我的讲稿被狗尿湿了 / The Dog Peed on My Speech

我的讲稿被狗尿湿了

最近我和家人一起休了十天假,事前就决定不带手机和笔记本电脑,好让假期能过得更加祥和宁静,也让自己能更好的放松。何况,这次休假我们去的是蒙古边区,那里大多数情况下都没有手机信号和无线网络覆盖。

我事后才知道,关于把这些东西留在家里对休假到底是有利还是有弊这场争论,时下正热。也才知道,短暂的解脱和放松在回来之后旋即就被堆积如山的信息抵消殆尽,甚至连带随后几周的工作节奏也变得更加忙碌和压抑,而这一切的罪魁祸首正是我十天的“逃离”。

所以,假如你现在问我,如果能够重新来过,我还会把电话和笔记本电脑留在家里吗?我可能会说“决不”。但是,科技本身以及它和人之间的关系都是变化莫测的,且看一年之后我怎么想吧。

这次休假回来以后,我手里有一大堆早就知道需要按时完成的工作。临出发去休假之前,我还接受了好友的邀请,答应在一个(有15-20位经理出席的)小型早餐会上作有关商务问题的演讲。

从休假回来一直到演讲当天早晨,我始终忙个不停,疲于应付各种最后期限。结果,我根本没时间坐下来写演讲稿,哪怕只是按我最喜欢的方式简单罗列一些要点,作为临场发挥的参考。

于是,早餐会头一天,我在办公室边吃午饭边划拉出一份发言提纲,打算在当天下午或晚上再抽空儿回顾和细化一下。我把提纲打印在一页纸上,放进一个透明的塑料文件夹里。

虽然小算盘打得不错,但是由于杂事缠身,当天晚上我没有来得及润色讲稿就上床休息了。我有一种隐约的负罪感,觉得这份发言提纲还不够完美、还没有达到预期,但我决定还是留待第二天早晨早点儿起来,赶在早餐会之前在家里一边喝咖啡,一边再好好看一看。

我依计行事,直到我家的宠物狗粉墨登场。

当时我手里正端着一杯热咖啡,演讲稿就放在写字台旁挨着公文包的一个较低的位置上。

大多数清晨我去厨房倒咖啡的时候,家里那条名叫秋秋的巧克力色贵宾犬都会给我送上热情的问候。秋秋的身材跟一只大兔子差不多,跑起来兴许比一般的兔子还要快。它绕着餐桌转圈撒欢儿的速度让人看得直眼晕。

我端着咖啡回到写字台前,秋秋已经从那儿跑了好几个来回。我伸手去拿演讲稿,发现只受过一点儿家庭训练的秋秋给我留了言。

它在我的讲稿上撒了泡尿。

我再说一遍,这可不是瞎编。小狗秋秋在我的讲稿上撒了泡尿,而再过一个小时我就要去演讲了。

刹那间,我的脑海中涌现出很多想法,其中有些还牵扯到暴力。后来经过片刻反思,我想:好吧,本来我就担心这稿子不够水准,现在秋秋只不过是明确地告诉我这稿子真的不行,那干脆就重新写过吧。

说干就干,我彻底调整了演讲的方式。

我想起没完成作业的学生经常使用的经典借口。假如有老师问,他们会说:“我的作业被给狗吃了。”

于是,我在早餐会的开场白中写下了这样的话:“我的讲稿被狗尿湿了”。这让包括我自己在内的与会者都不禁莞尔。

在这儿,我顺便向各位展示一下铁面毒舌评论员——小狗秋秋的照片。它是我去年中秋节带回家的,所以给它起名叫“秋秋”。

在此,我祝各位读者朋友们中秋节快乐,也提醒您千万不要把讲稿放到宠物够得着的地方。

The Dog Peed on My Speech

Recently I went on a ten-day holiday with family and made the decision in advance to leave my mobile phone and laptop behind, in order to enhance the peace, quiet and relaxation. Also, we were going to a remote area of Mongolia and would be away from cell phone signals and wireless infrastructure much of the time.

In hindsight, the debate about whether leaving these devices at home enhances or undermines the value of a vacation is now a very lively one. In hindsight, the short-term relief and relaxation was more than offset by the mountain of messages awaiting me on my return, and the impact that had on the following weeks’ pace of work, which became much more hectic and stressful because of my ten-day “escape.”

So if you ask me whether or not, if I had it to do again, I would leave the phone and laptop at home, I would probably say “never again.” But, technology and our relationship to it is very fluid and dynamic; so let’s see what I think a year from now.

When I returned from this recent trip I had a variety of work-related deadlines which I’d known about in advance. Shortly before the trip I also received an invitation from a good friend to speak to a smallish (15-20 executives) group over breakfast on some business-related issues, which I accepted.

Then came the flurry of deadlines and busy days between the return from my holiday and the morning of that presentation. As a result, I did not have time to sit down and write out the talk, nor did I really want to approach it that way, preferring to write down a series of bullet-point notes and speak on an ad lib basis from those.

So, the day before the breakfast talk, I managed to squeeze in some time while eating lunch at my desk, and jotted down some talking points, intending to revisit them and refine them later in the day, or that evening. I printed these out on one page and put them into a clear plastic folder.

Despite good intentions, I got distracted with other stuff and went to sleep that night without refining the speech notes. I had a vague feeling of guilt and a sense that the notes were not as good as they could be or should be, but I planned to rise early the next morning and revisit them over coffee at home before the breakfast meeting.

Which is exactly what I did, until the family puppy dog intervened.

With a fresh cup of coffee in hand, I had set my speech notes draft down on a low surface next to my briefcase near my desk.

As with most mornings, my visit to the kitchen for coffee received an exuberant greeting from the family dog, a chocolate brown poodle puppy, whose name is Qiu Qiu. Qiu Qiu is about the size of a large rabbit and could probably outrun the average rabbit. His laps around the dining room table are made at dizzying speed.

By the time I returned to my desk with coffee in hand, Qiu Qiu had been there and back. As I reached for the draft copy of my speech notes, I realized Qiu Qiu had left me a message as only a partially house-trained puppy can do.

Qiu Qiu peed on my speech.

Let me say that again, because I’m not making this up. Qiu Qiu the dog peed on my speech, about an hour before I was supposed to deliver it.

A battalion of thoughts raced through my mind, some of them involving hostile intentions. But then after a moment’s reflection I thought, well, you were just wondering whether that draft was up to snuff, and Qiu Qiu just emphatically confirmed that it was not. So rewrite it.

Which is exactly what I did. I changed the whole approach of the talk.

It reminded me of the classic excuse offered by one student who failed to hand in his homework assignment on time. When asked by the teacher, he said “The dog ate my homework.”

So I wove “The dog peed on my speech” into my introductory comments for the talk that morning, which gave everyone, including me, a laugh.

By the way, here is a picture of my meanest, toughest critic, Qiu Qiu the dog. We acquired Qiu Qiu at the time of last year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, which is where he got his name.

On that note, let me wish all Readers a very happy Mid-Autumn Festival, and suggest they keep their speeches away from their pets.


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