It seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that conferences are good for free hot drinks and cakes. Indeed, I can’t deny that I was looking forward to some posh coffee at the conference I was on my way to earlier this week. Still, an obvious but muted appreciation of freebies is one thing; brazen public cynicism towards the whole venture is another. Here are some words I transcribed on the train from someone going to a conference (not the one I was going to) while they were glancing through the programme:
We’re supposed to go to some things that are relevant to us.
‘Fire safety: post-Grenfell’. We’d better go to that.
All these people we need to know to get a new job!
Why would you want a new job when you’ve just been promoted for doing nothing?
You’ve got all this in your diary. I haven’t got any of it in my diary. I’m just going to follow you like a sheep.
Everyone who works for them is 25, aren’t they?
He’s normally so photogenic. He’s got really good teeth.
I enjoyed the conference I attended. The coffee was excellent. And all the presentations and panel discussions.