Thursday, 14 March 2013


There are vices and virtues of being on a business trip. On the down side is the travelling and sleeping in hotel beds. The past two days I have become aware of some of the virtues. I am currently in another country, for a meeting, followed by a conference. It is part of the job to attend conferences - about once a year. Recently I have turned the vicious part of conference attendance into a virtue. The breaks. The meals. The conference dinner.

During this trip I was paging through a free magazine on the train. There was an article on new trends. It said that the old trend of fear of missing out (F.O.M.O.) has been overtaken by a new one: JOY of missing out: J.O.M.O. - and that is what it is! My newfound pleasure... At the conference, when the session ends, I head for the coffee, and - while staring at my phone or a piece of paper in order to avoid contact - I find a place where I can sit alone. I skipped the conference dinner, said I had to work, walked to town, bought a sandwich, and thoroughly ENJOY sitting in my hotel room, missing out on all the chit-chat. I am being unfair, conference dinners can involve interesting scientific discussions. But I can't concentrate when more than one person is talking at the same time. So to me it might as well be chit-chat.

I know that missing out on purpose is not compliant to social code. Therefore I had no answer when some of the people I had a meeting with yesterday exclaimed: 'I'll walk with you!' when I said I'd rather walk than drive to my hotel. So I walked with them. I wonder if NT people are as anxious about what to talk about when they foresee that they have to spend time with other people?

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