Saturday, February 9, 2008

RWA Dallas 1996

That's the year I remember as having a semi-good time.

I was editor/agent appointment chair. That was a huge job for one person, who also ran a nursing home.

The appointments were doing well, when a woman came up to one of my volunteers and started to ream her out because her father, who was old enough to be my father, had an appointment with an agent who wasn't taking new clients.

Everyone was watching the verbal attack, so I got up and went to the side of the volunteer. Many times throughout my life, I've been asked if I was sleeping when I answered the phone. Guess it's that bedroom voice of mine. So, I talked to her like one of my residents who would flip out. Lower your voice, so that they have to cease their screaming to hear what you are saying.

I had to repeat, "If you will lower your voice and listen to me, I can help your father." I had to say it at least six time before she noticed that I was speaking to her. So she shut up. I promised her father that if he would come back after lunch, there might be a cancellation with another agent, and I would gladly send him in at that time. When she left, everyone was amazed that I got her to calm down. Little did they know that if she had screamed at me one more time, I might have gone across the table at her. I know I thought of it.

One thing I did was tell people to return their appointment ticket if they chose to not go. So, there were tickets landing on my desk all throughout the two days of appointments. One girl kept watch and asked if she could go to any of the appointments if no one else wanted them. I don't know how many appointments she did that day, because I started to look for her. My idea was that I didn't want any editor or agent to leave if no one was there to speak to them. She was so thrilled, she got several requests and was on top of the world at the end of the day.

On Saturday night was the big banquet. I had a special seat because of the chairmanship of the appointments. I went to the loo and on the way back to my table, I ran into the Appointment Girl. She was crying. The people (I can't call them ladies) at her table laughed at her joy that her appointments would lead to her being published. I was shocked. I invited her to come and sit at my table, but she declined. She was in tears. I heard a little of her story. The mother of two small boys, with a husband who was recently handicapped, she was counting on being published.

I didn't say how beautiful she was. And she was. Years later I received a letter from her, thanking me for the appointments, and a shoulder to cry on. The best of it is, she did get published. She has a great career, and one of her books was picked up for the big screen. That's the perfect revenge. I doubt that the others at her table remember her name. But I do. I'm so proud of her. Her letter hangs on my office wall. As a reminder that sometimes I do something right.

At that conference, after the banquet, the room emptied, a friend was sitting with an editor when I moved away from them and went around a column.

OMG...there was a big busted woman, dressed in costume. She had her 'melons' on top of a board. I know I stared. I even managed to notice that she was barefooted. So, I went and interrupted my friend and the editor to tell them about the melons on the board, but she disappeared by them. I'm still overwhelmed by her audicity.

So, that was my most memorable conference. That and RT, where I 'buffed' quite a few men. One told me to watch it, his gun might go off. He was a policeman on duty. One lady at that conference brought her husband, and when I 'buffed' him, he spilled some of his drink.


Sometimes I kill myself laughing at what I do to amuse myself.

1 comment:

J L said...

Living well really is the best revenge! What great stories, Donna.