The Atavism

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Herding Cats

For reasons that are still not entirely clear to me I ended up on the organising committee for three meetings this month. For the two meeting I had the most to do with I ended up preparing the program. This meant collecting an collating abstracts from all the speakers, pasting them into a new document and suffering long silences from the printshop after asking them to get each program finished in an unreasonable length of time.

It's actually been kind of fun hearing all the exciting things that people are up to around the country but I thought I should offer this post as a warning to anyone who, like me, finds themselves doing something like this for the first time and thinks that abstracts will roll in as a steady, manageable stream over a few weeks before the deadline. Here is the a plot of the number of abstracts received for each meeting relative to the deadline for that meeting:

Abstracts recieved relative to deadline

(Lest this be construed as a gripe against any of the interesting speakers we have coming I should admit that we are now one abstract short of a full program: mine)


Posted by David Winter 6:10 PM


In my long-ago and perhaps ill-advised stint as a dog-show secretary, I observed the same pattern with regard to entries and the closing date. The worst offenders for late entries were usually the club committee and the top exhibitors coming from far away.

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