“It’s always like this”

I visited some friends for lunch at the annual book trade show in New York last week (recognize anyone in this photo?). There were so many people eating lunch next to the very lame cafe at the Javits Center that we were forced to eat on the floor.

There’s a lot of floor. In fact, there’s enough floor for at least 1,000 more chairs and tables.

You can’t see the overflowing garbage can next to us, or the ketchup smeared on the floor.

If something like this happened once a year, you’d probably be a bit forgiving. But this happens every single time the Javits Center hosts a large conference, which, of course, is exactly why the Javits Center exists… to hold large conferences.

No doubt, the poor guys who have to empty the jam-packed garbage cans curse at the short supply every day. And no doubt, the people who organize various conferences notice how few places there are to sit. The problem isn’t that they don’t know. The problem may not even be that they don’t care. The problem is that the mindset of the organization doesn’t include the sentence, "your job is to make things better."

Does yours?