The first annual TED Talk Women’s Conference was here in the desert last week and I got contracted to work it and it was AMAZING. Most of the staff was from the main office in Canada and were stereotypical in the politiness, although I’m not complaining. This was the first event I worked where every aspect of it was fun, there was zero micromanaging because all those in charge understood we were competent. I did learn a lot about TED though.
First off, did y’all know that the giant conference in Vancouver cost $10,000 a ticket? No refunds because it’s all non-profit (I was not aware of this) so they’ll just send you a receipt at the end of the year. The women’s event tickets were almost $3000 each and there was around 900 attendees. If you have money to attend, you’re more than welcome to but you have to apply and they run a background check on you to make sure you’re reasonably fascinating and sane.
But the amenities the conference gives the attendees are luxurious to us poor folks so maybe it’s what’s to be expected on the other side. There was so much nice, free, rich people shit everywhere and I wanted it all. Like, there was this vendor called Moon Cycle Bakery, a monthly service that delivers sweets during your period with “hormone-supportive ingredients to nourish you from the inside out.” Bougie, yes, but I would have been all over that. There were many vendors like this.
TED is huge so the staff and operations team were identifiable by the color of their badges although there seemed to be a caste system involving the TEDx people. They are seen as very “eager” and “ambitious” by the TED staff (this was the response some TED staff gave me after I said that while I had never seen a bad TED talk, I had seen some *interesting* TEDx ones) and that was the meanest thing I heard them say.
Anyhow, STACEY ABRAMS!
During orientation, they told us to not fangirl and respect consent and boundaries when famous names are around. Then they told us the surprise speaker was Stacey Abrams. I honestly did not think I was going to even get a glimpse at her but lo and behold, on the night of my longest shift, she walked into my area! I told her that I was trying to be cool but it was such a honor to meet her and I was with her forever. She told me to come close to her, gave me a hug, which made me start crying, asked if I wanted a picture and I said “YAS!!” I got to talk to her for a bit and her aide for a long while because her aide said I looked familiar and that sparked a long conversation. But I just couldn’t believe it! I can’t even adequately put into words how I felt about how the whole experience. It was just life-changing, surreal, if only for a few minutes.
TED liked the resort the event was at and announced that they will be returning next year to do it again so I’ll be there.
Also, I got a new job! Actually two (technically three) and life is so much better. I think I mentioned that I got offered a job at a hospital but wasn’t sure if I was going to get it because of drug testing, even though I told them I take edibles for insomnia. Well, I got cleared to work. They said that either I don’t take enough to warrant concern or it didn’t show up in my drug testing, either way, I’m good to go. HOWEVER, an phenomanely better opportunity dropped into my lap: a bartending job at a really, really, really high-end restaurant (average bill is a $300) that provides dental, medical and vision insurance, paid personal days, sick leave and vacation along with a bunch “we’ll help you have a better quality of life” programs. Just night, only bartending, so I jumped on that. I start next week.
I also got hired on with a new publication startup except this one has investors, blueprints, and a solid business plan that includes marketing (all sides) and creating content. Since it’s starting from the ground up, I’ll be able to get experience in all things journalism and marketing. Fingers-crossed this takes off.
Cats are good, it’s nice and cool in the desert and I’m super happy :)