As I prepare to depart for SRE and FIRST’s biggest event of the year I am humbled. I sat in a meeting yesterday at FIRST HQ and looked at some 60-75 attendees and realized how many people are important to this very important event. After being on the road for a few weeks at FRC Regionals and being part of several success stories, I can’t help but now think that the average FIRST team has no idea how many people are trying to deliver an excellent experience to them.
They have no idea that it takes hours to find a venue, make it work in a reasonable schedule, negotiate pricing, and terms, and lay it out. They have no idea how many hours it takes to find the right vendors to execute FIRST’s standards, to find and train volunteers, fundraise, support, etc. They have no idea how many hours people sit in meetings, making sure their ideas are considered, figuring out who does what, and how they are going to make it all come together. They have no idea how many people develop a nervous tic, and feel so much like they don’t want to let down their own colleagues let along the teams.
And you know what? They are not really supposed to. The generation of the adult, is supposed to make the generation of the child somewhat easy. The child or student in FIRST’s case, is supposed to show up to a seamless show and only worry about the quality of their play and the behavior of their own team. My baseball coaches did the same for me when I was a kid. So did my soccer coaches. I never knew whether a volunteer was going to show up or not to ref, coach, or line the fields. I was just worried about how I and my team performed.
So after being humbled in a meeting yesterday surrounded by an amazing group of dedicated professionals all relying on the SRE team to do our job, so that they can do their job, so that the attendees of this huge show can have an experience where they only have to worry about themselves…..I walked away with the very definition about what I do for a living. What the SRE team does best; is to provide the infrastructure and support for our clients and attendees to be successful with. Seamlessly.
I depart with definition and determination.