While most rush in to view gadgets at CES, I saunter in to see people.
Being at one with the workers, I want to see their faces, their shoes. I want to share their travails.
Last year, the outright winner of Saddest Man at CES was a hardy gentleman presenting on behalf of Sharp. He talked -- they wouldn't listen. He tried harder -- they walked by quicker.
No sooner had I pierced the doors of the South Hall today than I witnessed a candidate for this year's saddest man -- but it was woman.
This lady was presenting on behalf of Tiffen. This remarkable company has very clever gadgets that control lights.
Lights are easier to control than people.
The Tiffen lady's first tactic was to speak as if someone was listening. People kept on walking. She tried a little louder, without success.
Then she made like the head of the Girl Guides and said: "What we're all going to do is gather round."
No, we're not.
She was getting frustrated, turning her head this way and that. Honestly, I couldn't watch anymore.
More Technically Incorrect
I walked away and came back a few minutes later. There was a small crowd. She had succeeded, I thought.
But wait, she wasn't on stage. She was in the audience. It was a man who was presenting. Had she decided she needed to personally walk the floor to lure people in? That's how it seemed.
Oddly, this was the same thing that happened last year with Sharp. The brave male presenter ended up in the audience, while a comely lady took over the presenting. She, stunningly, had attracted a crowd.
I let Ms. Tiffen be and rushed to see whether Sharp could compete this year.
The company isn't going to try. Its booth seems to not even include a public stage. Instead, there are curtains that attempt to lure you in. There was a small line. People were standing in front of a slogan that read: "Brace Yourself."
As in every relationship, shouting is rarely the way to create a long-lasting bond. Sometimes, a whisper is all it takes.