3.09.2010

Thanks for the idea. Now go away.

I haven't been to a work-related conference in years. You know, the kind where you go listen to experts in your field talk about the future of your field and where you fit in. It's also the kind where you get to meet other people who do what you do and find out their joys and concerns and how those compare to your own. And it's the kind where you learn stuff you didn't know before -- the stuff that makes you better at your job.

But, gee, I wouldn't know about any of that because it's been about 8 years since I attended one. Last time out, I was a higher-education-publication editor struggling to figure out how to write stunning admissions materials. I learned some. I had some fantastic meals and conversations in Chicago. I got away from the office and recharged my writing and editing batteries.

Fast forward to this year. I'm a copyeditor for an assessment development company...a world-renowned leader in its field. I realize we've been struggling like everyone else to make ends meet and balance the budget. I know finances are tight. But I went to my boss and pleaded my case. I desperately wanted to go to the national copyeditors conference in Philly this spring. I outlined all the reasons it would be a good investment for the company. I talked about how much more productive I could be and how I could come back and relay the information to the other editors. She liked my idea. She thought it was great. She acknowledged that these types of conferences are inspirational and motivational.

And then today she relayed updated news to me from her manager. He's sending one person to this conference. It's not me. It's my boss. The same person who frequently gets to travel to our other offices on business. The person who has been to several conferences already in the past few years.

It was my idea. She gets to go. Nothing about this is sitting well with me.

I don't typically write about work on my blog. I like corporate-free blogosphere. But this is eating away at me. It sucks six ways to Sunday.

Pardon me while I get back to work, sticking freaking commas in the right place. I must be so proud of the great impact my work has on society. It not only has no impact to society, it apparently doesn't have much impact in my own company.

(And, for the record, I hate it when people use the word "impact" instead of "effect.")

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