Sunday, 16 October 2016

My Rock Star Life

I recently posted about not going on the APAC OTN Tour. My motivation for doing so was to explain just once, why not, hopefully to crush the rumours and debate as to why.

Actually for my UK friends, it was a bit like Will Young leaving Strictly Come Dancing, if you don't say why, people simply make up their own mind.

Anyway, I posted the blog and received great messages of support both publicly and privately, but one response to the blog was simply evil.

My blog requires me to authorise comments, and I could simply have deleted it. I often get comments that say 'well written, thank you for sharing, let me tell you what I sell' etc that I simply mark as spam and delete; but after consideration I thought I would let this one stay.

Anonymous is obviously under the illusion that I am self opinionated and living the life on Oracle's dime. Something that gets brought up from time to time and those of us who do have the opportunity to do this, do sometimes feel personally attacked for it. Most of the time it is friendly banter 'can I carry your bag?, 'I want your job'; but sometimes it is nasty.

Tim Hall, who I have travelled with a lot, has responded with his glamorous life videos, to show you that whilst most of it is great, that is not always the case. I have also posted about bad days.

Yesterday Martin Widlake who is quite new to OTN tours, tweeted about his travel schedule and a response came saying 'Rock Star Life' and I though YES that is exactly what it is.

A Rock Star life, at the beginning of their career.

The endless travel, never knowing where you are when you wake up, but knowing after a very long day you will pack up and do it all over again.

I love presenting, I love sharing the stories of what I do with Oracle software for my customers. I love my job.

But an OTN tour is not glamorous. It is fun, the people you travel with and the people you meet make it fun. Oracle cover travel, and accommodation costs for the night before and conference days. So at weekends and in gaps, we are paying our own way. We pay for our food and we pay for our entertainment between events. I am lucky and have been able to combine touring with having even more fun, having often dived before and after tours and that ill fated trip to Machu Picchu.

So yes, I lead a Rock Star's Life, and I love it. Next Gig the DOAG and I hope to see you all at the best one UKOUG2016.


mwidlake said...

Thank you Debra for the name check. I just wanted to mention one thing up front - Philippe is himself a regular presenter and he knows how not-glamorous some of it is. His comment was very much with his tongue in his cheek, he was not having a go at me.

I'm new to the OTN tours but not to the presenting circus.I am currently in Slovenia - my 5th country in two weeks. I have yet another to go before a double-trip to Bulgaria and Germany in November. It's hard work and, when I was doing the Nordic tour, it was a case of "present 2 or 3 times, get taxi to airport, get plane, taxi to hotel, quick meal and a beer then bed - and repeat next day". I'm not complaining, I do this because I want to do it. But it is not a case of Oracle, OTN, or anyone paying me to do it. I do it and I get *some* help from OTN. I am grateful for that help. But for most people doing the Oracle user group talks it is a case of their employer being *very* understanding or, if you are independent, not earning and income when you do it. Anyone who thinks it is some sort of champagne tour is welcome to tag along. They can carry my bag!

Debra Lilley said...

I thought Philippe's comment was fantastic, he understands I know he does. I just thought it was actually I good analogy.

Many of us travel much more than just the OTN funded. At UKOUG 2016 there are over 100 Ace, Ace Associate and ACE Directors speakers and NONE of those are funded. I talked about OTN as the comment to me was about freebies. I also attend Collaborate and KSCOPE which have been self funded at times.

I love what I do, as I know you do, but it isn't always the glamorous life some people believe.

Aman.... said...


Though I read all of your blog posts( love the way you post the entire post with pictures and all) , I don't remember commenting on any post before. But when I read this particular post, I felt compelled to post my thoughts.

Any event, to attend , whether as a speaker or as an attendee, besides taking the resources like money etc.-needs the will to do so. As goes for speakers, it's even more tough.Even though, it might be just one day or one hour of person's time that's spend in that event, but may be possible, to do so-he has to spent couple of hours or days even in the background. It takes a lot , LOT of motivation to go, travel half the way across the world and attend, speak at an event for 5-6 hours. I am sure, given the choice of "freebies" also, many would decline to do so giving the excuse of their personal and professional commitments. Those who take effort and make that speaker list, go that extra mile than those who come and attend the event. And even if the cost is considered, as you rightly mentioned, the "freebies" are not covering any extra expense as well.

And last but certainly not the least, I , for one, certainly am going to miss you at Sangam16 and I am more than certain, there would be so many like me, who are going to miss at the events you can't attend this year.

Kudos to you and all the experts who make such events worth attending. Please ignore such useless comments. You and all the ACED are rock stars for people like us who learn not only just the professional tips and techniques but also this, that how one should be even when he/she has touched the highest peaks in his/her professional careers. It's always a privilege to meet people like you , Tim, Jonathan, Hans (and the list is far too long), learn from you in every aspect and we, the guys and gals of the oracle community, can't thank you enough for doing what you do for us.


Debra Lilley said...

Thank you Aman, for your thoughts and for taking the time to share them.

Ashish Harbhajanka said...

Hi Debra,
I never had an opportunity to meet you in person but do go through your blog posts and learn a lot. Just wanted to say one thing
" There will always be someone or other who would hate you for doing things you love to do but you need just one person.yes one single person ( and that is you yourself) who should love doing what he/she does. So keep ignoring and continue sharing'

You inspire a lot Many and teach a billion

Thank You and this is not just for you but for all other experts who selflessly teach newbies like me

Kind Regards

Debra Lilley said...

thank you Ashish