The ‘Conference Nuisance’ is a breed of persons who, in a meeting or a conference, will incessantly raise the hand to either ask a question or give a comment; they will interject severally during the presentations, and when the question, “Is there anyone with a question or comment?” is posed, they never shy away from the challenge; they know it is them that the question is directed at, and they never disappoint.
On picking up the microphone, they start their question or comment with the words, “Just a quick one”.
Thereafter, after beginning their question or comment at Ruaka in Timbuktu, it (the question or comment) then goes on a journey; it travels through downtown Detroit, takes mid-morning tea at Bottoms-Up in Kisumu, finds its way up the Ngong hills, then down to the Kerio Valley, goes round several corners in Johannesburg, winds its way up the staircase of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, parachutes down into Gilgil, eats lunch at Kwa Njambi in Naivasha, climbs Mount Kilimanjaro, like a submarine swims to below the Pacific ocean waters, takes dinner at Mother’s Kitchen on the moon, sails round the Cape of Africa, and then finally finds its way back to the meeting hall, via Jupiter.
The long, meandering ‘question or comment journey’ is eventually capped up with the words, ‘With those few remarks’.
A common characteristic of these persons is that they will most definitely also raise the hand just before, and therefore eat into, a much needed health or freshening-up break such as lunch, perfuming or tea break.
Another characteristic is that the person will not even notice that the audience is just staring, aka looking without seeing, because the mind is focused on more pressing matters in the restaurant or rest room.
The audience is listening without hearing any word because they are exhausted and they are lunch or rest room expectant.
And yet the meeting or conference moderator, and the audience, can not do anything about it because the person cannot be interrupted for reasons that include courtesy, respect, intimidation and fear.
Therefore, in order for the audience to survive the hunger pangs as they wait for the ending of the question or comment, it demands that they wear a full armor to prevent emotional explosion out of impatience and anger; such times call for them to clothe the self with: the belt of love buckled around the waist, with the breastplate of forgiveness in place; feet fitted with the feet-cuffs of gentleness so that they are not quick to kick the person’s off the podium; a shield of patience to extinguish all the flaming arrows and temptations to curse; a helmet of self-control so that the health break can arrive without anybody getting hurt; a sword of kindness so that this barrier to food and refreshment can be treated with love amidst infuriation; and, a prayer that the food or tea will still be hot, or that the bladder will still be intact, or that the perfume will not have worn out, when the person eventually talks his way back to reality – back to the conference hall.
And when the question or comment is finally over, the audience is happy that they didn’t overreact despite the agony; they are rewarded because the persons’ faces will be flushed with extreme excitement that their question or comment will play a major role in saving the world.