GP Stockholm 2018

GP Stockholm 2018

Happy birthday to me! GP Stockholm fell on my 34th birthday and it turned into one of the most bittersweet, rollercoaster shows I think I have ever experienced.

Due to a scheduling snafu, I ended up in Stockholm a day earlier than I usually fly out to these shows, so for the first time in ages I was able to spend a day in the city exploring the sights. Along with an Austrian and a Croat (there must be a joke in there somewhere) I visited some museums, went for food and almost bumped into the King.

For this event I was neither Scorekeeper or Registration lead but instead joined the rank and file of the Operations team. This is the first time I have done this role since CFBE took over running Grands Prix and I was actually a little apprehensive about how I would both feel and perform doing something I haven’t done in almost a year.

It ended up being a frustrating weekend and switching off my lead instincts was really hard and yet giving away my skills and experience for less than they’re worth is something I am loathed to do, especially as I have no idea if I can even write it off as a relationship investment with CFBE. I felt that I was only being utilised at about 50% capacity. Not only did I not really get much out of the event, the event didn’t get the best out of me and I walked away after the show feeling that I had not had the opportunities to grow and showcase myself as I would have liked.

Having said that, the usual after-event Staff Party in Stockholm was one of the brightest moments of my career to date.

I am not a social butterfly. I struggle in group situations, especially social ones. I go to staff afterparties because they’re essential networking and I enjoy hearing about other people’s success stories. This one started out no different, the food was decent (and was plentiful) and the company daunting but stimulating. However, after the speeches at the point I normally slink away, there was an extra announcement – the Back of House team’s Elly presented me with a birthday cake!

I have to admit, I didn’t know Elly beyond a generally recognisable face at EU shows – she helps out with catering and staff-room management – but the fact that she had remembered my birthday and gone out of her way to source a cake and make a fuss about it was something really special. I often struggle with understanding my place and impact within the GP circuit and moments like this remind me that I am noticed and do make a difference.

Stockholm was an awful experience from an event point of view but a real highlight from a personal one. Oh, and my room mate for the weekend was pretty good too. Not had late night chats about random subjects for a long time!

EDIT 28/10/18:

I have changed some of the text in this piece to better reflect my intended meaning. Unfortunately, words have power and this time I misused that power and gave across the wrong message. I apologise to those that felt let down by some of my comments and I hope my new phrasing better conveys my feelings and thoughts.

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