1/30/2007

Survival Guide: Meetings

When faced with the expectation that I attend non-productive meetings, I go, but spend most of that time working on strategies for making it through the next several hours. Feel free to use or adapt any of my coping mechanisms.

Tried and true:

Count the number of people apart from you also not paying attention. Generally, this will be everyone but the person talking.

Imagine everyone in their underwear. If two or more look appealing, arrange an after work get together.

Work out the choreography in your head for a movie scene where you all break out in song, preferably to something funky like Car Wash by Rose Royce (mp3).

Keep a count of all word bastardizations (1. laxadaisacal 2. asterik 3. I think there was another but I stopped listening)

Try and figure out where you could have possibly heard the word ridonkulous.

Saving for a special occasion:

Leave the room and go get a haircut or change clothes and see if anyone notices on your return.

25 comments:

lulu said...

"Ridonculous" was used frequently in a book called The Wild Girls Club which was written by the sex columnist for Details or Maxim or some other silly boy magazine. That's where I heard the word.

X. Dell said...

Um, I don't suppose you would consider simply changing jobs, would you?

Old Lady said...

I doodle.

Johnny Yen said...

When I worked in corporate America (Platinum Software Corporation), meetings were the bane of my existence. The head of Platinum's website was formerly the editor of the inhouse newsletter, which they had folded, and she knew jackshit about web design. The tech director, on the other hand, did. On the rare occasions he had meetings, he kept them brief and to the point-- usually just checking up on progress. Why, then, was the head of the website director allowed to tie up a couple of hours a day with meetings in which she held court and ponitificated upon things we already knew, had gone out in emails or just didn't matter? I suspect that she was trying to convince herself that she was actually important to the company.

For my part, since I was making $35 an hour doing nothing, I really shouldn't have cared.

Bubs said...

Dale, I love that last suggestion. I'm going to try that out.

We just had a 2.5 hour long staff meeting yesterday, and the only thing missing was a midget clown riding a unicycle.

I'll add another strategy--figure out who's learned a new piece of jargon that he's dying to work into conversation. I remember a year or two ago hearing "ergonomics" used repeatedly; yesterday it was "benchmark/benchmarking."

Whenever I've had to run meetings I have a short agenda/list of topics to cover, and I try and get it out beforehand to anyone who has to attend.

Tanya Espanya said...

My original comment disappeared...

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Eck cetera!

Mob said...

So do you keep a spare shirt in a desk drawer for surprise quick-changes on meeting days, or do you actually leave the building and go buy something?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I usually go to my happy place.

And I also keep an eye on the one person whom I recently discovered to be a lesbian, to see if she interacts differently with others, know that I know. And then I feel like Michael Scott and am ashamed.

And then to make up for it, I imagine how the rest of the people in the room would look while having sex, and then I am extremely uncomfortable.

It's better when I just stay in my happy place.

Jill said...

You want to have a "n"some with your coworker?? I thought they were boring!!
If I was in a meeting with you, I would be scare, really scare!!
And I like Barbara comments!!!

Allison said...

I agree with Barbara, I stay in my happy place, where unicorns do exist. Then I get mad when I'm interrupted.

I hear "ridonkulous" on a daily basis, from my brother. He knows no better.

wonderturtle said...

Assign lives of crime to everyone according to their personality, i.e., ninja, cat burglar, hired assassin, criminal mastermind, sweet-looking lady who poisons people with tea, etc.

Johnny Yen said...

Oh my god, Bubs-- "benchmark" has made it out of educational jargon and into police work? God help you.

I have to write my "benchmarks" on the board every day. It dramatically improves my instruction, of course. Really.

Andi said...

You forgot one of my favorites: make a tally mark every time the speaker says "ummmm." I counted on one of my undergrad professors once. 75 in 45 minutes. You talk about wantin' to claw out the eyeballs (my own and hers).

Mellowlee said...

ridonkulous. I love it!!!! :O)

Bluez628 said...

I count how many times I hear the phrases "At the end of the day", "That being said", "In any event" , "North of", "South off" (when talking about numbers) and "point being".

Its exhausting, but makes the time go faster....

Oh and caveat too

Bubs said...

And don't forget "forward leaning", "stakeholder" and "buy-in"

Echo said...

Count the number of times you hear *irregardless*, add to the number of times who / whom is misused, add to the number of times some jackass says acrosst, divide by two and drink that many shots after work...

Am I an alcoholic? Or just ridonculous??

SlayGirl said...

Those are funny Dale. I am going to have "Let's do the time warp again!" running through my mind at my next staff meeting. As long as I don't actually get up on the table I think I'll be fine.

Btw, I have never tried it at work but when I was bored in lectures I would do The Kids in The Hall "I am crushing your head!" bit. If there are only 4 or 5 people there they are pretty much bound to notice that though. Better cover it up with the dancing.

ziggystardust73 said...

imagine everyone in their underwear...







.....






....





no comment Dale.

Shroom-Monkey said...

I am a walking music video... I am almost always breaking out in a bust a move, or a in promptu dance off... gotta enjoy....

Dale said...

Interesting Lulu, it was running through my head all day although for the life of me, I don't know why.

I would consider it for a job that requires less work but the same pay X. Dell.

I'd do that too but I'm terrible at it Old Lady.

There are a lot of people like that at my company as well Johnny, they just spend so much time trying to justify themselves. I shouldn't care so much either and most days I guess I don't.

The jargon is something altogether different Bubs. Makes me crazy too. We go through that all the time and watching words get phased in and out is a bit of a pastime.

Ick snotera Tanya.

Both are easy enough to pull off Mob just like a shirt. I've got room beside all the booze I keep in my desk or I can jaunt downstairs to one of the shops beneath the office tower.

When you go to your happy place Barbara, I think you need to close the windows and lock the doors.

I'd do my best to scare you Jill and I feel it might not take much.

Maybe your brother was being especially loud and that's where I heard it Allison? Please tell him to pipe down. This is getting ridon....

Wonderturtle, can you come and sit by me in the next meeting? I'd love to be your faithful sidekick.

So now you're Johnny Benchmark? Got it.

You're too sweet Andi, don't claw, gouge!

I think I hear you saying that over and over and over MellowLee.

How right you are Bluez. I hear most of those every day. And I despise them all as much as you. Until I hear myself saying one of them. And then I sit and cry.

Make it stop Bubs. You've got the power!

No Echo, irregardless of what anyone says, you're my hero. Even though we don't need another hero.

Always go for the dance Slaygirl. Look how much it helped Ashley Simpson! Who?

Oh Ziggy!

I'm putting you in my next video dance off Shroom-Monkey.

Jill said...

You'll be surprise what it takes to scare me!! But it's not my fault if you are just simply creepy, sometime!!

Dale said...

Thanks.

Coaster Punchman said...

Where have you been all my career, Dale? I've needed you.

Dale said...

Sorry I wasn't there for you CP, it's all a bit mid-career for you now isn't it?