Thursday, March 29, 2012

Who The Hell Was That Guy?

Sometimes I surprise myself.

It just happens.

I was invited to Florida to give a presentation to a group of executives and managers of a significant company. I tried to live right the day before I presented: I ran 5.5 miles, showered, ate a salad and washed it down with Miller Lite (me ... light beer!),  ironed my clothing and went to bed early.

For one hour I slept.

One stinking hour.

I woke due a room air conditioner that sounded like a 1952 Harley-Davidson panhead engine when it started. All kinds of rattles and rumbles emanated from this beige-colored cold-air blaster box in the corner of my dingy room.

Once I was awake, I could not fall back asleep. I was up from 12:20 a.m. until 3:20 a.m. My alarm was set for 5:15. I tried to read, surf the 'net, read again, look at my presentation, read again ... finally I dozed off. Not for long. A little less than 2 hours and the hotel's alarm clock made the most inharmonious cackling buzz. I wanted to hit it with a sledgehammer. But I couldn't. I set it early 'cause I needed to rise early.

I wanted to be ready.

I made it to the place where I was presenting a half an hour early. I waited, nervously. I finally got into the conference room where I set up my laptop and distributed my literature. The usual pre-meeting pleasantries were exchanged.

And then ... it happened.

What happened?

I became someone else. Well, not really someone else, but someone I don't see every day. There is something that happens to me in these situations where I move into a heightened awareness. My full vocabulary comes to the tip of my tongue. Engineering and my love of language intermingle in a way that seldom comes to my surface. Usually it's one or the other ... not mixed!

For one and half hours I explained the benefits and features of my company's products and services. It came out smoothly and after 1 hour and 25 minutes, I was nudged, "Mr. Collins, you have 5 minutes left."

I concluded with a closing statement and a sincere thank you. Exit pleasantries were exchanged and the next thing you know I was back in my rental car. What the hell just happened? How did one and a half hours go by in what seems like 10 minutes? I went to another place. Another level. It just happens.

I love it when this happens.

It's fun.

(Written in a coffee shop/deli 20 minutes away from where I gave this morning's presentation.)

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