Thursday, November 08, 2012

Something for (almost) nothing

This morning I went to an advertising conference in the ballroom of a 5-star hotel, and drank too much hotel coffee. Hotel coffee is bad stuff; it seems to have been made by straining tar through a filter made from plutonium-enriched caffeine, and it never wakes me up properly. It just gives me heart palpitations and six hours later there are black blobs appearing and vanishing in my vision in time with my heartbeat. I don't know why I drink it; perhaps it's because it's there.

The conference consisted of two hours of Powerpoint, interspersed with video of adverts. From time to time they tried to keep people awake with audience interaction, but nobody in the audience wanted to speak up.

There were prizes. They would give you things if you answered questions correctly. They would give you things if you asked questions. They would probably have given you things if you'd belched at an appropriate volume.

Dangling corporate logo-emblazoned prizes in front of me is like presenting a rabbit to a greyhound. I ended up with a travel adaptor, a set of headphones and I was about to go for the trifecta of a USB-enabled coffee mug when I realised that it would look a bit off if an Englishman turned up and took all the good stuff before any of the Singaporeans (who weren't going to open their mouths) could get it.

I kept my mouth shut, in case I sparked off another outcry about foreign talent coming to Singapore and robbing people of their highly-deserved corporate bumpf. It was a hard decision to make, given the stockpile of stuff I'm trying to accrue before the end of the year, but it was the safe one.

Still, everyone is a winner and we shall all have prizes. That includes a corporate beach towel (just the thing for our holiday this weekend) and some more of the evil hotel coffee. That left me in ruins this afternoon, mentally anguished, physically weak. Freebies are never completely for free.


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