- The flyer
- The radio interview
- The newspaper reporter
- The school talk
- The public speaking opportunity
“There’s an important event coming up,” we’ll need to get a simple flyer out, who would like to do this easy job”?
Spectacularly unqualified but enthusiastic local volunteer (known as Elv and at busy times when more than one is required, Elves) raises hand, immediately pounced on by overworked core group member.
Elv gets to work, carefully typing out the information on early version of a laptop, circa 1991. All goes well until Elv decides that the flyer needs a little more design, and maybe a logo. Distinctly remembers learning something on a course once, about how to use desktop publishing package. Twelve hours later, after wrestling with recalcitrant jpgs. on a dying laptop, spending twenty pounds buying more memory to deal with hefty memory demanded by commercial desk top publishing package and a further forty pounds on new ink cartridges, the resulting flyer is reminiscent of work produced by 9 year old son in P5.
Elv is ok on content but cryingly untalented around design, knows that offending flyer has to go back to the drawing board. By now Elv discovers printer can only print on A4 and not on A5, and as deadline is looming decides to send flyer to local printer. Flyer sent back as not in a suitable format. Elv learns about suitable formats, approaches very busy and important OTM (other transition member) with super-dooper state of art Mac laptop. OTM does a fabulous job in twenty minutes, emails result to Elv.
Elv unable to open file, sends groveling email to very busy and important OTM asking for it to be changed to a word file. All looks good except that Elv is unable to send new format of file to printer, as ancient laptop unable to cope with same, sends groveling email number three to OTM to send file directly to printer. Print run costs eighty-five pounds for five thousand, Elv resignedly hands over the money. One day later after thirty-six hours work, one hundred and forty-five pounds spent on “easy job of simple flyer” and just two hours before needed, Elv picks up flyers from printer. They look great, and would have been really useful, had the date for the event on them been correct.
The Radio Interview.
Our tired (not quite burnt out) hero Elv has volunteered to be interviewed on local radio about upcoming event.
“Good morning Elv, please can you tell me a little more about this exciting, (interviewer shuffles notes) eh...m Transpiration event that you and your group are launching this evening”?
“Good morning Jerry, thank you for having us on the show, before I begin I hope you don’t mind me correcting you, its a Transition event not a Transpiration event”.
Interviewer/disc jockey is busy shuffling through papers and not listening, looks slightly bored, glances at clock, ”no problem, Elv, no problem. Tell me what is it that you and the Transubstantiation group do?”
Ignoring second mis-pronunciation, Elv launches into a somewhat jaded description of what it is that Transition does, interviewer hurriedly slurping coffee, looking at watch. “Oh that’s great, that’s really a great initiative. Let me get this right: its about changing your oil during the right climate at the peak time.”
Elv sighs, starts again, trying to remember from his training, what exactly those words were that he should use to explain Transition. They said at the time to pretend you were in a lift and to try to explain the concept in thirty seconds. It was always a mystery to him as to why you would want to try and explain anything about Transition in a lift....but he presumed they knew better.
As the interview proceeds, disc jockey / interviewer imagines himself as serious political columnist and thinks that today is a good place to start practicing. Sitting upright in chair, focusing his full attention on Elv with an accompanying serious tone of voice, homes in on the one word he has heard again and again during the interview, “Resilience” but not being quite able to remember it and afraid to risk it, comes up with a startling alternative.
He says “what about this springing back thing ?”,and feeling quite pleased with himself at the intelligence of his question, he relaxes in his chair, thinks to himself, ah yes that will keep Elv talking for the next five minutes. Elv is caught off guard, searches through his memory for any mention of springing back during the preceding interview. Flabbergasted and blank he comes up with a plausible but ridiculous explanation. Interview terminates ten minutes later. Poor tired Elv slinks off home resolving to himself that the next time it will be much better.
The Newspaper Reporter
Young, enthusiastic, fresh out of college, roving local newspaper reporter rings up Transition Omagh
wishing to conduct a face to face interview with hard working volunteer. Elv’s name and contact details have been forwarded to ambitious busy roving newspaper reporter whose first chance to make contact is later on that evening, just around the time Elv is about to go to bed early for the first time in months. Busy, enthusiastic, wet behind the ears reporter wants to do a two page spread in local paper. Elv knows it’s too good an opportunity to miss. Sighs, strips of the jammies and heads to local to meet, yes you have guessed it, busy roving...........
The School Talk
Elv is nervous, standing before a cinema full of testosterone charged, pimply faced youths with scorn, derision and amusement etched on their visages like war masks. Teacher introduces him as the speaker from Transition showing the film “The Story of Stuff”
. Unfortunately “Stuff” got lost in the post and Elv is forced to substitute an alternative at the last minute. It is the first Transition film .In Transition 1.0
an amazing film but you know not the first choice of film that comes to mind for a large group of teenage boys! Elv knows this and senses that this could be a challenging morning, whilst simultaneously trying hard to ignore the looks directed at him by the teacher in question. Film is shown and for the first third of it the boys are quiet and well behaved, by the second third a general fidgeting malaise seems to settle on the whole audience. By the final third of the film, open conversations are in full swing, bits of paper and chewing gum are being used as missiles, and there is a queue for the toilet with the teacher marshaling the numbers in and out of the exit doors.
The film finishes and the lights go up. Elv marches confidentially onto the middle of the stage and asks “are there any questions”? A heavy silence descends, nobody moves or speaks, Elv timorously asks again, again silence. Elv feeling uncomfortable, glances down to discover that not only has the zip of his trousers come down, but that he has also forgotten to remove his brown leather sandals and even worse has his socks on.
Finally the teachers gets up and says ” well boys say thank you very much to Transition Omagh
”. A sort of chorus of thanks and catcalls and sniggering ensues as the boys file out.
The Public Speaking Opportunity aka “She should have brushed her hair”
Finally it all comes together and Elv gets it right she delivers an inspirational talk with flair and ingenuity to a large audience which is enthusiastically received.....Its a real shame someone didn't remind her to brush her hair...bo bum!
Pictures: The offending flyer, The day no-one turned up