Wednesday, July 24, 2013

White Board Incident

I know of a great way to leave your mark in this life. All it entails is to permanently mar a $20,000 projector screen in a brand new, state-of-the-art meeting room on the first day that it is available for public use. Sound like your kind of opportunity? Then let me share with you the full scoop on the great white board incident. Oh, I should probably also mention that this incident involved an addle-brained, polish scientist with a fairly sizable ego, who also happened to have a deep disdain for all of his fellow colleagues. I don't think that this is a prerequisite for you to leave your mark in this manner, but I am guessing that it helps.

Let me describe for you the scene. A large group meeting in a new conference room at work. The front of the room is outfitted with new white boards and an assortment of dry-erase markers. For the group meeting, our leader comes into the room and takes a few minutes to figure out how to lower the 20 ft projection screen from the ceiling (covering the white board) and to turn on the overhead projector. Each of these operations involves lots of discussions with everyone present. Lots of quips and jibes are exchanged. A typical one is, "How many scientists does it take to figure out how to lower the projection screen?" There is not a single person in the room who is not a part of this spectacle.

Just a short while later, our addle-brained, polish scientist with a disdain for his co-workers and a sizable ego to boot, wants to make a point that the rest of us are apparently too dim-witted to understand. He confidently strides to the front of the room and grabs one of the new dry erase markers and ... can't you see it coming already?? ... scribbles all over the new $20,000 projector screen. Of course, everyone else in the room was screaming at him to stop, but he figured he was just been shouted down by his colleagues for being so darned smart. Those markings remain on our conference room projector screen to this day. When a newbie asks about what happened, the great white board incident is passed on.