Like father like son, as Secret CIO, against his will, spends GITEX battling with the brat

Excuse me if I sound more than usually bitter and twisted, but I've only just recovered my faculties from the Gitex - sorry, GITEX - experience.

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By  Secret CIO Published  November 30, 2006

Excuse me if I sound more than usually bitter and twisted, but I've only just recovered my faculties from the Gitex - sorry, GITEX - experience.

Now don't get me wrong - I like a good trade show as much as the next free-spending IT manager, especially one with as many decent post-show parties as Dubai's claim to IT fame.

No, the reason for my post-GITEX stress disorder is the brat. She who must be obeyed has recently decided that our little bundle of joy should be more engaged with his parents' occupations, and should therefore attend GITEX with me for a day.

Unfortunately, the brat attends the sort of progressive educational establishment where this kind of thing is encouraged, so my last line of defence - "what about his school work?" - was brushed aside like a beaver dam in front of a tidal wave, with the end result that we both rolled up at Dubai's Trade Centre on Sunday morning, me with a genuine visitor's badge, the brat with a hastily faked-up pass - courtesy of an exhibitor friend, curse his eyes - in order to circumvent the show's no under-18s policy.

Now, I'm not normally one to have any great respect for authority, but I think I now understand why DWTC introduced the age restrictions for GITEX. Within 15 seconds of entering the first hall, my pride and joy was off like a hyperactive greyhound with ADD, tearing round the more interesting stands, ogling the stand dollies, fingering the shiny - and expensive - consumer electronics, and causing more than one dedicated showgoer to lose the best part of his plastic wheely-box - and what is it they put in there anyway?

Luckily, I lost sight of the brat after around three minutes 25 seconds, although I fancied I could trace his progress by the fresh pools of spilled beverages, damaged stands and hysterical marketing girls throughout the subsequent halls. Unluckily for me, I was soon able to establish a much more reliable method of following the brat trail, as within half an hour of his disappearance, I started to receive calls to my mobile from overly-keen sales managers, asking me to confirm my 12.45 appointment for a demonstration of their entire product line.

Yes, it rather seems the brat got hold of a stash of my business cards, and had been liberally distributing them throughout the stands at GITEX.

Sadly, it also seems he has a well-developed sadistic streak, as the cards went almost exclusively to vendors of the most boring products and services on offer - hence the extreme speed with which they followed up his arrival.

Knowing my son as I do, I was able to catch up with him at one of the many games console demonstrations - his attention was sufficiently diverted that I was able to remove him bodily from the game without him registering until his hands actually left the controller.

If he thinks he's got the better of me, though, he's very much mistaken. As penance for my fielding more calls from barcode printer manufacturers than the human mind can comfortably conceive of, I've invited every single vendor that called me to visit the brat's school to explain what it is they actually do.

And if that doesn't give him - and his class - an object lesson in what a CIO does, then I don't know what will.

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