A few weeks ago, I volunteered to help man the Drupal booth at OSCON. OSCON is in San Jose this year, making helping out easy.
Or so I thought.
We were supposed to arrive at 9:30 at the booth. I left late from the house, didn't know where I was going, drove quickly to the convention center, didn't realize I was at the convention center until I passed it (OH! so THAT's what that building I drove by every work day for a year is), drove around the block, parked, high tailed it to registration, flew through registration, hustled to the booth, arriving at 9:27 to find the booth empty. Puzzled, I sat down to wait.
Ten minutes isn't that long to wait. It really isn't. However, when there's hustle and bustle around you, furious booth setting up activing buzzing from all sides, and you're sitting there eating a yogurt, those ten minutes are SO. LONG.
I couldn't stand the inactivity, and gathered my stuff back up to wander around. I met up with the remaining drupalers in the registration lobby, their registrations had been lost, and yay, started setting up the booth.
For the record, it's quite obvious that Kieran has manned these booths before, both with the equipment he had, the display materials he brought and the efficiency with which he directed the rest of us to set up the booth. With me were John, who runs the SF Drupal Users Group, Joshua, from Chapter 3 LLC, and Deborah. We missed a few items in the setup, but for the most part were ready for the doors to fly open at 10.
And at 10, when they did fly open, it became very clear, very quickly, just how far outside of my comfort zone I was standing.
Kieran's instructions were to approach anyone walking by making eye contact and ask them, "Do you have a website?" This is the easiest way to vet out people casually walking by, people who have no intention of actually building a website, and people who could use Drupal. Now, approaching people is way not inside my comfort zone. And essentially cold-talking someone to see if you can finagle a project out of them or a new client? Also incredibly uncomfortable for me.
I couldn't do it.
I grabbed at the first task out of the booth I could do, which was make flyers for the Drupal meetup that evening. I managed to extend the walk to the nearest Kinko's and copying to all of a half hour, before wandering back, and decided, no, this is not something I could do, manning the booth.
I left after handing the flyers to Kieran and chatting with Colin, who I worked with at V.A. so long ago. Was great meeting up with him, the highlight of the morning for me. Well, that and posing for the Drupal Booth Babes photo: