One of the really incredible aspects of my program is the exposure that I am given to top leadership in my company and the opportunities to take part in executive level projects. On Friday I was invited to join in a lunchtime meeting today to brainstorm ideas for the redesign of our external Web site. I was really excited about this because I have a lot of ideas and really like to be able to give my input on ways that I think our company can appeal to the younger generations and be more up to date and energetic.
I'm sort of obsessed with social media and viral marketing. My Google Reader is filled with blogs on the latest trends in the field and the reason that I started my own blog in the first place wasn't to stay more in touch with people, but because I wanted to learn as much as I could about the blogosphere and the world of blogging. My friends all know me as the one who is constantly sending out blogs that would interest them, intriguing articles I've found online, and YouTube videos that range from ridiculously smart and innovative to ridiculously silly. So needless to say, I was pumped for this meeting.
I realized this morning that it was taking place in one of the fancier conference rooms and that lunch would be served during the meeting. I didn't realize until I walked in and met those that we were meeting with that it was our company's top digital marketing executive we were meeting with, as well as a member of her team (and an alum of the communications program I am in!), and two representatives from an outside digital marketing/media firm that are the master creative and executive minds behind my company's video series that I'm obsessed with (example below).
So, when it came time to eat, I didn't get any of the food offered because I am still trying to eat healthy and what they were offering wasn't so. Free things are MY favorite things ever so I opted for just a Diet Coke instead. I guess I must have drank the 20 oz. bottle of soda a little too fast because shortly after the start of the meeting I realized that I had some major carbonation-provoked burping issues. NOT OKAY.
I literally spent the entire meeting TERRIFIED that if I opened my mouth a burp would accidentally come out. I had to keep swallowing them, I felt so bloated, and I am positive I must have had the most ridiculous looks on my face as I struggled to not explode. It was terrible.
So, what I learned today is do not, I repeat, ABSOLUTELY do not, EVER, drink a bottle of soda before or during an important meeting.
I can honestly say, I will never do that ever again. I learned this lesson the hard way, but not the REALLY hard way, because luckily, I kept all those burps down and was able to contribute to the meeting (although whether or not my contributions were seen as valuable, I don't know).