Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Guide to Surviving (Un)Professional Development Days

This post is courtesy of my friend, colleague and condo neighbor who has great ability to put into words what we all are thinking during professional development days! Check out her blog here! I am bugging her to post more...
In college, I was “that girl.” The girl in the back of the classroom that whispered, wrote notes, and doodles, all while absorbing the important messages being professed to me. And now…I’m still “that girl.” Just in the work environment. A day out of the office is always fun, but learning about workplace etiquette, sexual harassment, or the latest development of tiers to success is typically less than riveting.
Important things to remember on professional development days:
Be cognizant of the presenter’s tendencies at all times, so that you are aware when he/she is looking in your area. That way you can smile, and nod your head as necessary- to make it seem like you are attentive and on point.
If the weather permits, try to wear a turtleneck sweater to hide any unwanted facial expressions that might occur.
Bring your ipad to give the impression that you are taking notes when in reality you are pricing out flights to Aruba.
Bring at least 3 different colored pens.  When the purple gets boring, switch to red. And when red gets boring, switch to blue.  Repeat.
Collect pamphlets, brochures, and business cards at the conclusion of the presentation to make you seem more interested in the topic at hand.
Things to avoid:
Number one mistake- sit next to someone that you KNOW will make you laugh uncontrollably.
Coming up with games or competitions. For example- when does the phrase “Bye Felicia” fit best during the presentation. This always starts out fun, and ends horribly. You find yourself laughing- the kind of laugh where you can’t breathe- while the presenter is talking about the rate of depression among LBGTQ youth.
Determining the accurate doppelganger for the presenter.  Most often it isn’t someone charming or attractive but rather an odd character from a movie or someone’s past and this will only precipitate abstract thoughts that lead to laughter.
Passing notes/drawing pictures for the person two seats down. This tends to have detrimental effects including, but not limited to making them crack up- out loud- and feeling the need to leave the premise immediately.
The development of smartphone apps has made it much easier to:
Play tetris or snake (blasts of the past), or more recent games like guess the emoji, bejeweled, and angry bird.
Analyze your bank account trends.
Imessage your neighbor inappropriate comments about the presentation.  (Be sure to follow up with some eye contact to promote inappropriate laughter.)
Instagram your latest selfie.  #ballin
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