Last night was the grand opening of the Hocus Pocus exhibition and, unfortunately, I didn't make it. I got a very last minute gig in Canberra.
What made it even more challenging was the fact that yesterday's gig was a hoax speaker/magic show.
I had to fly in at 11am yesterday, and pretty much write my speech on the plane! (More about the usual Qantas fun at the end of this post).
When arrived I headed straight to a hairdressers and got them to trim my traditionally windswept look to a sharp, executive haircut. I even had a brief meeting with the client in the hairdresser's chair!
From there I went to the National Convention Centre and watched as two Senior Executives from Accenture gave their staff monthly updates, and then they introduced Steve Taylor, Senior Executive in HR from Melbourne... me.
I'd decided to give them a little shake up by explaining that, with the imminent launch of the all-politics TV channel A-SPAN, we'd negotiated a deal where cameras would be brought into the workspaces at Accenture to show Australia the real "behind the scenes" working of the company as part of the ATO's daily show. Over the Christmas break their offices were going to be transformed with chill-out lounges, relaxation zones, and a skate ramp. And in order to dispel the stereotype that IT people were all "socially inept nerds", there would be some changes in staff as well. We'd be focusing on under 28s with those less "camera-friendly" people being given more exciting jobs elsewhere in the company.
Surprisingly, even when I borrowed a $50 bill, cut it up and threw it away to illustrate how ineffectual budget slashing was, and even after I produced a can of Pepsi from my shoe... many still thought I was from HR.
One person told me afterwards "We just thought you were a really cool Senior Executive".
After I revealed the entire Steve Taylor character to be an illusion, there were some very relieved faces though, and afterwards I mingled with everyone over drinks performing close up magic (still dressed in my "executive look", yuk!)
The client said that normally at these functions the staff stay for one quick drink then go, but this time they all stayed for well over an hour! So, as the main aim of the event was to get the staff to start to bondand get to know each other, it was a big success.
Qantas - well, as you expect, the flight from Melbourne to Canberra was about 30 minutes late... but the flight back was actually on time! (Though, the flight leaving one hour before me was delayed about an hour and a half so people on that Canberra to Melbourne flight got home 30 minutes after me!)
And I fluked it on a flight that served lunch, but I have to show you a picture of what Qantas considers a good lunch nowdays.
Note, you get water, a small piece of chocolate and a "vegetarian roll" which is made on one of those rolls they put on your side plate at dinner. Maybe it was a "hoax lunch"?