My company recently finished off our big event of the year, Morningside Ride. It involved a scavenger hunt, brunch, and a million different bits of paper. The excel spreadsheets alone nearly drowned me. Here is a list of things I learned about events.
- Something will go wrong. Events have enough details that it’s impossible not to mess up at least one of them. One of the clues on our scavenger hunt disappeared and my boss stayed in the office until 10pm, printing sheets that said don’t look for clue twenty-two.
- The paperwork multiplies like tumbleweed in the Twilight Zone until your entire desk is nothing but program sheets and schedules.
- Never use mail chimp to send an event survey. You’ll spend four hours re-formatting, only to find that it just lets you write one question. Use Survey Monkey instead.
- Don’t throw everything out immediately; sort it first. If you don’t, you could end up digging through the recycling three times in search of that one tiny, white receipt.
- Support your co-workers. My boss brought us coffee and donuts the morning of the event. It was a thoughtful gesture that prevented me from falling asleep on the registration table.
I survived my event and so can you. Just keep your head above the spreadsheets.
I get lost a lot; I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself on an entirely different continent one day. Friends and relatives shake their heads at me and wonder: “How did she end up there?” This list is for you, if, like me, you’re liable to find yourself going the wrong direction without any idea how it happened.
1). Bring two different ways of getting directions. Today, it took my printed directions and the maps app on my phone for me to realize I was on the wrong highway.
2.) Slow down. If you go too fast, you will miss things—like the exit to your destination.
3.) If you’re meeting someone, bring some way to contact them. Most times, they can help give directions. Try not to cry over the phone.
4.) Pack food. You will feel a lot better if you have a power bar to munch on. The jumpy feeling in your stomach won’t go away, but it won’t be as bad.
5.) Speaking of that jumpy feeling; don’t panic. The more panicked you are, the easier it is for you to wind up in Timbuctoo. I’ve had mixed success with this advice. I get jittery if I miss my turn off. But I go to the next exit and turn around instead of trying to pull a U-turn on the freeway.
When you get to your destination, don’t be ashamed to get out of your car and kiss the sweet ground. You may get some odd looks, but at least you’re not still frantically sneaking looks at your directions while speeding down the freeway.
I started my job at Morningside this week. It was like stepping face first into a whirlpool. I wanted to contribute, but I didn’t even know where the office supplies were. Here are some words of wisdom I gleaned from my seven days of employment.
- Ask questions. It’s awkward, but it’s better than making mistakes. I’ve popped into my boss’s office so many times she must think I’m a jack in the box.
- Introduce yourself. If you meet someone in the office who you don’t know, stop and say hello. “Hi, I’m so and so. How are you doing?” will do the trick.
- Enjoy wearing nicer clothes. It’s like playing dress up. Only instead of Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings, now I’m Development Associate from Morningside.
- If you’re enthusiastic, show it. Personally, I gave a squeal of delight when I got my first business cards.
- Write stuff down. By the end of the first day I had multiple pages of notes and an ink stain on my pants. But it was worth it when I needed to find my voicemail password later.
Lastly…it’s the weekend, so relax. Become one with the couch.