The exhaustion of Session sets in

A studio manager's urge to remain vigilant

Business Meetings | John Smith

A studio manager's urge to remain vigilant

This morning was the first morning that I hadn't leapt out of bed when the telephone rattled into life beside me.

The 6 a.m. wake-up call did its job but diving beneath the duvet seemed a preference to leaping into action.

I'm tired. We're all getting tired. We've been here for 13 days now, my team and I preparing for and then producing a daily podcast, working 18-hour days and it's getting to us.

But, can we keep that between ourselves? I don't like to admit I'm flagging. I like to think I'm a pacy pensioner and, although I'm 63, I like to think I'm 36.

As we set about the task of assembling the various components of our podcast late last night, our studio manager, the immensely talented and worldly wise, John Beckett counseled me that it was time to be vigilant, reminding me that it's when you're tired that errors creep in.

Who has not had a car that regularly breaks down, its unreliability prompting us to say "It's a Friday afternoon model." We suggest the assembly team might have been tired and careless at the end of their working week, the quality of the product suffering as a result.

We are approaching the end our week, some approaching the end of a second complete week and we are getting tired. Whatever our role, errors must not be allowed to creep in.

John provided timely advice. During the day I had recorded an interview with a senior church official only to find, after his departure, that I had failed to save the conversation into our system and the interview was lost. Another colleague set off for his hotel last night leaving a huge hole in his feature where he had intended to insert special effects. John was correct. We were tired and errors were occurring.

The Nominating Committee finally completed its deliberations this afternoon. Six days of intense mental strain, so let's hope on the seventh day it can rest. The manner in which it has carried the burden of its responsibilities is a great credit to each and every man and its chairman Robert Kyte. Each one must be tired and one has to ask if this might, in any way, have affected the decision making. Could the Nominating Committee have produced any 'Friday afternoon models'? I suggest not, but, know that I have to remain focused, maintain concentration and safeguard the incredibly high standards established in every aspect of Session life.

That Session is now developing an end-of-term feeling and already the rehearsals for Saturday's Parade of Nations are almost complete. The Sabbath spectacle is traditionally the Adventist Church in party mood, this family of Nations coming together so beautifully to demonstrate the unity and fun loving nature of this World Church. However tired the seemingly exhausted Adventists are, they follow their national flag, dig deep into reserves of energy and leap into life in the way I did again at 6 a.m. this morning.

--John Smith is a former radio producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. He is producing the Atlanta 2010 Today radio podcast for the Adventist Church's World Session.