How Not To Attend A Conference

First, don’t read the invitation e-mail carefully. Just skim it, like you normally do with e-mails, and assume that the address for the conference just isn’t written down. Do look up directions to where you assume the conference will be, though. You are trying to be conscientious.

On the day of the conference, don’t mention to anyone that you are basically just guessing about where you’re supposed to go. You’ll show up after French, and it will be fine. Repeat: IT WILL BE FINE.

Do not rush out of class to make sure you arrive on time for the second session. Don’t run over cobblestones in heels, thinking you will break either a shoe or an ankle before you arrive. Do not proceed to run up four flights of stairs at full tilt, still in heels, because the elevator is broken. If you did, though, do take a moment or two to fix your Professional Grown-Up Hairstyle before ringing to be let in.

Do not be startled by the fact that pressing the doorbell turns on a video camera. Do not proceed to awkwardly talk to said camera, flashing your almost-expired driver’s license as proof that you are not, in fact, insane.

Don’t repeat this process for twenty minutes, becoming convinced that everyone is just so enamored of the panel discussions that they have forgotten that there is a doorbell in need of answering. Do not proceed to curse everyone involved in the conference, especially since you are still in the stairwell and your voice carries down all four flights of stairs.

Do text people who are supposed to be at the same conference. Do not expect them to answer, because they are sensible adults, who have almost certainly turned their phones off so as not to disrupt the conference with texts from crazy people like you.

Do not run home to check the first e-mail, or at least don’t repeat the same mistake of not reading it carefully. Do not repeat the rest of this process, until you are back on the fourth-floor landing (barefoot this time) and feeling pretty stupid.

So, what should you do?

Do decide to call it a day. Do go to McDonald’s, and discover the miraculous “Easy Order” kiosk that lets you just insert your debit card and order via touchscreen–without having to talk to a person! Do go home and eat a burger while wearing a bathrobe, because there is not a single godly reason to wear Spanx and heels a minute longer than is strictly necessary.

And for the next day of the conference, do go with someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

Sometimes, I should just quit while I'm slightly less behind.

Sometimes, I should just quit while I’m slightly less behind.



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