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The World’s Worst Introducer Returns

Passing along what I know is one of the great privileges of being at the end stage of my career. I love standing in front of a room, explaining how and why. Seeing the effect of how and why is a great reward.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the classes that I teach and facilitate is a week-long seminar on topics relating to persons living with a mental illness. At the end of the week, we send thirty people back out into the field who are more compassionate, and more effective communicators than when they walked in.

English: Şerafeddin Sabuncuoğlu (1385-1468) Po...

I don’t know what this has to do with it, but this was recommended for this post. Perhaps it means I need to be struck with a tire iron.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I will pat myself on the back for being an effective instructor, I’ve had to admit to myself that I give awful introductions. When it has fallen to me to introduce new instructors to our classes, I’ve failed miserably. I wrote of this some time ago and I told you that I’d never do another introduction.

I Am A Liar

I lied to you when I said I’d never do another introduction.

Well, maybe liar is a strong word. I meant it when I said I wouldn’t do introductions. For several classes, I ran from the room whenever a new instructor came in so I wouldn’t be asked to help them meet the class. Two weeks ago, I slipped.

Can we just call this not so much a lie as a well-intentioned promise, broken by a victim of circumstance? Well, that’s the way I have to think about it. One of us needs to feel good about me after this.

How This Is Not My Fault

The classroom where this week-long seminar is held is peculiar. It looks very normal, but feels the opposite.

The back of the room is always cold. The front of the room is always hot. This is the case no matter what time of year we teach the class. People in the back are wearing sweatshirts; the instructor is sweating at the front of the room. The variation is so strong that you can feel it as you walk toward the front of the room.

On the fateful morning that I am here to discuss, there must have been some sort of front moving through the room. The temperature swing was particularly strong in the room. People at the back of the room had pulled the hoods up on their sweatshirts. I walked to the front of the room with the first instructor of the day and she remarked to me about how hot it was near the podium. That remark is what I believe is the genesis of my bad introduction of that instructor.

There I Was, At The Front Of The Room

I chatted with the instructor for a moment, then called the class to order. I was a little on edge, because I knew that I should not do this introduction. I promised all of you that I would not. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone else present to handle the task.

When I’m nervous, I’ll often talk about something else. I started by commenting on the temperature of the room. I apologized to the people in the back of the room for having to bring sweatshirts all week. That should have been enough. It wasn’t.

I was thinking about how excruciatingly hot it was where I was standing when I said “if any of you get too cold, feel free to come up and stand next to Holly, because it’s hot up here. You’ll thaw right out.”

Then, I began introducing Holly by talking about the organization she represents and their good works. As I was doing so, my inner voice was screaming at me. “Did you really just accidentally imply that it would be a good idea to stand next to this woman to warm up?”, I asked myself. I had to admit to myself that I did.

Yeah. Right there on the edge of sexual harassment. Not good. I just wanted to comment about it being warm in the front of the room.

I’m serious this time. No more introductions.

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22 Comments on “The World’s Worst Introducer Returns”

  1. Can’t stop laughing! I mean, um, I’m dreadfully sorry that happened!

  2. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Hey! As the saying goes “When you’re hot you’re hot” Da- da da Di- da da, Di da da da!

  3. Debbie says:

    You’ve done it now! Poor Holly — if the temp was hot in the front of the room before your comment, think how hot she must have felt afterward! P.S. I’ve been told, Never say “never.” It always comes back to bite you. Just sayin’.

  4. Lol, I wish I had a nickel for every time I said something in front of a class, then realized what my statements could have meant.

  5. Your students wear hoodies?

  6. Wendy says:

    Did the temperature at the front of the room suddenly drop after your remark? That would not be a good sign…
    However, since she had already commented on the heat, you are probably in the clear.

  7. robincoyle says:

    Did Holly slap you?

  8. susielindau says:

    So funny! If it was me you introduced, I would have licked my finger and touched my rear end and said, “SSSSSSSSS!” We have all been there. We all put our feet in our mouth from time to time. Since mine is open more than most, I have put it there more often!

    • omawarisan says:

      I live there when I do introductions. I just don’t get how I’m so competent in front of an audience any other time and then I go off the rails with introductions. You’d be taking a great risk having me introduce you.

      • susielindau says:

        Bring it on I say! It could be like stand up! not that I have ever done stand up and now that I think of it, being in front of a crowd of people makes me kind of nervous….runs off stage…

  9. The Jagged Man says:

    I laughed. Laughter is good. And you are not a lair but an good and honorable individual who has a sense of duty. Unfortunately this leads to situations where you have to bravely move forward and sometimes you step in the other duty….. I laughed, Laughter is good!


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