Confessions of an ABP Conference Dean: Why have a social life when you can have a conference?

no fun 2I have a confession.  I haven’t blogged in a while.  But you know that already.  I don’t need to tell you.  My last update was in June and it’s now November.  So what happened?  The conference happened.  Not just any old conference but the Conference.  A Conference with a capital ‘C’, not just your regular run of the mill lower case ‘c’.

Let me set the scene for you as to how I found myself here….

It all started with the words “sounds great and tell ‘em I’ll do it with you!”.  Who would have thought that a sentence of 10 words (none longer than six letters, I’ll have you note) would have such a profound life changing effect?

It was April this year; I was out shopping in New Look with a colleague (her choice, not mine) on an innocuous weekday lunchtime.  Whilst waiting for said colleague to pay for something I got a text from my friend (and soon to be fellow Conference Dean) Dilip Boury.  He had just been asked if he would like to take on responsibility for the 2013 Annual Association of Business Psychologists Conference.

Dilip wanted my advice.  Should he take it?  Now even under duress, i.e. multitasking, also known as having a having a conversation, offering advice and shopping, all at the same time, I’m good.  I’ve got all three down without even breaking into a sweat.  What I should have learnt by now that though is that I have a high orientation towards risk taking behaviour during my lunch hour.  Is to do with my sugar levels ? I honestly don’t know.  What I should have learnt by now is that around the midday hour I should venture out, buy my sandwich, run my errands and then come straight back.  That’s it.  Period.  Any decision making required should be deferred to at least 2pm, if not later.  I should definitely not be allowed near any life altering (or bank balance altering) experiences when the sun is at its zenith.  But hey, life is meant for living, and self-imposed rules are there for breaking!

So back to Dilip’s request for advice.  Now in my role of shopping multi-tasking extraordinaire I give him some great advice.  It was good stuff.  All very “wow, what a great opportunity, etc, etc”.  I could have left it there.  Some would say I should have left it there… but then I uttered those ten life altering little words “sounds great and tell ‘em I’ll do it with you!”.  Dilip thought it was a great idea. I thought it was a throw away comment no one would take seriously and carried on with my shopping.  I was wrong.  A couple of hours later I’m cc’d into an email to the Association Board announcing our appointments as next year’s Deans.  Wow.  Life altering experience confirmed.

Now I’d been a regular attendee at the conference for years.  Been around the people organising it, for years.  I’d been wanting to get involved, for years.  The difference was I just assumed that I would ease myself into it rather that a head long dive into full overarching responsibility. But hey, why should that hold me back?

So now Dilip and I are in charge of the Conference with a capital ‘C’.  Being Dean started off easily enough, we got the ‘hand over’ and it didn’t look too bad.  But now?  It is absolutely mental.  We have a team of over 35 volunteers to coordinate and there is soooooo much work to do.  Social life? Baaaah, who needs one?  Free time?  What’s that?   But, you know what, I bloomin’ love it.  It is a constant emotional rollercoaster, veering from thinking “Wow, we are doing so well.  We’ve done X, and X and X” to “Oh my God, we are so behind, This needs doing, and this needs doing, and this needs doing… Arrrrrgh!”

But hey, here’s to enthusiasm over adversity!  Here’s to the ride (only 26 weeks to go)! …and here is to more regular updates and sharing that ride with you.

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For more information about the Conference visit the ABP Conference web pages.

You can also visit us the Official LinkedIn ABP Conference Group where you can interact with us and check out the latest updates from the team.  Finally, for bite sized updates follow us on Twitter: @ABPsychologists

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