On Saturday I was "required" to help with a city "Safety" seminar. I think the police department and the traffic safety office collaborated on this. My job was to stuff envelopes, greet people at the door and hand out reflector gloves. There must have been about 20 of us crosswalk guards doing odd jobs (some were sent out to direct parking).
It was a LONG~~~ program starting at 1:30 and I actually had no idea what the seminar was about. City Council members and the mayor giving speeches, police chief speaking on the importance of safety, a couple other people who I never figured out. While listening to the speeches I sat wondering WHY this was important. (Isn't that terrible of me?) The same words used in each speech, the same points...keep our children safe; the elderly population is growing and drivers need to be careful of them; Japan is trying to recover from an astronomic earthquake.
After speeches someone in the police department got up and read traffic accident casualty figures. Then someone else in the police department got up and read city crime figures. All the figures were written on a paper so I don't really see the need to go over it all in such detail. (I feel like such a bad city citizen writing the above.)
Next there was a small "musical" about watching out for those pesky elderly that are going to jump out at your car. The musical was put on by one of the young police officers and his wife and was really cute, but maybe grade school drama level.
Next a bicycle simulator was brought out on stage and another "grade school drama" was put on about being careful while riding a bicycle. The "grandma" who demonstrated the simulator wasn't very good at using the simulator so it took many falls and many restarts before she got the hang of it. She and another policeman did another skit about watching out for the elderly.
By the end of that everyone started filing out of the auditorium. I stood at the exit wishing people a good day.
"What are you doing! The main speaker hasn't begun yet!"
What? But it is already 4:00. I thought city auditorium was supposed to be empty by 5:00... But sure enough the main speaker was being introduced to the minimum audience who had stayed.
"Forget the introduction! I've spoken to over a thousand groups and this is the first time I have been kept waiting nearly an hour! I had a lot of very important information to speak about today (earthquake and disaster preparation and protection) but I'm going to have to skip most of it to be finished by 5:00."
The speaker was ANGRY!!
His talk was interesting but he let his irritation show throughout the hour.
"Do you know what this sign means? Raise your hands if you think it means this... Okay, raise your hands if your think it means THIS. Well, that sure proves how little Nikko city citizens know about safety. I label you WORST 1 of all the places I've ever spoken."
And at another point, speaking about fire prevention...
"...and first of all, yell out 'FIRE!!!!!!'"
and the speaker let out a scream that had us jumping in our seats... And I was listening carefully!
"There! That should wake up those of you who feel the necessity to sleep while I'm talking!"
As seminars go, Saturday's was a disaster.