Whores de Vores
This morning, Andrea, who apparently enjoys starting her day with a dose of depression by watching the news, discovered that our hotel TV did not work. “It looks like some drunk fell into it. I don’t know how these people get drunk. Beers are ten bucks! Ten bucks for a fucking New Castle?” Andrea says. This morning we headed to breakfast at Sid’s, which boasted “bottomless mimosas!” - the fine print notes there is a 2-hour limit. “I bet you can drink a lot of mimosa’s in 2-hours.” I say. “Yeah! I accept your challenge, Sid!” Andrea says. Only she didn’t take Sid up on that - the heat wicks liquid right out of you. We went to the Neon Museum which serves as a final resting place for many of Vegas’s neon signs. From there we walked to the Mob Museum which was a really interesting look at organized crime. If you think about it, “the syndicate” is impressive given their lack of cell phones and emails back in the day. The museum presents a compelling case that JFK’s assassination was mob related. I’d never heard that theory but it seemed strong. While we were out, our TV was swapped out which means the rest of my stay will be plagued by terrifying, morning news. At 1 PM, we got down to business and hit the convention center as the HR conference. I signed up for this shortly after last years conference when it was offered at a discount. Then I left that job and thought they would no longer be keen on reimbursing me so I’m incredibly grateful my company made this investment in me and that Andrea was able to attend as well. The SHRM conference is a grounding experience & reminds you why you got into this dizzying, challenging career. Today’s general session featured Martha Stewart. She was interviewed by the President & CEO of SHRM, Johnny Taylor. Taylor immediately outed Martha’s age as 77. Martha noted that President Trump’s 77 also, “...but they never mention the man’s age.” Later Johnny asked how Martha recommended promoting culture in the workplace. Andrea answered for her in a whisper, “Don’t mention Trump.” Martha is clearly a hot ticket. Her magazine will be celebrating its 30th year of production in 2020. She gets up at 4 AM, reads the New York Times cover to cover, and hangs with Snoop Dogg. Martha believes, “When you’re through changing, you’re through.” Andrea leaned over and murmured, “Martha’s kind of condescending.” This is not entirely untrue and she is also a resilient, smart, bad ass with opinions who owned the SHRM stage. She talked about her incarceration which was smart because we all know about it. She “wasn’t supposed to say” but did say she was not guilty. Later, referring to pesky workplace regulations, Martha said, “...I try to accommodate regulations.” “Isn’t that why she went to jail? ‘Insider trading?! Pish posh!” Andrea mumbled I laughed aloud. Martha kept Johnny on his toes and if he was flustered, he didn’t show it. He laughed, regrouped and asked another question while Andrea remarked, “Martha wasn’t the best choice for the HR conference.” “She represents what many HR people are dealing with in terms of a CEO.” I replied. This is true - spotty compliance with regs, blaming HR (Stewart herself has outsourced this function), and maybe a bit ruthless. “Yeah. What’s that thing? About the disability?” Andrea said waving her hand about as if she too were a mini-Martha CEO. Well, we are now heading to HR reception with what Andrea described as “whores de vores.” Which should be interesting because last night, after over hearing an HR person while we were on the monorail, Andrea remarked, “HR people are weird.” Best convention companion ever.