Circumcise me

Yesterday, I was in Jerusalem (at the Ramada hotel) for the MEGAComm 2012 Conference, an event run by Techshoret for technical writers communicators, marketing professionals and interested parties. What’s the connection to circumcision? Read on.

Jobs for the boys. And girls

MEGAComm is currently a yearly event. I went last year to find out more about this new career I was entering, to learn from the presentations, and to network. Part of the attraction then, as I was looking for work to follow my time as an intern, was the Job Fair. It sounds grand, but turned out to be a plain desk at the end of the hall, where you were invited to leave your CV.

On my first pass, there were CVs from only a couple of people, and some internal voice told me not to bother. Later in the day, the same internal voice changed its mind and told me I had nothing to lose. So, just before lunch, I carefully arranged twenty copies of my spanking new CV on the table. I made sure I did not obscure anyone else’s CV – by now there were some more – and went back to networking.

Before the end of the event, I went back to check out how my CVs were doing. There were none left. It looked to me as if everyone else’s CV was still represented, but mine had all disappeared. Now, cynical bastard that I am, I did not believe there were so many employers hunting for staff as to consume all the copies of my CV. So where had they gone? My guess is that another person looking for work did not fancy the competition and removed my CVs to the nearest (furthest?) bin. It may not have been my stellar skills or excellent experience on the CV – it may just have been the color printing and decent layout. ¬†Whatever. Someone trashed my CVs. I have zero evidence for that. (However, I did not get any follow up calls from potential employers, and that confirmed my suspicion that some foul deed had been perpetrated.) I suppose there could be some other, perfectly logical, innocent explanation. Yeah, right.

He said what?

Meantime, back at the 2012 event, I had no need to be troubled by the Job Fair, so could concentrate on the rest of the show. So far as the industry content was concerned, I learned some new stuff – always a good thing – and there are some interesting schemes taking shape in the chaos that is my brain. But I wanted to share a couple of quotes and an interesting blooper.

First, the quotes:

“Technical writers are like dogs; they are territorial. They want to protect their jobs.”

“Of course they’s not going to like it. They’re managers; that’s their job.”

The blooper: one of the commercial presentations at the event had a set of printed handouts about their translation skills and mastery of many languages to a professional level. Unfortunately, they referred to “langauges”. Oh, dear…

Circumcise who?

The conference finished on a high note, because the final session was a stand up comedy routine by Chris Campbell. He was terrific. Who is Chris Campbell? From his blog:

“Is it hot in here, or am I the only one dressed for Poland in the 17th century?” Yisrael Campbell looks more like a rabbi than a comedian, but don’t be fooled by the big black hat, frock coat and Hasidic side-curls. Born Chris Campbell, the son of an ex-nun and a Catholic schoolteacher, he converted to Judaism not once, but three times – Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. His spiritual journey began as a drug-drenched teenager in Philadelphia and ended in Jerusalem among the suicide bombs of the Palestinian intifada. So what’s to laugh about? It’s the way he tells it. CIRCUMCISE ME is a hilarious, searching and moving story of one man’s quest for spiritual enlightenment against the bewildering backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In a nutshell, this is a funny guy with a terrific story to tell. If you ever get the chance to see him, don’t miss it. Chris, thanks for making me laugh so much.