There he was, sitting dead center-left side of the aisle in the very front row. The absolute maximum exposure spot to get the Presenter’s attention . . . the perfect spot.
GaLaBau; as it became very clear to me, has gotten it together and come up with a terrific way to process all this waste material and turn it into usable fuel or electric energy . . . real cutting edge business.
Anyway, all of us go to thes conferences to learn, adapt, become smarter(I hope), be the guy back home who’s on the cutting edge . . . so we attend lectures, take notes, and ask questions.
Look, I do some speaking and I think it’s great when attendee’s ask questions, search for more info, challenge some information considered more philosophical or opinion based than factual based.
When the audience member starts to inject their agenda, their philosophy, their local problems . . . that audience member crosses over a line. It becomes about them and not the presenter.
We do not spend over $1,000 dollars and 3-4 days of our time to hear about zoning regulations and “why this won’t work in my town in Illinois, blah, blah, blah . . .” We do come to hear about cutting edge knowledge, ideas and possibilities.
Shooting ’em down
So what happened? Around the 4th time or so when the audience heard something to the effect that this plant wouldn’t fly in “Somewhere, Illinois” because . . . bah, blah, blah.
I said loud enough from him to hear
Dude! we do not ‘care/need’ to know how you do it in Illinois. We ‘re here to hear the talk.
Or something very, very close to that.
So a few in the crowd chuckled, or smiled back at me, or just lowered the head momentarily. and Mr. Huber rolled on completely non-pulsed by the comment. The fellow from Illinois remained quiet for the rest of the talk.
Upon completion of the talk some in the crowd who knew me came over.
Rick you really shut that guy down.
Wow, you were pretty hard on that guy . . .
I expected nothing less, did he say anything to you?
Well you must not like anyone from Illinois.
The guy who was making all the remarks did not look my way, nor did he say anything. Nothing else was said by anyone else, case closed.
Well, maybe not
Later I am walking through somewhere down a hall and someone who wasn’t even there walks up and says.
Hey, I heard you were pretty hard on some guy in the Green Waste talk, people are saying you really shut him down.
Yesterday morning, the last day of the conference, someone who I have known a long time, says to me.
Now Rick as your friend I just want to tell you to watch out because it’s getting around about how hard you were on a guy yesterday, and it’s not in a good way.
I just thought I’d let you know some folks are not happy and talking pretty negative about the way you were.
So there you have it. I spent 4 days of my time, over a $1,000.00 bucks to attend the Clinic and instead of listening to a guy bemoan, belly-ache, and whine about his zoning problems by telling him to can it . . . I am now the bad guy
. . . I need to be quiet(those of you that personally know me, know this is a impossibility).
Well guess what? I am not sorry, I would do it again. There’s a line and he went over it.
I cannot help if his feelings are hurt . . . maybe if we went back to winners and losers, keeping score, giving trophies only to winners and passing/failing people. The stick in my side could have taken it like a man, and there wouldn’t be such shock by my remark.
Will this hurt me down the road: as far as being hired to speak, at the Clinic in the future? I don’t know, heck this post may become part of the equation. But I do not regret what I said.
I do not take it back, nor do I wish I had just thought it rather than say it. Mr. Huber was delivering some great information, his company has great ideas, great goals . . . lofty ambitions to taking care of a very big problem . . . give me that any day over a lamenter in the crowd.
I love the ANLA Mgmt Clinic, it’s the best Conference in the industry and I will continue to attend, though I may be done as a speaker-I don’t know.
More about the clinic and some great info on sustainability, rain-water gardens, invasive vs non-native, and some final thoughts all yet to come.
All very postive events/talks/ideas.