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November 19, 2008


If Mausi had had any doubts left that quality management isn't about quality at all they were effectively wiped out this morning when she had to listen to a 4 (!!!) hour presentation about the differences between DIN 17025 and DIN 17020. OK, so the topic is not what Mausi would call "ripping" but it could at least be presented in a more interesting way. Instead the speaker, a quality management expert, seemed to be surprised by the content of at least 90% of his slides, kept jumping back and forth because he had forgotten to tell us something and apart from that the slides contained far too much text instead of focussing on the really important points.

Soon Mausi was bored stiff and allowed her mind to wander thinking how much things have changed ever since she gave her first presentation in the 1980's. Transparencies had just been invented and text and drawings had to be either written on them by hand or copied onto them in black and white. Despite having checked them umpteenth times for spelling mistakes one would spot the first as soon as the first transparency was put onto the overhead projector. And the time it took to put one's presentations together! Mausi's mass spectra would come out of the plotter and coloured ink and couldn't be transferred to the transparencies by a copy machine (only black and white at that time) so Mausi would redraw them in black ink which gave a much better contrast. A good thing Mausi likes drawing things....

Of course Mausi could have photographed them but slides are tricky things too. If one went to an international conference in a foreign country it was a safe bet that one's slides wouldn't fit the magazine of the projector and occasionally get jammed during the presentation. If one forgot to number the slides, the student who operated the projector was certain to drop them shortly before the presentation. How many wrong ways are there to put a slide into the magazine? Yes, SEVEN! It could get very funny at times, at least for the spectators.

Nowadays, one faces other difficulties: the USB stick refuses to talk to the computer, the link in the presentation can't call up the correct video clip, the presentation was generated by a different PowerPoint version and now suddenly the characters and bullet points look very different... And there are a lot more possibilities to make life interesting - or should one say harrassing - for the speaker.

Anyways, some way or other Mausi managed to survive this morning. Now she thinking about suitable entries on the feedback sheet she has been given...

Posted by Mausi at November 19, 2008 07:25 PM

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