Encounter with Pests

Quick! Someone call pest control

I am not referring to rats or roaches. I am referring to people who are a pain in the neck during workshops, seminars, conferences.

I had attended a full day seminar today on a law related topic. Life was peaceful and class was rather pleasant. That was until half hour after the seminar started. The first pest turned up and sat next to me. Then one hour later, his friend turned up and sat next to him. My nightmare had begun.

These two supposedly professionals began chatting. Throughout the seminar 10am – 5pm, with the exception for the lunch and tea breaks, they did not stop chatting for more than 5 minutes. Yes, no more than 5 minutes accumulated. That was how much they chatted. In addition to the unwelcomed ‘entertainment’, they each had a throat and nose problem. It was like the whole orchestra was there – chatting noise, throat blocks, running noses. Were the sounds harmonious? I leave it to you to guess. Oh, did I mention they did not bother to close their mouth at all when sneezing or coughing? To top it all, one of them started kicking the table towards the end of the class. Amazing is it not?

2-legged Pests

Strangely the moderator did not bother to rebuke these guys at all. I must say, these two blokes are a real embarrassment to their company and family. They are supposed to be professionals and yet none of their actions/attitude belies one. One of them does not even understand the simplest of English and yet here he is next to me being a pest.

I am reminded of Robert Kiyosaki’s seminar. This was the one and only class that 100% adheres to rules. Robert’s approach was simple – my class, my law. Either you follow or you get fined. Pay your fine and don’t repeat. What were his rules?

  1. Arrive later than the official class commencement time, you don’t get in
  2. If your phone rings, own up to it and pay. Rate is S10 per ring (yes, per ring basis)
  3. When opening or closing your ring file, make no noise or pay S10
  4. Nature calls only before/after sessions or breaks. If you must go out during class, pay S10 to come in, else you stay out!

There are no enforcers to collect the fine. Participants are expected to be responsible and admit to it. It was amazing. I have never seen such compliance and such smooth running of the class. What are the lessons he was trying to teach us?

  1. It is ok to make a mistake as long as we know and do not repeat
  2. It is ok to pay for the mistake cause if you know your mistake and don’t repeat, you will have gained
  3. You are not only responsible towards yourself but also the people around you
  4. Focus and Concentration is important

Maybe all seminars/conferences and even churches should adopt this approach. If it can work for Robert, it can work for all of us.


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