Thursday, September 23, 2004

But Covers Do Help Sell the Book

I know I'm not supposed to judge. Who I am anyway? Just an average looking woman with average intelligence. But I can't help it.

Last night I went to a presentation on what's driving Houston economics. I thought I might get a story on trends out of it. If I'd understood more of what was said, I might have. Unfortunately, I'm not an economics kind of gal (do you even want to know that I don't keep up with my checking account?), and soon I was floating in and out hearing words like gross products and poundage of containers and the value of rail over trucks and nanotechnology and . . . (I could tell you more if I'd only understood them).

So I grabbed a lifeline. I started studying the panel of over 50, white executives that were pulled together to give us this update.

One guy is with the railroad -- an industry with a definite inferiority complex. He sat, spoke, and looked like the second cousin you invite to Thanksgiving dinner only because you bumped into him at the grocery store with a buggy full of turkey fixin's.

The port authority had more numbers in his head and flowing with increasing speed from his mouth than I have freckles on my body. (And let me assure you that a connect the dots game with me would keep one of us amused for hours.)

I liked the Andy Rooney look-alike. He was on every non-profit board imaginable and had a great voice. But he was the one who kept bringing up nanotechnology. Enough said.

The city rep was the easiest to understand and had a breadth of knowledge that I found fascinating. Unfortunately, he also had a Texas twang that made you think someone was about to come onstage with a banjo and washstand for a little pickin' and grinnin'.

I wanted to understand. I wanted to share the info I gained. But what I did was come to the conclusion that power has many faces, many voices. And many (most?) belong to older white guys.

1 comment:

Stu said...

OK, the fact that you went to a seminar on what is driving Houston's Economics shows that you're not just of average intelligence. You looked at the panel, but did you look in the audience. I wasn't there, but my guess is that overall, the audience looked a lot like the panel.

If you did not understand what was being said, then I would say that the speakers failed in their presentation. One of the number on rules of presenting is to ensure that you understand who is in your audience and the ensure that the content being presented is relevant and understandable to them. OK, maybe you were just there to see if you could mentally connect the dots on the red haired freckled guy, but I doubt it. My guess is that you had at least somewhat of an interest to what was being said or you would not have gone.

Next time you get that bored, just get a laser pointer and see if you can distract (or blind) one of the presenters. It's a hoot.