in the corporate presentation business. He gets to travel all over the world staying in some really glamorous places doing some rather unglamorous work. If anyone in the world is intimately acquainted with Murphy’s Law and how to go about breaking it, it’s Steve and the army of pros like him who keep all those meetings moving. And he has the stories to prove it. You can read them on his blog — Life in the Corporate Theater. Here are some excerpts:

Rob hadn’t gotten any of the presentations last night. They didn’t do an official slide review. This morning, they came in with a whole bunch of presentations for him to load up.

The agenda showed about 8 presentations, and they handed Rob about 15. He ended up having to string all these slides together, and things still seemed weird. There was a presentation in there that had a thank you slide at the end of it, and then another 15 slides after the thank you. So, things were pretty unsettling this morning. We sorted all those kind of things out, but it is just no fun when you don’t have answers and it is 10 minutes before the show is supposed to start. Our client was really great though. She was running around getting us all the answers to the questions that we had, and it all got sorted out. It just makes you wonder why we came down an hour and a half before the show started. (well… we all know why we come down that early)

The setup was going well, right up until we actually tried to power on the projector, and got nothing.

Who needs a working projector anyway?

We grabbed the back up projector and that one powered up no problem, but no image. After about 45 minutes of checking cables, connections, and then replacing breakout cables, we finally got image. There were about 4 breakout cables that were bad.

So, we got the image up, and then called Rick to let him know that the projector was not working. Rick hopped in his car and drove all the way down from Maplewood about two hours away with a replacement projector.

Problem solved!

And from a meeting he did in Russia:

The madness started out in the General Session when Eric turned on the first microphone and found that the simultaneous interpretation vendor was taking the feed from the PA and sending it so hot into the earphones that the 120 earphones were louder than the PA system.

The lighting instrument that we were using to project a gobo was most likely right out of the box, and it started smelling up the room with a burnt paint smell.

Then the stage right projector decided to just overheat and turn itself off.

Then the stage Left projector crapped out. We called for a back up and a brand new back up lamp. George ripped apart the machine and worked on it for a bit… to no avail.

It took hours… like 5 hours to get them to bring us the new gear.

Then towards the end of the day, we lost the front couple of rows of microphones so I had to become mic runner boy.

Everyone needed a drink last night… that is for sure.

This is the sort of work I used to do before I joined the corporate world and became “the client.” I have to admit that I still miss it sometimes.

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