Tuesday, August 05, 2008

An apology for giving offence to the 27 Dinners dudes -- specially to Mike Stopforth

Yo Mike (and everyone who creates 27 Dinners)...

I apologize for making my comments on Monday night's 27 Dinner at Primi Piatti sound smug and blunt and horrid. They really weren't meant to be that, and they weren't meant to be an attack.

In my head, as I was writing, I thought I was being witty, provocative, informative, constructive. Reading back, I actually sound like a frothing dick. Hopefully I'm no syphilitic Mugabe.

I saw Vince's post, saw the comments there, saw that people were offering feedback, and saw that the feedback was being received. So I wanted to add to the pot.

As you know, I'm a big supporter of the spreading of knowledge for free. Everything I write and draw that's not under a commercial contract is open source. So for me, 27 Dinners is an awesome initiative.

My comments probably come from a primal part of my brainstem. I've encountered really bad presentations all through my business life. Even the MOST creative ad agencies and communication houses LOVE 'death-by-powerpoint'. And it frustrates me that so many people continue to embrace poor visual communication.

It's always reallllllllllllllly tricky for me to put my neck on the block by offering critical feedback of events. My income derives from the very people I'm being critical of. And I know nobody likes to come across as sucky. And I know that sucky is a completely personal judgement call.

When you mentioned my makeshift 'screen', at first I was jolted in a negative way. I thought, 'Sheesh! I was doing my best!' About one second later, I thought, 'Fuckit. Mike was also doing his best. And everyone at the 27 Dinner also did their best. Including the drunk American.' And then, about nine seconds later, I thought, 'Mike's right. I'm putting myself out there as a professional visual facilitator. And I didn't even bring my own screen. Shoddy, Roy, shoddy.'

The only reason I didn't buy the same screen you have from Makro on Sunday is that I found it won't fit in my car (I'm in a Mazda MX5, and I need something a bit more portable to get in there along with my other equipment).

So I'm on the hunt right now for something that folds up, rather than something that rolls up. What I'm primarily visualising is one of those round screens, much like the sun guard you get for cars. You know the kind of thing... a metal rim that kinda bends into a small, flat disk, with the screen folded into it. Any ideas where to find such a thing?

So to everyone who I probably offended, I apologize for the offence.

At the same time, I do believe that we can all up our game. More than that... we MUST up our game. Myself included.

Blue skies


  1. Ha ha - Roy, you're a star and a bigger man than me to boot. I'm almost positive that I took more offense than anyone else - you'll learn (as other have) that this is my weakness, I take any criticism of anything I'm involved in too personally and need to lighten up.

    There are fold up screen options that would work nicely - you should come to our office sometime and we'll chat!

  2. I am loving this =)

    Fantastic interaction between you two guys!

  3. @Mike...

    Yo dude... Sometimes I just go all the way up my own orifice, and don't see that my feet are still sticking out and trampling on people. Sorry about that, dude.

    Re taking criticism... Eish... what can I say? I went to Lionel Abrahams's writing workshop for thirteen years. I started out as a genius poet, unbeatable, one of the world's best. And realised that other people need to understand the pomes if they're to be any good. And learned how to take and give criticism. So I SHOULD know better how to give it.

    Re lightening up... nah... no need. Dude... nobody died in the swapping of ripostes. We're alive and well. And we weren't trolling, and we weren't flame-warring. So life is good!

    Thanks dude!

    Re fold-up screens... YES! Viva! I'd LOVE to see what's possible. I need stuff I can carry on a plane as hand luggage with no trouble.



    I just read your post about going to therapy with your ex. Eish.

    Feel the fear, and do it. Stay centred.

    Know that you're both doing your best. Even if both of you are behaving like assholes. (Or just him.)

    What I find works best for me is to repeat what I've heard. That way the other person feels heard. And I have to pause and actually hear.

    Blue skies

  4. Yeah ... that's all we can do hey? Our best.

    And yes, that's a great way to learn how to listen - take the time to repeat what you hear! Not only does it let the other person know you've received his/her message, but it also forces you to slow your mind down for long enough to not let your own thoughts interrupt the communication flow.

    Eish indeed! The idea of being in a therapy room was VERY scary ... but it went ok, nowhere near as bad as I imagined it was going to be =)

    Blue skies to you too Roy!
    Have a fantastic day =)

    I may catch up with you again in Twitterland later today ...

  5. I've been taken to task outside of this forum for RETRACTING my comments.

    Hang on... lemme be blunt and offensive again.

    Apologising for my TONE is not the same as RETRACTING anything. My comments stand.

    What doesn't stand, is my assholery and pompousness. THAT's what I'm apologising for.


    Blue skies


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