I wish I had a picture to accompany this post — me, sitting on a chair, in front of a green screen, with high tech A/V equipment all around me, and bright lights shining in my eyes. Me, nervous, blabbing off topic. How did I get into that mess?
I “blame” Polly Pearson and EMC|ONE. EMC|ONE is EMC’s internal online community site. I’m fairly active there … as I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a big fan of online community collaboration and am doing whatever I can to help make sure our internal site is successful. Polly is also active there, and we tend to get involved in a lot of the same discussions, all with the end goal of improving the corporate culture and working experience for people at EMC (I mean, it’s great … but there’s always room to get better, right?).
She called me Friday about a project she’s working on, which involves gathering video footage from EMC employees about their experiences and what working at EMC means to them. I had seen her announcement of the project and hadn’t responded … I am not usually one to leap in front of a camera. But when she called and specifically asked me to come, I found I had trouble saying no. It’s one thing to not volunteer, but when someone suggests something to you, it’s time to take a second look. So I agreed to come, and spent some time over the weekend gathering my thoughts. What does working at EMC mean to me? How is that different now than it was in 2000? I ended up with too many thoughts, and spent a good chunk of time narrowing things down, preparing a mental bullet list of what I wanted to mention.
And then I sat in front of the camera (after shaking Polly’s hand in our first face-to-face meeting), and she asked a simple question designed to get me relaxed and talking. “Tell me a little about yourself.”
Myself? No fair, this was supposed to be about EMC! I had no idea what to say about myself. I began babbling about my career, how I got to EMC, and who-knows-what else. And it went in weird directions from there. Entire subjects I wanted to bring up got left out, and I found myself weaving a strange conversational path across topics I hadn’t intended to cover. But it was good, it was conversational, and it ended well. I got my message (such as it is) across, I think.
And as I left and walked down the hill to my building, I couldn’t help but think about that opening question. It seems such an obvious conversation-starter, but how many of us could answer it in a nice concise way?
Tell me a little about yourself….