Chronicles of Hebert – Day 2 Mid-Morning
“It’s obvious that the SHRM attendee fondness for ethyl alcohol is only matched by their addiction to caffeine. Every legal stimulant dealer in the area presents a minimum 20-minute wait for service. And wait they do. Like dutiful soldiers. You can almost hear their synchronized footsteps moving forward – one latte at a time.
My caffeine addition comes in the form of Diet Coke. Nectar of the blogger. Straight from the can – room temperature.
I’m told early sessions were well attended. Glad to hear. The few left in the blogger lounge are testament to that. If not here, then in a session I’ll assume.
Hallway conversations are varied. How many steps? Do you think Jeb is going to run for president? I hope Jeb doesn’t run for president. United breaks guitars. Is Oscar Munoz the real-life father of Freddie Muniz? So many questions. So much conversation. The noise. The noise.
The expo floor is crowded. If you close your eyes and listen it sounds like a herd of flamingos. Squawk, squawk, squawk. Deafening. Yet, like the Siren’s call in the Odyssey, alluring and dangerous. And me with no beeswax to be found. Tie me to the mast! Or at least to another blogger.
I will submit. I know I will because the expo is where the swag is.
Only useless swag will ease my pain and quiet the voices telling me to go to early morning sessions. I am feeling that familiar itch. Must. Get. Swag.”
Chronicles of Hebert – Day 2 Lunch
“Lunch at SHRM. Lines. That is all.”
Chronicles of Hebert – Day 2 Afternoon
You must be vewy vewy quiet when hunting swag. The key is get the swag without sacrificing your time on a meaningless demo.
My strategy is to follow a Complaint around the floor and as they swarm a booth person reach over and grab my swag of choice. Then wait for the next Complaint to move through the trails etched in the floor between the booths and silently float away with your ill-gotten booty.
Technology is the word today. Every company has a link to technology and every company has a demo. Even those who sell non-tech products have an app.
I spent 10 minutes with a company that sold paper products – they have an app. It’s called pAPPer – get it? I did. Yet they explained it to me twice anyway. It’s an app that, wait for it, lets you write on your smart phone screen and then prints what you wrote on THEIR paper. But ONLY their paper. They’ve put a special chemical in the paper the phone can sense and will only connect your printer if it senses that chemical in the paper. I might buy it if that chemical was tetrahydrocannabinol.
Engagement is still the main hawker call from the booths. HR cannot get enough of engagement. However, I believe they would be just as successful if they bought software from Initech.”
Notes from the Future to Help You Understand the Chronicles
We are at a loss to provide any context or definition around some of what these journal entries represent. Flamingos? Nothing in our databases reference or connect with flamingos. We also have only one reference to “Initech.” It is referenced only as a software company from 1999 that burned down under suspicious circumstances. Some conspiracy theorists believe it was home to a group of software programmers whose rogue code virus was the cause of the clown revolt that let to the Clown Wars of 2112.
Again, we wanted to be sure the reader knew that that colloquialism from 2018 known as a “complaint” was the name of a group of more than 3 HR professionals moving together. Like a flock of seagulls or a murder of crows. “A complaint of HR people trashed the hotel in Chicago at SHRM18."
More to come…
Originally posted on What Is Paul Thinking? blog.
Click here to see Paul Hebert's "Chronicles of Hebert" SHRM18 series.