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Tues. Nov. 1, 2005: Slipping into academic lectures

Attending a debate at the Rotman School on “IT Doesn’t Matter”, with Nicholas Carr and Don Tapscott taking sides.
David sneaks over the university to hear a lecture, and is found out.

(by David): I take advantage of living in downtown Toronto, and being an alumnus of the commerce program at U. of Toronto, to attend various Rotman School events. It’s one of the leading business schools in the world — no one would argue that it’s top 50 worldwide, and there’s always the quibble about whether it’s in the top 20 worldwide, and its position in the top 5 in Canada — and it’s got a strong academic staff, so there’s always good speakers coming through. I just have to mark my calendar to remember to go.

My attendance at Rotman events isn’t directly related to my day job — I don’t have or want any official power there — so I just slip the event into my work day, and shift some hours around later, so there’s no real impact on my day job.

So, on this day, there was a debate between Nicholas Carr — famous for his IT Doesn’t Matter article — and Don Tapscott, who is a well known consultant who happens to live in Toronto.

Normally, my visit wouldn’t be a big deal… I usually just come in, and take a seat at the table up near the front of the lecture area. I came into the building, picked up my badge, hung up my coat, and slipped in beside the curtain up near the stage, and went to sit down at my usual position in the front row … and then I noticed that the CIO — my current client — was sitting two seats over from me.

We said hi, he introduced me to someone he was with, and I did my usual note taking and recording.

No damage done, but at least one person at my client knew that I wasn’t billing for those two hours that morning! At least this is some recognition that I work for a client for my knowledge, and not really by the hour ….

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