• Subject: Re: Recovered Yet ??
  • From: DAsmussen@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 20:41:40 EST


In a message dated 99-03-13 13:31:30 EST, you write:

>         If any of you COMMON attendees have recovered from your travels how
>  about a dissertation on the conference, Mom, and CUDS.

Oh, you had to ask, didn't you ;-)?  Just now recovered, being an "East
Coaster".  Numero Uno, thanks to _you_ (and those "working folks" at HQ) for
taking my agenda problem somewhere that it would actually get resolved.
Thanks also to the presenters and the volunteers for making this conference
run as smoothly as can be expected for an endeavor of this magnitude.  Now,
the downside...

CONFERENCE -- I know that these are scheduled years in advance and the
perpetrators of this iteration are probably not even around to be stoned at
this point, but they should be (or probably were during the scheduling --
stoned, that is).  A Spring conference should be scheduled in, well, THE
SPRING!  Not in northern CA's rainy and cold season, three weeks before the
official start of Spring.  The facilities were pretty good except for the
rooms with a rated capacity of 120, that should have been 60, in the Moscone
Center where I had to practically touch my shoulders together in order to
write notes.  The guest program _SUCKED_ again, but more about that later.
Does anyone else find it ironic that we were in SF during the cold season, but
will be in San Antonio during the height of 100+ degree days?  Reminds me of
my first Spring conference in Boston, where it was cold as Hades after Bill
Clinton actually get caught for something, and there were 14 foot high piles
of snow standing on every street corner.  COMMON would do well to remember the
three rules of retail -- location, location, location.

Continuing on the location theme, my wife and I both felt safer in NOLA with
its "through the roof" murder rate than in San Francisco.  At least in New
Orleans, we didn't have to put up with transients sleeping every 50 feet on
the way from the conference center to our hotel.  Same for Atlanta and
Chicago.  Also, waiters and vendors alike seemed _EXTREMELY_ unfriendly in SF.
The latter almost forced me to shout "You're running a !@#$ing souvenir
shop/restaurant, get over it!"

No offense to the presenters, as it's a matter of taste and interest, but did
anyone else feel that the 1:30 - 4:10 segment was pretty weak most days?  From
a technical standpoint, I found myself agonizing over what was available in
the morning and not having anything to do in the afternoon.  All the good
technical presenters were up against one another in the morning, while the
"generalists" were everywhere in the afternoon.

MOM -- An unqualified disaster, even by past MOM standards.  The new COMMON
president, while personable, was hardly an effective meeting facilitator.  He
also dismissed the concerns of those of us who wanted a better guest program
(although the discourse proved admittedly long on the subject) with an "I
think we have more important things to talk about like providing a better
conference."  Made us feel like our problems weren't really being listened to.
In the future, I think that every member should be limited to two comments
(much like the US Congress) -- if these "repeaters" should have compelling
follow-ups, they should be able to convice another member to make them for
them.  Instead, the meeting degenerated into a free for all for members upset
with past decisions (lunch break, et al) to voice their concerns.  I must take
a (very) little side with those aforementioned people though, nobody asked
_ME_ if I wanted a lunch break, or if my wife was unhappy with the guest
program -- I would suggest that COMMON ask the membership about these issues
instead of basing their decisions upon an unscientific poll of attendees of a
particular conference in the future.

CUDS -- Kudos to Andrew Borts for breathing a little new life into this tired
institution.  I enjoyed "game night" and "ask the experts", although I'm not
sure whether or not his efforts, the cheap drinks, or the inhospitable
atmosphere in SF added the most to CUDS.  At least we had something other than
chips and pretzels...


Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-mail:  DAsmussen@aol.com

"It's better to look where you're going, rather than where you've been.
Especially if you're not too crazy about where you've been!" -- Anonymous
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