My front row perspective

Sometimes I feel like I’m back in grade school when I’m on the job.
No one wants to sit in the front row.
At board meetings, press conferences, even informational events meant to celebrate a happening.
What is the problem, people? Afraid you might be able to tell what’s going on?
It’s the nature of the job that I take a prime seat in the crowd. I need to know what’s being said and who’s saying it.
But with everyone sitting behind me, I sometimes feel like I’m covering a tennis match instead of a board meeting. I end up sitting sideways, one ear trained on the front of the room, the other on the back.
They sit at the very back of a room so they can whisper back and forth.
Or they take a seat in the middle of the crowd and make calls of “can’t hear you” to the front – where a slew of empty seats sit, forlornly wondering what the average hind end has against them.
I tend to giggle when the crowd starts pulling chairs out of the carousel. The back rows are full, and they’re afraid to grab a seat from the front – lest someone suggest they simply sit in it.
They’d rather open up another seat, and choose their own place in the room.
Then there are the standing-room-only members of the crowd, who lean against a wall until someone in the middle of the room gets up to go. No other seat will do; certainly not one of the five offered them that were within sight distance of the businesses at hand.
Remember the first day of school, when you scurried to the back of the room, hoping against hope that the teacher wouldn’t call you forward? Kids with last names beginning with the letter “A” were regarded with abject pity by the kids whose parents blessed them with an “S” or “V” moniker, a promise they’d be parked at the rear middle at the very least.
Even worse were the kids who suddenly got glasses – who teachers treated as though their parents hadn’t just fixed their sight difficulties with a $300 visit to the eye doctor. Kids with glasses got stuck in the front row, beside the “A” kids and the troublemakers who couldn’t hack it in the back.
Now, here I am, the “S” kid, with contacts, whose job keeps her silent (and thus unable to make trouble). And I’m all alone in the front row.
I’ll admit I’m not complaining – too much. People who sit next to me are fond of watching what I’m writing, peering at my notebook as I scribble down notes of what’s going on.
They don’t have to.
I promise; I’m writing down exactly what you’re hearing. Well, what you’d be hearing if you were paying attention.
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