With the team all back in Seattle after a week in the big apple for Cloud Expo East, we were sharing our favorite memories. Ironically, the funniest and most memorable parts of the week had more to do with the location of the event – New York City – than the topic at hand, cloud computing (although we did include one cloud mention below).
Here are our favorite things heard on the streets of NYC and in the expo hall of the Javits. And since it is New York, assume all or most of these are said at TOP VOLUME, because nothing is done quietly or half way in that city.
#5: “The Cloud is dead”
Funny this was said at the “Cloud” expo! But I guess since we’ve now had 12 Cloud Expos, it’s time to move on. Seriously, it just irks me when folks constantly try to move us artificially to new terms and slang when most of the world hasn’t even caught up to the original term yet. How can the cloud be dead when there are more “cloud” named conferences, media, products and articles than we can count? I think the point this person was trying to make is that it’s not just about the cloud but also about big data and other technology areas. However, the terms used were about as well thought out as the declaration I heard at a conference just one week earlier, which was just as incredulous: “the cloud is here to stay”!
#4: “HONK!!!!” Right next to the “DON’T HONK $350 fine” sign
Anyone who has spent time in New York knows it is not a quiet city. In fact, I believe honking is like breathing in New York, although breathing sometimes is more challenging. So, we had to laugh one night as we were walking to dinner amid a cacophony of honking only to look up and see this sign declaring “Do Not Honk”. Pretty sure that’s not enforced.
#3: “Did you see me? WTF?”
You really can’t get the gist of this without hearing the voice and emphasis. But this guy who was crossing the street nearly got hit by a taxi, and instead of just walking on and the taxi driving on, they both stopped, and the pedestrian goes right up to the window and starts yelling at the taxi driver: “did you see me?” No response. “Did you see me?” followed by the New York standard “What the F***! “Did you see me?” The driver finally said “Yes,” which satisfied the pedestrian, who then walked away and the taxi drove on.
#2: “Not open yet”
This was an ongoing theme every day in the Cloud Expo hall among the catering staff at Javits Center. AT least twice a day some food and beverage would be set up, such as coffee and pastries, or sandwiches and drinks, but the staff would be told not to let anyone touch it until a designated time. So, if, god help you, you attempted to go get a cup of coffee that was all ready to go at 9:05, and the table was not supposed to “open” until 9:30, you would be told by one of the dutiful staff “NOT OPEN YET”. It appeared this was the one phrase they were all taught. It was, frankly, ridiculous. Even more so in that often times the dozens of vendor booth staff would have loved to have had a cup of coffee or a sandwich before the expo opened to the thousands of attendees, but no, those tables did not open until the expo opened. Sad when it’s more important to be “right” than do what is right for the customer.
And our number one favorite thing overheard at Cloud Expo was . . . .
#1: “HEY, PAULIE” (pronounced “Pwalee”)
Again, this just does not translate into the written word, as you have to hear the stereotypical New York yelling accent that accompanies this. We never found out who “Paulie” was, but he was constantly being yelled for by other union members setting up booths in the expo hall. We’re guessing he was either the supervisor or the peon, because he was constantly being called on, very loudly, to check this out or answer a question, or whatever. Funny thing is, Paulie never yelled back. Maybe “Hey Paulie” was actually a code!