Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lonely? call a meeting

Today, in an act of desperation, I break new ground. I'm writing this post while sitting idle on a con call.

You ever get the feeling that the person who called the meeting was simply lonely and just wanted someone to talk to? They should just call these social events instead of meetings. In my career I've attended just about every type of meeting known to the free world and it's this type of meeting I find myself in now.

Meetings usually break down to the following types:

1) A status meeting. The creme da la creme of meeting types.
These are usually masked as a status meeting while in fact being a cover-your-ass meeting. At times it's like the TV show "The Mole" since it's not always apparent who in the meeting is attempting the cover-your-ass flanking movement until they strike. These movements usually occur within the last 5 minutes of the meeting or after the person who's receiving the blame has to go to another meeting - whichever comes first.

2) A team meeting.
These are similar in ways to a status meeting however instead of the broad based cover-your-ass formula followed in a status meeting these are dictated by the leader of the meeting. Sorta like a cover-your-ass in reverse. The length of these meetings are usually dictated by how many members of the meeting are nodding their heads in agreement.

3) A company-wide meeting.
These are unique amongst all meeting types. Like kids on Christmas morning everyone walks to these meetings expecting something definitive, unique, awe-inspiring or otherwise ground breaking. This feeling continues through the first 15 minutes until reality comes into focus around the 8th PowerPoint slide that indeed this one is much like the last one and the rumors of "wait till the meeting" were indeed as false as they were the last time.

4) A kickoff meeting.
Attendance is taken in these, it's important to attend or you risk finding yourself the main point of focus during the after action review when the project fails.

5) The hallway meeting.
Beware the hallway meeting, indications these meeting are about to take place begin with the words "Hey, you got a minute?". Hallways meeting usually contain the best information obtainable and can be critical to the success of any project, however it's very easy to forget the decisions made during the hallway meeting by the time you reach the elevator. This usually results in you being the subject of the CYA movement in a status meeting.

6) The we are going to meet on this daily until it's resolved meeting.
Usually called in desperation after all the empty threats and contacting of bosses proves to be ineffective. The first and last meeting of this type are the ones people usually attend. Oddly enough, this is usually the same meeting.

Gotta run, they are taking con call roll call and I don't want my name mentioned in the after action review.

If you get a minute today, hop over to Great group of bloggers over there if you are looking for a late afternoon giggle.


Texan Mama @ WhoPutMeInCharge said...

Sorry but I can't relate to these meetings. My current assignment includes meetings like: Everyone-please-chew-with-your-mouth-closed meetings. Or, keep-your-seat-belt-on-or-so-help-me-I'll-have-an-accident-just-to-show-you-what-happens meeting. Or, the hallway meeting, which is also known as we-are-all-waiting-to-use-the-bathroom-so-please-turn-on-the-fan meeting.

Chat Blanc said...

I'm ashamed to admit that in my mgr/exec career I've been involved in and/or worse, have been required to call all such meetings. I should really burn in hell. ;)

Deb said...

My Meeting Sympathies to you. Like Taxan mama, I can't relate to those meetings either. I work at home and I do occasionally have meetings with myself, but it's too stressful, so I've put a moratorium on all meetings with me for now. I do meet with the dog on occasion, usually when she has her jaws clamped on my finger.

Chris Wood said...

God I hate meetings! The only time I feel like spitting my dummy out and stomping off.

Carol said...

I noticed that restroom meetings were discreetly not mentioned. Back in the day, I remember when you just thought you could have a moment of peace taking care of business but you realized several of the ladies were having a meeting. Seriously, they were talking work stuff with the toilets flushing in the background....take it outside Ladies!

Sensei said...

My favorite is the closed door meeting and the gossip it creates.

Termination, reprimads, sexual harassment threats, quiet time to watch porn? The possibilities are endless.

dadthedude said...

restroom meetings, closed door meetings for reprimands and porn - wow, you guys have some cool meetings!