Saturday, 5 April 2008

Meetings..The alternative to work

Thursday was one of these for me.
No reason to be there, and very busy with other things.
It was not my department and I have no ability or even a desire to input or even influence the project in any way. I had a mild interest in what was discussed from a purely outside point of view similar to Heather McCartney stories. I read about her because it was printed and with a similar level of engagement to the content of this meeting.
e.g 'I really couldn't care less'

However I was once on a project team which met every Friday at 2pm. As one of the main contributing divisions was way behind on the project there was very little do or say or report on and it was a case of 'Same time next week for developments?' and all off home at 3pm.

Even better the meeting venue was just minutes from my house.



jmb said...

I like this. The alternative to work! How true.

Unknown said...

This is hilarious! There's nothing like a meeting that makes it seem like people are doing lots of hard work. In fact, if you're triple-booked, even better - you must a HARD worker. Heaven forbid we mention the fact that you might be inefficient with your time or so bad at time management that you've booked yourself for three meetings during one time slot - knowing you won't make them all.

Okay - enough of the rants. We agree with the graphic in the post!

Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson
Creators of the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)
Authors of the forthcoming book "Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It"

James Higham said...

Project team leaders adore these - they create the illusion of progress.

Ans I thought you were on holiday?

Mark Wadsworth said...


Anonymous said...

We all know that this is true, senior management know that it's true, and yet it continues unabated year after year.
My best was being sent to Belgium, two days on full expenses, to attend a meeting. As a very junior member of the organisation at the time my presence was only deemed necessary for 30 minutes at the end of day 1. I faced one question, answered "Yes", and that was the full extent of my participation.

Nice work if you can get it.

Bill Quango MP said...

One of the worst I have attended was a meeting at Heathrow. Only it was held in the off-site security centre which has rooms like a shipping container.
Cramped, devoid of any facilities at all and so cold that it was necessary to keep overcoats and gloves on.

One of the topics on the agenda was about how to keep the duration of meetings short.
"Hold them here" was the inevitable reply.

CherryPie said...

Love the poster :-)

hatfield girl said...

It's worth rereading The Spy Who Came in From the Cold for the full impact of the meeting syndrome.

Crushed said...

But it's true.
I love meetings, I really do.

With a bit of lateral thinking, you can make them last all morning.

Of course, these things can back fire. In your effort to prolong a meeting to lunchtime, you find that the issue you used to keep it going, has now become a special issue that you and the directors will 'Liaise with about further and have maybe set something up to work on'
Damn. Now you're committed to more work!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Schadenfreude said...

Even worse is having "virtual" meetings by internet and phone with people that only speak English as a second or third language. So bad it makes doing real work look quite attractive as an alternative.

Anonymous said...

I take it that's an advertisement for working in the public sector?

Anonymous said...

In a previous existence my outfit had a meeting at 10.00 sharp every morning - the main objective of which seemed to be for the boss to tell us who he had met and what he had said to somebody or other at the previous evening's cocktail/dinner party.

Anonymous said...

The usefulness of a meeting is inversely proportional to the amount of people involved.

Mark Wadsworth said...

A colleague told me his former employer sent him all the way to California (from London) to attend a meeting, he was a bit held up at airport and turned up 30 minutes late, to be told it had all been settled amicably but thanks a lot for coming anyway. I am quite convinced that this is broadly true.

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