punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Stupid Meetings

I hate meetings. I mean, I like them if they are productive or have information I need or might find useful, but I get called into so many meetings where I am wasting my time at work. I am in a teleconference with one now. Mass meetings here have several flaws that I see:

- They set a start time, but never an end time. This makes them very hard to plan around, and sometimes when the meeting just goes on and on and on and on ... you have no sense of hope, no goal to say, "Only 30 more minutes, I can stand that." No, it could go on for another 5, 10, 30, or even hours!
- No agenda. You can't also look forward to "Only one more presentation to go..." because there's no order other than "you are before Bill and Sue is after you..." which means you know you are in the middle of stuff, but not how long you actually have. By the time they get to the last guy, that poor guy is working with a very bored audience.
- Some people can't present. They could be the BEST managers, but the WORST speakers. Common crimes are people who get off topic, repeat themselves, get snagged by audience questions, repeat themselves, or are just dull and boring presenters. Who repeat themselves. :) I guess I can't blame people for that, it's not easy to get in front of a few hundred people and be interesting. But can't they at least be brief?
- Some speakers never answer your questions, like they don't listen to your question. For instance:

Questioner: I have a question about the toaster. My toast is getting burnt. Is there a way to select the darkness on a toaster?
Speaker: What kind of bread are you using?
Questioner: Any bread. It burns any bread.
Speaker: Does wheat give you a stomach ache?
Questioner: Uh... I didn't say I didn't like wheat. Is there a way to select the darkness on the toaster?
Speaker: Do you wiggle the plug?
Questioner: No, no I don't. Are you saying there is no way to select the darkness?
Speaker: Maybe I don't understand your problem. Is the place that is selling you your bread giving you problems?
Questioner: No. No. I just want to know if you can select the darkness of your toast!
Speaker: We have a contract with the toaster company to make sure toast comes out well. Do you feel the vendor is at fault?
Speaker: I like pie.
Questioner: AAAARRGGGG!!!

- Some speakers are just totally ignorant that people are listening in on conference calls. They speak away from the microphone, or speak very softly. After reminding them to speak up about 50 times, the listener just gives up.
- Some people just snag speakers with constant, incessant questions, dragging the presentation on way past the point of being useful. Maybe they just like the attention.
- People on the conference call making noise. This is TERRIBLE in my company. For the years that I have been here, I have suffered through people who wouldn't know a mute button from their own ass. Often the crimes range from people placing the microphone next to their keyboard or computer speaker to actually forgetting they have the phone on at all, and wandering around on their wireless outside, having conversations, or worse: the bathroom. And these people are often the same ones who don't listen when someone calls for them.

"As I was saying, on slide 34 you see that the connectivity rate went down by 0.04% as compared to [BRIIING! YOU'VE GOT MAIL!] ... compared to last week's chart that showed [KLICKA KLICKA KLICKITTY KLICKA KLICKITTY KLICKA KLICKA KLICKITTY KLICKA BRIIING!]... uh, last week's chart that showed a 0.02% increase over the previous [RING RING.... RING RING... HELLO? YEAH. OH NOTHING, WHAT'S UP? YEAH!] ... previous ... hey, can someone on the teleconference who is making a call please [NO WAY! ARE YOU SERIOUS! WAYNE GRETSKY IS WAY BETTER THAT HIM!] ... please? Please can whomever [SO JANET AND I ARE THINKING ABOUT TRADING IN THE OLD BEEMER FOR A NAVIGATOR BUT I DON'T KNOW IF OUR PARKING GARAGE HAS THE CLEARANCE!] ... please? Hello? Caller? [ I DON'T KNOW! LET ME CHECK THE WEBSITE! KLICKA KLICKA KLICKITTY KLICKA KLICKITTY KLICKA KLICKA KLICKITTY KLICKA] Caller? SHUT UP! [NO, IT'S LIKE 6' 2" AND THE GARAGE IS 6' 5" SO THAT ONLY GIVES THREE INCHES FOR THE XM SATELLITE ANTENNA]"

Today's insanity was someone on a wireless headset in a warehouse. You kept hearing echoes of voices, the fading in and out of static, conversations, and music whenever he got near someone's radio. Gaaaah!

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000243.html
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