Archive for March 9th, 2009

If Who’s On First And What’s On Second, The Short Stop Is…?

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Answer: I Don’t Care (sometimes rendered as I Don’t Give A Damn.)

When you are planning an event honoring a special person or couple (ie. retirement dinner, birthday, or anniversary), the last thing you want to hear from your guests is I Don’t Care. But, all too often, the persons who should be the focus of the evening are lost (or at least blurred) due to too many preliminaries.

Case In Point 1: At a 50th wedding anniversary recently, one of the couple’s children turned the spotlight on herself for a long and self-serving retrospective “tribute” to her parents’ marriage. Some of the elderly guests (friends of the honorees) actually left before the bride and groom ever got to rise and say a word.

Case In Point 2: Due to extended thank-yous from winners in lower categories (whose “2 minute” speeches average closer to 20), Mary Kay’s annual awards dinners in my town routinely run hours over schedule. As a result, the Top Salesperson Of The Year receives her prize before an exhausted – and half empty – room. This is grossly unfair (but totally understandable.)

What’s the solution? As the batting coach says to Who (or What): “Keep your eye on the ball!” Just as the bride is the center of the wedding universe, the honoree (or – in the case of multiple winners, the TOP honoree) is always the central figure of an awards gala. Every element of the evening leads to their special moment – including whatever it takes to get to that moment before anyone says, “I don’t give a …!”