These aren’t tears of joy…

Went to a volunteer appreciation dinner this week.

Great bunch of people doing great work in the community.

Great conversations. Great food. But there’s no such thing as a free meal.

After dessert came the guest speaker.

And if you’re somewhat of an introvert, who wouldn’t you want to see step up to the podium?

How about a laughter coach.

"We’re not going to have to stand up and practice laughing," I ask, remembering some Dateline or 60 Minutes episode where hundreds of people meet in a park in India and do a group laugh. Seemed sort of creepy.

"You’ll just have to wait and see," say the folks who put on the event. Not a good sign.

So after a quick rundown on how we should love ourselves and be the star of our own movie (I was going to cast George Clooney, although I’m sure my wife would want to play herself) and a crash course in Stephen Covey’s 7 habits (I can only remember sharpening the saw and seem to think an 8th habit’s been added), it was time for audience participation.

Let’s stand up and do some laughter aerobics, says the guest speaker. Walk over to your fellow volunteers and laugh in their faces. Waddle around like a crazed penguin (not unlike my dance moves, if I ever danced).

Sadly, this was an alcohol free event, although the get-together for another group in the next room had a cash bar.

Yes, it’s good to try new things and do something you would never otherwise do. But try as a I might to "change my paradigm" and "live in the moment", I’m not a big fan of playing reindeer games. Some of the longest 20 minutes of my life.

Although it’s funny in retrospect.

Published by

Jay Robb

I've reviewed more than 500 business books for the Hamilton Spectator since 1999 and worked in public relations since 1993.

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