Monday, May 30, 2011

Things You Can Tell From a Booth

If you've never worked retail or had to work a trade show, job fair, health fair or career corner, you really should be made to. Mostly because if you do and then you go to a conference or any other thing that has the word "fair" in the title to make it sound more lively, you would feel some empathy for those people who are stuck in a booth with a smile on for 10 hours a day.

It's been 4 days here and most of 3 in the booth plus one day setting up the booth. I'm about over working it. It's grueling. There's about 5 minutes of customer interaction and 55 minutes of getting interrupted every 2 minutes by people who just want to look at the stuff behind you. So you can't really read or mess around on the computer for any significant stretch of time.

But there are things that you can tell from a convention booth. I can spot a Gender Studies academic professor or researcher from 10 paces. I know if someone is French by the squinty look they give me when approaching the booth. I know exactly how many times I can look at my watch before it's time to take a walk outside for a break in the day.

They are life's little lessons of observation and survival. And kind of fun. When not boring.

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