Thursday, 3 April 2008

Living a lie

I feel like such a fraud. A few weeks ago I was asked to give a work presentation at a mini-conference in a small town a couple hours north of Wellington. I agreed. One week before the mini-conference, I was informed that there was a low uptake for my session (but I won't take it personally), so the organiser decided to cancel it. I was still welcome to attend the conference and participate as a delegate, or even report on it as part of my job. "Please come," he invited. I accepted.

So off I went. Upon arrival, my colleague (whose presentation was still going ahead) and I picked up our conference packs, containing a name badge, programme information, and this:

Hmmm. Herein lies my dilemma. There was a lovely card attached thanking me for all the work I did to support the conference, including giving up time to present and share my expert knowledge and experience(?!) ... yet my presentation was cancelled more than a week earlier and I knew it! What to do with this lovely gift?

Without batting an eyelid, my colleague said "you made yourself available; take the gift". There was no-one else around to whom I could profess my fraudulent behaviour and lack of worthiness, so I quietly put it in my bag and crept off to the keynote. It took me a week to bring myself to discover that the box contained 10 yummy Belgian dark chocolate truffles (omg!) and indulge in my misappropriated gift.

But I quickly got over the guilt once I opened the box. It's just not worth stressing over. Those Belgians sure know how to make chocolate! Mmm, pass me the box. ;-)

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