Melissa and I laughed when we came up with this title/topic. It was inspired by something that is a reality in our business arrangement. She frequently lectures at meetings of lawyers, insurance adjusters, and other groups. Our “deal” is that she’ll write the speech and do the speaking, but I have to be the A/V tech and set up everything so that she can just “go on stage.” She likens this to me being a roadie and she, like Ozzy Osbourne, just has to go out and grab the microphone someone set up, tested, and placed there. (In our world, this is more like I set up the laptop and projector, and sometimes a microphone. And, unlike the great Mr. Ozzy Osbourne, Melissa cannot sing!)
The “diva” part came up in conversation with a long time client who remarked how it appeared that Melissa was a diva waiting in the wings to go on stage. While “diva” may have a negative connotation to some people, it was not said in that context and we laughed and agreed that this was a good way to look at the arrangement. That is, that I have to “put up with” having a wife who “out ranks” me in many ways – academically and as a business partner. She’s the one who is the face of our company and the draw, that is, the only reason our clients hire, and pay, us. It is a modern world, I can deal with having a diva wife – though I’m sure some people could not. So, when your wife’s a diva, I say, deal with it and buy her a feather boa!
I will begin this post by saying I am a huge fan of Mr. John Osbourne, more commonly known as Ozzy Osbourne, the former (and surprisingly), current, lead singer for Black Sabbath. Therefore, when I liken myself to Ozzy, I am, in no way whatsoever, disparaging him; rather, I am merely comparing myself to someone with whom most people are familiar. Like Ozzy Osbourne, when I take the center stage position to face an audience (albeit, a vastly different audience comprised of attorneys and/or insurance adjusters, not heavy metal fans), I expect someone before me to have set up and tested my equipment, distributed my marketing materials and other paperwork to the audience members, turned on my microphone, and in general, paved the way for me to deliver the presentation expected by those in attendance. I can write a wonderful speech on a topic of interest to my audience, practice it so that my delivery is, as Ozzy would say, “spot on,” and say all of the words I had planned to say, but that is the limit of what I can do. I believe that, as the person making the presentation (something most people cannot, and will not, do, due to a fear of public speaking), I should not be expected to serve as my own audio-visual technician, computer guru, luggage transporter, assistant, or, in rock and roll terms, “roadie.” In fact, I firmly believe that, if I were to perform all of the support role functions, my expertise as a high level consultant would be questioned by people in the audience. (Perhaps it would be a fun social psychological experiment to see how the audience would react to a presentation on a complex topic made by someone they thought was the A/V tech, but if so, it will have to be conducted by someone other than me!) To anyone who thinks I am a diva, I challenge him/her to stand up in front of several hundred attorneys and speak for an hour or more instead of setting up the equipment, then tell me who has the more difficult job. With further credit to Ozzy, “all aboard…”