Daniel W. Drezner

The Top Ten signs that you are conferenced out

Very attentive readers — hi, Mom!! — are likely aware that your humble blogger has been doing a hell of a lot of conferencing recently. Now, each of these conferences, on their own, has been invaluable . They are a way to gain exposure to new people, ideas and perspectives, get feedback on one’s own ...

Very attentive readers — hi, Mom!! — are likely aware that your humble blogger has been doing a hell of a lot of conferencing recently. Now, each of these conferences, on their own, has been invaluable . They are a way to gain exposure to new people, ideas and perspectives, get feedback on one’s own ideas and perspectives, and pick up useful bits of information.

Combined, however, these conferences have taken their toll. As a public service message and a cautionary warning to other aspiring wonks, I’d like to offer the following top ten list:

TOP TEN SIGNS YOU ARE CONFERENCED OUT

10) The very first thing you do when you enter a conference venue is to scope out the seat that a) is closest to an electrical outlet; b) has a decent view of the podium; and c) is closest to the exit for discrete bathroom breaks. You will switch placards in order to get that seat.

9) The second thing you do when you enter a conferene venue is ask someone about the available wifi.

8) You find yourself bringing your own laminated name tag, placard, and extra-large coffee mug wherever you go.

7) You have filled out your reimbursement forms before the first coffee break.

6) It takes forever to get into your hotel room because you have at least five different key cards in your pocket.

5) You cannot go 24 hours without getting into an extended conversation with a colleague about your grand strategy for deploying frequent flier miles. BONUS SIGN: you secretly think the George Clooney character from Up In The Air was kind of a wuss.

4) The phrase "capacity building" triggers an instant desire to take a baseball bat to whomever just uttered the phrase.

3) You develop the capacity to lightly doze through a presentation but still ask a pertinent question during the Q&A. Then you black out.

2) At the bar after a long dar of conferencing, it only takes one drink for a colleague to say, "you know, you’re allowed to bring more than one suit to these shindigs."

1) The hotel staff has to break down your door at 3 AM because you were shouting the word "modalities" during your fitful, jet-lagged sleep.

If you find yourself nodding along to at least seven of the following ten signs, please consult your doctor/department head as soon as possible.

Readers are strongly encouraged to proffer their own warning signs/symptoms in the comments.   

 Twitter: @dandrezner

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