Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not Your Typical Day

It all started with a push of an elevator button. Seems typical enough as I was about to leave the hotel and wait for Christine, TouchPoint's Southwest director, to pick me up for a presentation in Clinton, MO. Yes, it all started with a push of the ground floor button, the doors closed, and the hilarity began.

As soon as the doors closed alarms sounded. 101 times out of 100, alarms sounding are bad. The elevator car lurched downward and stopped. This wasn't good. It was only 15 seconds or so, but when the alarms are sounding, the firefighter light is lit, and the car isn't going anywhere there is only one thing to think of; this isn't good.

The car didn't go to the first floor but rather stopped on the second floor. A part of me wanted to push floor 1 again, but common sense won out and I got out of that elevator as fast as I could. I then used the stairs and told the front desk the issue. They then told me, "Oh yeah, we know. They're doing tests on it right now."

I then inquired, "Then why was I let on?"

"Oh yeah, that is a good point. We should have a 'temporarily out of order sign'" and with that she directed the other worker to make it happen.

It was 3:09 and I was told that we were leaving at 3:14. Why the time? I'm not sure but I was ready and watching the clock to make sure it was 3:14. 3:10 came, then 3:11, 12, 13, 14, and 3:15. As 3:16 showed up on my phone I then remembered the conversation we had on Thursday, "Okay, Aaron, on Monday we'll meet at the office." With that remembered I hopped in my car and made it to the TouchPoint office slightly late.

As we were getting loaded up I asked Christine, "You've got a projector, right?" She responded with a, "yes I do, in the back." I actually always have a projector with me now because there's no telling sometimes whether or not a place will have one, but with Christine's confirmation she had one I left mine behind.

Ninety minutes later we were at the library in Clinton. Once we figured out how to get into the room we started putting the chairs out. I then went to my computer bag and said, "Where's the projector?"
Christine replied, "No, we'll just use the wall."
"The wall? No, not the screen, the projector."
"You didn't bring yours?"
"Uh oh!"

We certainly had a lapse in understanding as she assumed I was bringing mine and I assumed she had one. "I think therefore you should know" was certainly in play here, but what was done was done. She checked the library to see if they had one, but they did not. Then I told her I was prepared to go PowerPoint free as I am feeling more and more comfortable doing so. I then made a joke that, "We could always go next door to the sheriff’s office/detention center and see if they have a spare projector lying around." I said this with 20 minutes to go before my presentation, but joke or not that was the only place to go, so off she went.

Five minutes later she was back, and with good news. They did, in fact, have one but it was "old" (as they put it) and unsure if it would work with my computer. She also said that the request started off rocky because she saw an officer leaving the front office with the lights off so she asked, "Are you guys closed?" and the officer responded with, "Ma'am, crime never sleeps so neither do we." She then asked him if they, "had a spare projector" and she later told me that the officer looked at her, "as if she had 10 heads". Once the officer realized it was a serious question he then proceeded to look for the old projector.

Christine came back with the news but she was unsure if the old projector would work. It was now 5:50 and time was running out as I began at 6:00. I decided to take a stab at the projector so we took the short walk to the station. This felt odd as I'm used to, well, I'm not used to walking out of the building I'm about to present it.

As we got to the office the officer was already walking our way with the projector. We then realized we needed an extension cord. We asked the officer if he had one and sure enough he knew exactly where to get it and at 5:56 we walked back into the room and at 5:58 my PowerPoint was on the wall.

The presentation went well and then I returned the projector to the station and thanked the officer. I've had some memorable presentations is Southwest Missouri, but last night will be remembered for quite some time to come. I mean, of all places, who would have thought the sheriff’s office would have a projector and then, after a license check and file, would let us use it. By the end of the night I almost forgot that through all the communication errors, and visits to police stations, that my odd day started with a simple push of an elevator button. I remember thinking; right after the alarm went off that this would be, "one of those days."


  1. Isn't Clinton a friendly town? I've spent many weeks there and enjoyed being able to WALK places. Woody wanted to read your blog to find out why the police were involved in your presentation. Glad the people got to hear and SEE what you wanted to share. I'm sure they appreciated your insight.

  2. All I could think of when I read that opening paragraph was Remi Gaillard, except the elevator hilarity begins when the doors open, not close.


  3. I have a phobia about elevators since the doors didn't open when they were supposed to one time (30 years ago). I can do 5 flights of stairs if I have to. Begrudgingly use the lift for more than 5.