Monday, May 4, 2009

Meeting Manners

This morning I was in a session at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. The gathering includes a number of organizations interested in childhood health, most notably the Society for Pediatric Research (SPR) and the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN). These two groups number me among their members.

In a particularly crowded, clinically relevant session I was appalled when a man sitting near me began taking photographs of each slide. To say the meeting discourages this would be an understatement. There are signs outside every room stating that photography is prohibited. The slide showing between sessions also states this, and every few pages the program book has a statement about his prohibition. So why was this guy doing this?

1) He is stupid. Now, this is possible, but most health care types are intelligent enough to understand this simple command.

2) He does not speak English. I ruled this out because it would make the slides even less useful. English might not be his first language, but his working knowledge must be sufficient to understand NO.

3) He is arrogant. I believe this is usually the case. In some way this person does not believe this rule applies to him.

This guy was annoying and I found his behavior rude. Please don't let me ever catch my readers doing this at a meeting. Of course, it is not truly evil (see for an example of that).

By the way, Baltimore is a good place to play "meeting hookey." The national aquarium has expanded since I last visited; some rain forest parrots are shown today. Bet they know to turn off their phones and not photograph the slides in meetings!

1 comment:

  1. you forgot a fourth possibility--that this dude just didn't care. arrogance suggests that he thinks he is above the rules whereas not caring simply suggests apathy for the rules. in my experience that is highly probable as well and in my mind is the greatest danger to most of our natural senses of being considerate.

    when you see people breaking rules all over the place and no one cares--i'm sure this dude didn't get hassled by anyone--it can be hard to care, yourself. there are lots of things i'd like to do but don't because of rules but then i see jackasses like this dude who do it anyway and no one cares. the worst that has probably happened to this dude is that he was non-descriptly written about on your blog. when the worst thing that could happen to ME for breaking a rule is that someone's blog entry would be about a "stunningly handsome jackass" it leaves me with only my sense of consideration to be a good mudphudder. and that's not what it used to be... ;-)