Murphy’s Cousin in action

So if Murphy’s law states that “if it can go wrong, it will,” then is his cousin the one that states “if things could possibly be incredibly frustrating, they will be?”

There are a lot of conferences every year, for all kinds of fields.  In academia, there are quite a few, too, such that overlapping or back-to-back situations happen a lot.  On the other hand, for the most part, I notice that conferences of the same type don’t usually happen at the same time.  So technical conferences – how to manage a lab, stuff like that – are in early summer, then maybe late summer, then maybe in the fall.  Management conferences – the big one in Educause – is in the fall, as well.  But people who go to Educause are not usually the ones going to the technical conferences.  

However, right now I am facing a situation where the Law School Admissions Council – LSAC – has started a new, senior IT-related conference called ESCON (electronic services conference) and is actually significant subsidizing attendance.  It’s a big move on their part.  This is law school specific, though, yet it’s also leadership/management related.  Lots of admissions officers will be there, too, but part of the goal is to get the two groups together.

Now, that is from April 1-3.  Of course, as Murphy’s Cousin’s Law dictates, while usually management conferences are going to be spread out, the ACM SIGUCCS Spring Management Symposium, which is designed for those aspiring to be higher-level managers/CIOs/etc, runs from March 30-April 1.  I have applied for a grant to attend – again, very generous and I would be incredibly grateful if I were selected.  

But…c’mon.  Seriously?  One ends on April 1 and the other begins the same day?  And I don’t find out about the SIGUCCS grant until February but I book airfare for the ESCON now, which means I might leave SIGUCCS a day early, fly back to the San Francisco area, then basically meet my wife at the airport to change the contents of my luggage and jump on a plane to fly back to the eastern time zone for the ESCON.  And obviously if I get the grant I will go to both (I also have been wanting to go to the management symposium for a while now).

And yes, both are in a the eastern time zone, so I have to factor in minor jet lag, too.


Comments (3)

  1. Debbie

    Ok, so your airfare is already booked, but could you change your ticket (albeit probably for a fee) and fly directly from one conference to the other? Seems silly to fly all the way back. And why switch suitcases? Just take enough clothes for both OR do laundry in between OR send one suitcase to conference #2 before you go to conference #1, and send conference #1’s suitcase home via UPS when you get to conference #2. Easy peasy!

  2. kaiyen (Post author)

    Well, since the 2nd conference actually paid for my airfare, I can only imagine that it would be complicated to get things switched up. Worst case, if I get the grant to the 1st conference, I will take some crazy combination of flights to get from one place to the other.

    You make it sound so simple 🙂

  3. Debbie

    I’m still not convinced it would be THAT hard. You know what they say about assuming…and you never know unless you ask! The worst that could happen is that you find you relaly DO have to fly cross country a few times, but you’re already mentally planning to do that anyhow, right? (-:

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