11/11/2006

Apply Liberally

Yesterday at work, I had to attend a meeting with my work group between 2 and 4 p.m. Who schedules a meeting on a Friday afternoon? The company president's assistant, that's who. I agreed to attend, just as though I had a choice.

The purpose of the meeting was to get feedback on a project we've been working on. Usually, I like nothing more than talking about how important I am to the daily running of the world but the fly in the ointment is that el presidente recently announced his retirement. So I'm thinking we're all going to have to sit there for 2 hours and waste our best googly eyes on a guy who couldn't care less? Better bring your Secret Service agents with you buddy.

Because I'm a horrible judge of everything, he turned out to be pretty in tune with things and very candid about some of the problems our company faces and the issues surrounding our project. Sure you can afford to be candid when you're on the way out but he seemed really interested in ensuring the initiatives we're working on get the recognition they deserve. Then he went and asked questions that made it clear he was sitting there listening. The nerve! When you spend half your time trying to read between the buzzwords, it's refreshing to hear someone just speak English.

So at the end of the meeting when he asked if there were any questions or comments, I asked him if he could stick around and help me fill out my application for his job. He laughed pretty hard and said he'd be happy to. I was glad he laughed. And so was my boss.

27 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

Good one! I'm always a fan of the risky work joke. When I was at the law firm the managing partner was giving a speech about how sport tournament lotteries were no longer allowed in the office. Someone asked why and he replied, rather indignantly, "oh, so you think a bunch of lawyers should be running an illegal gambling operation here?" That struck me as so absurd and funny that I let out a large guffaw, and unfortunately was not joined by any of my co-workers. This was not good.

Anonymous said...

No one likes me talking at meetings. Ever. It's usually, "We'll talk about that later." and never do.

Dale said...

I'm all about the risky work jokes CP and practice all the time no matter the audience. If I didn't, I would just snore. I would have provided a loud support guffaw for you.

You need to come to some of the meetings I'm roped into Old Lady and we'll take over.

X. Dell said...

Perhaps it means something that the company president feel that he could communicate honestly with employees only when he was on the way out.

I'm thinking your boss might have laughed not because he was scared that you might actually become president, but because he though you actually might become president...with all the ensuing aggravation that will cause you. Ater all, in ten years that might be you giving a teary post-mortem on your own tenure.

Sandra said...

Dale- Once that same CEO came to our Christmas lunch (potluck) of course, and he was going around doing his handshaking bit. Now at that time in my life things were not smooth sailing so to speak. My dear friend Vicky had to pull me over the edge a few times around that time.

Well the CEO was saying all the right things to everyone- spirit of the season, blah, blah, blah, and when it came to be my turn he asked me a rhetorical questions about how wonderful the holdays are and then he told me how much he loved the season. I asked him if he had a stay at home wife? And went on to ask how much of the work he did along with a few other things to indicate my absolute craziness?

As I said it I knew I should not but have but he is quite a man- he asked me if I was okay and he went on to say he would ask his wife what he could do for her as maybe women don't enjoy the season as much as men.

I saw his retirement notice and thought "He is such a gentleman".
Good luck on the job application.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am the worst meeting attender ever. I usually write grocery lists or blog posts in my head the whole time. It's my strategy to keep from being asked to too many meetings.

PinkFluffySlippers said...

I'll occasionally make a risky work joke, but I'm usually plagued with guilt afterward. Kinda takes the fun out of it.

mellowlee said...

A meeting on a friday is just evil. At least he was paying attention. I love that you cracked a joke and even more glad he laughed. It was a good one. :) I hope you are having a great weekend Dale!

mellowlee said...

I just read your comment on my Ms Kain post. I would really appreciate it if it's possible :) Thanks for thinking of it Dale!

Dale said...

That's a lot of thinking X. Dell. You're fired.

He's a gentleman for sure Sandra. I think people like him sometimes appreciate it more when people around them aren't always just YES people. I remember chuckling to myself once when I saw him at a Canadian Stage production and I had better seats than him. Because I'm just that shallow.

It's probably the only time I multitask myself Barbara. In between cracking wise to keep things lively and to change the topic, I write, plan vacations, doodle, anything but pay strict attention.

I don't feel guilty, I just weigh whether I'm likely to get a laugh or likely to get fired and then go with it PFS.

Bubs said...

Love the staff meeting, and the risky work joke too. Usually our staff meetings are populated by half the command staff sitting almost mute, and the other half (the LAMBS, for "Look At Me, Boss) dislocating their shoulders as they pat themselves on the back.

A few years ago it was the Centennial of the town I work for. I suggested a slogan for our village:

Meeting yesterday's challenges, tomorrow.

My boss was not happy.

Ben said...

I'd vouch for you Dale. You're smart. Everybody loves a smart ass in meetings.

Dale said...

Hey MellowLee, I'll let you know about the article. Hope you're having a great weekend too!

I had a really good laugh over that Bubs. I want you in some of our drop dead boring meetings to help me liven things up.

Thanks Ben, you're welcome to sit in too. Although calling me a smart ass to my face could be risky. Haha.

wonderturtle said...

Fantastic. Here's mine: Our boss was introducing a new hire to a group of us, and he actually said, "I hired all of these people, but they don't like me." My friend said to the new girl, "And that's the most honest thing he'll say to you all day."

lulu said...

wt--that right there would have made me like him better.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you aren't kissing ass or sleeping with your boss to move up.

But if you do, feel free to blog about it!

Tumuli said...

Nicely executed!

If I had the guff, I'd slip in an obvious joke highlighting the incompetence of my bosses. But the security of a steady paycheck prevents me. At least most of the time...

Mob said...

LOL @ Wonderturtle...that's a great line.

Glad you're not joking your way out of a job...yet.

Love the risky work joke.

Geeti Das said...

What kind of professor gives you a 10-day midterm and then asks you to submit a detailed research proposal in the middle of that midterm? Who schedules a meeting on a Friday afternoon? And are they planning something else together?

gizmorox said...

I work with a whole office of smartasses, so when it's just us, we're a hoot and a half. It's only when the humorless HR director shows us that we behave ourselves. And only then really because we don't want to have to explain the jokes to him.

I'm glad your CEO is not humorless. :)

Anonymous said...

yeah lucky you. nothing beats trying to be funny in a meeting at work and it bombs horribly. lol then its all awkward. lol trust me... i've seen this. even the best of execs can fall hard on the attempt to be funny.

i on the other hand .... am perfect.

lmao!!! what a load! ;p

Beth said...

Sweet, Dale! When you're appointed el presidente, think of me when you're ready to hire your corporate b*llsh*tter.

Chancelucky said...

So Dale,
when do they announce that you've become the new CEO?

Dale said...

Brilliant Wonderturtle! I usually say when new people get introduced around 'welcome to my nightmare' and go back to working. Thanks for the laugh.

Pretty hilarious huh Lulu?

I absolutely do kiss ass if the situation requires it Angela (if it gets me something I want). I'll consider your challenge.

It's a favourite thing of mine to do Tumuli but yes, timing and audience are everything if you want the cheque to keep showing up.

Not yet Mob but someday perhaps. I've been a smartass for many years.

Us against them Geeti and not to worry - we'll come out on top.

Know what you mean Giz, there are a couple of work folks that sometimes require additional explanation and I just avoid them.

You are perfect Yas, I can tell. You'd never speak your mind and get in trouble would you? :-)

Since I'm already floating in it Beth, you're in as Musical Director and Bauble Liasion. You name the salary.

Chancelucky, I'm considering you for a position too so don't be too kissassy too soon.

Anonymous said...

eep.

Geeti Das said...

Actually turns out it's a very nice, very kind professor who's noticed you're looking tired tells you you're doing a good job.

Dale said...

Nobody has ever said eep to me before Yas.

I dunno Geeti, you always look the same to me.