It was during this trip that I noticed one ironic thing – the Adult Expo going on the same time.
They had people handing out fliers a block from the geek expo venue. And, the good polite geeks would accept them. This was the fun part – watching them read the fliers, turn beet red, then look for the nearest trashcan so they could get rid of the evidence. I swear they acted as though they were being watched by their bosses via satellite the way they responded. They all but burned the evidence.
What I found even more ironic was the fact that many of these guys who are acting as though a half naked woman is too scandalous for words were just in the expo center where there were scantily clad women wrapping themselves around these geeks in an attempt to get them to give up their name, address, phone number and email address for marketing purposes. Yes, marketing people know how to lure the geeks into their booths – half naked women who act like they are attracted to the nerdy types.
One booth had leather Lazy Boy recliners where they would have the geek sit while they sat on their laps and applied the temporary tattoo with the company logo on it. Then using their mouths, they would blow it dry as they giggled and wiggled. Another booth had the women grabbing men and pulling them into the booth where they would sit them in chairs and give them shoulder massages as they encouraged the men to play with their devices. Men would line up to these booths with the booth babes in leather. They would trip over each other to get in line – even push and shove. Yet, give them a flier with a similar image on it – and no technology bend to the sexual innuendo – and that’s just wrong.
My cohort who was with me the first year acted outraged at the behavior. It was where I got confirmation he was gay. (And yes, he is a gay man – I’m not saying that to be snarky.) He made it a rule to avoid any company with booth babes, and would only go where there were men.
A few years later, I went again. And chuckled again at the timing of the two events. That year I learned way too much about how many of our product managers and sales people were either sleeping with each other or with people they picked up at the bar. (Infidelity I would later learn was pretty rampant among this group of coworkers.) This was also the year the company found out about the fact there was an Adult Expo going on at the same time – you know, with porn stars and sex stuff. They discovered this after a sales person turned in an expense report for entertaining one of our big customers. Let’s just say they went to a few of the events and got receipts. They probably wouldn’t have noticed those things, except they hit a few strip clubs too – and those names really stood out when they reviewed the report. No one was punished for doing it, but there were some rules quietly set around future expenses.