Oct 9, 2010

How the Lord keeps me humble

Friday was the big Open House/Grand Opening of our new education service center.  I got to see a lot of folks that I hadn't seen in along time - folks I worked with 5-6 years ago and folks I used to work with when I was in college.  Now, THAT is going back a ways!

I also met with folks I work with more frequently and more recently, but that hadn't crossed paths with since moving to the new building.  After the ribbon cutting outside, we moved inside for speeches and special "thank you" presentations.

For the event, I had created two slide shows: One with iPhoto/Slideshow that ran as a scrapbook of photos of the building during construction through completion with lots of pictures of our actual moving.  That one ran on the digital signage screens we have in the hallways.  The other was a "Who we are/What we do" presentation that ran on the four screens we have in the conference area.

At the end of the presentation, we showed a video from http://www.acknowledgmentmovie.com/ and passed out bags of blue wristbands to the honored guests.  They then handed those out to the people they thought made a difference.

So, where does the "humbling" part come in? 

It comes in because Lindy called me (and Phoebe and Karen) out by name during the presentation for our hard work and positive attitudes during the past few months.  I appreciated the recognition (though I don't think I worked any harder than some of the other folks we have who also busted their rears during all of this), and it was very humbling to be standing there with all those folks looking on as Lindy described some of the things we had to go through technologically to get things going.  Before my head could even start to swell, it came time for the final presentation...

You see, our PA/Video system has only one output when using the portable (and very loud) PA speakers.  So, during the presentation, I had the wireless microphone audio plugged into the PA system.  When the movie started, I was supposed to move one wire (yes, just one, single wire) from the microphone system to the computer for the movie.  That way, the sound from the movie would come out of the PA speakers.  I had checked and practiced this little maneuver the day before.  I knew it would work.

When it cam time to make the switch, I opened the back of the cabinet and saw wires, connections, equipment, etc and my mind went blank for a moment.  It was as if I had just been given a surgical knife and had cut open a patient - it was a jumbled mess in there and I wasn't recognizing anything.  What is all that stuff?  Where am I? Everyone is watching me! Who am I?  And then, I got my wits about me and move the wire - to the wrong plug.  Okay, let's try this other one.  Nope.  How about this one? Nope.  Holy smokes... 

There I was, the hard-working, dedicated tech guy that believes the answer is always either "yes, we can do that" or "No, we can't do THAT but we can try THIS..." who suddenly couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag.  With everyone watching. Brilliant.  And humbling.  The Lord knows how to keep me in line, right where I need to be.

I put everything back the way it was and started over.  Sure enough, I found the right plug.  Now, this probably took all of 30 seconds to a minute, but to me it felt like I had blown the whole thing.  Fortunately, the video has captions, and also fortunately, everyone got to hear the important parts.  Phoebe said it worked out fine, and that had everything gone without a hitch, we would have had to supply a lot more tissues. 

The newest item on my "to do" list: install a splitter so I never have to mess with the cabling for the PA system again... Well, I'll still have to mess with it but maybe it won't be so "humbling" next time. 

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