What's YOUR motivation?
Andre never asks me to go anywhere.
And this is the reason, I wound up in the rafters at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Monday, waiting to Get Motivated! After almost twenty years of forced chick flicks, I owed him.
Andre got sucked in by the appearance by retired Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz.
Fittingly, we missed him.
But we did manage to catch Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Cosby, Mary Buffett and Terry Bradshaw, with varying degrees of interest and entertainment, as well as quite an education.
We arrived around 11am, with my cynical guard already high, for good reason. Red flag number one: The on-line ticketing system, makes it appear like you can't check out without purchasing a $4.95 workbook, to go with your $1.95 ticket. Newsflash--you can. Just put in a zero for quantity.
Red flag number two: Attached to the ticket is a 'lottery form' for a chance to win prizes like an ipad and $10,000. I made the mistake of keeping blank form attached to our tickets, and was told by a Dunkin' Donuts employee that I had to fill it out at the lottery table before I could go in.
"I have to fill it out?"
While I'm stepping aside to tear the lottery form off our tickets, put them in my purse, and enter through another line, one of the Get Motivated! staff approaches and in a Stepford wife kind of way and says, "Don't you want a chance to win $10,000?"
And to her little coy shrug, I continued the conversation in my head. Listen, you already have my name, e-mail, and mailing address. I think we're even. Plus, I'm not even convinced that you're going to give away any prizes today.
Inside, the stage is set up like it's fight night. And on it is someone, not part of the advertised bill, in the midst of an infomercial for his product to crack the stock market. He's literally crawling on his belly on the stage. Red arrows. Green arrows. Four single moms with high school age kids 'randomly' chosen from the audience to illustrate how simple the tools are.
At the conclusion, he's selling $99 spots to his two day financial seminars, down from a high of $1200, along with the 'limited' red nylon bag that'll get you a free lunch. And now it's a mob scene. People are swarming to sign up. And if you missed that op, there were two different money making workshops with sign-ups in the afternoon session, for $49 and $29 respectively.
I left motivated alright--motivated to uncover the driving force of Get Motivated!
I'm going with desperation.
According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Providence, as of August 2011, was 10.4%. Next up on the tour? Nashville, with an unemployment rate of 8.5%. Then onto LA: 12.7% unemployment. Followed by Ontario, CA: 14.1% unemployment.
Sensing a pattern?
Oh, sure, I'm sure that one of the kind, gentle, evangelical, bible loving spirits on the Get Motivated! team would say they're sent to cities with high rates of unemployment in order to rally the downtrodden, help them succeed and spread God's love. I mean, didn't the Gospel singer in between acts communicate their innate goodness?
But the truth is, without their ability to spin or choose places where a sense of hopelessness, far outweighs common sense, Get Motivated! would not be in business. Besides, I'm not overly impressed with their sensitivity factor.
Take the pyrotechnics, for instance, used to add excitement while introducing acts on stage. Um, did 'ya get the memo that you're in a city/state that experienced an incredible nightclub tragedy less than ten years ago--started by indoor pyrotechnics? Classy touch.
Or the slight overestimation of the number of attendees by the organizers by, oh, 4,000. The city used this info to delay school by two hours. But hey, you don't need a quality education to Get Motivated! In fact, things probably work a whole lot more smoothly if you don't have one.
As for the $10,000 winner? I really hope that she got her money. They were still looking for her when the event wrapped for the day, but I couldn't wait around.
I was overdue for a shower.