Guest Post: 7 Reasons Meetings Make You Homicidal
Saturday dawns as Saturday always does with a new guest post. This week the we welcome Juliet James to the 7 Reasons sofa. Most of the time Juliet is a writer for Print Express, a UK printing company that features booklet printing and business card design. Juliet has worked for many years as a writer and blogger. Over the years she has become quite adept at avoiding meetings for the safety of her co-workers. Here she is:
The two most dreaded words in business are definitely “You’re Fired” but if you ask me, the second worst words to hear at work are “Staff Meeting”. Almost every working schmuck has had the “pleasure” of sitting through at least a few meetings. Everyone has their own pet peeves when it comes to corporate convocations. But most people have probably wanted to kill someone in a meeting for at least one of these seven reasons.
1. The Boss. I’ve gone to great lengths to avoid seeing the boss. I know he uses the east entrance, so I use the west one. He takes lunch at noon, so I eat mine at 13:30. My schedule is a finely tuned instrument of circumvention. And meetings blow it all to hell. Not only do I have to face him, it’s almost impossible to escape one of the boss’s meetings without extra work, a policy change or a self-esteem deficit. And if we’re really lucky we’ll get all three. That’s a trifecta.
2. Stupid People. Everyone works with a moron. You know the one. It’s person that complains that the coffee maker is “overly complicated”. Normally you only interact with them for entertainment purposes. But in meetings, somehow, you always manage to wind up seated next to the dumbass. Perfect. They’ll either whisper stupid questions to you, or invite the entire room into their idiotic inquests. Either ways it reminds you why it’s unfortunate that bitch-slapping violates company policy.
3. Suck Ups. There’s always one guy in the room who’s just WAY too happy to be there. He’s taking notes, nodding emphatically and looking a lot like a dog about to go on a car ride. These are the suck ups, and they all come out of the woodwork in meetings. “What’s that boss, you think we should re-direct the Christmas bonuses to a mandatory sexual harassment seminar? Fantastic! You wanna do it over Labor Day weekend? Brilliant!” But on the plus side, at least you can spend most of the meeting fantasizing about flattening the sycophant’s head in the Xerox machine.
4. Wasting Two Hours of Your Life to Get Nowhere. Does anyone ever really accomplish anything in a meeting? In my experience it’s a gratuitous exercise in going in circles. It starts with a simple discussion of a problem. Then we have to dissect all of the complications surrounding the original problem. By the time we’re finished we haven’t solved anything but we’ve raised half a dozen other issues and someone went home with a migraine. Most office think tanks fail to engender progress and dissolve into pointless bitch sessions. Can’t we find a more efficient, less annoying way to get nothing done? Cause I have plenty of ideas about much more entertaining ways to accomplish nothing.
5. Being Stuck Sucks. Leaving in the middle of a meeting is always awkward and uncomfortable. So whether you have to pee, smoke or eat, you just hold it, because out of a meeting only seems to draw inquisitive looks and silent admonishment from others. It’s like there’s some kind of unspoken agreement among the inmates that everyone will “Stick it out”, so… you get stuck. Being locked into any one place for an indefinite amount of time is annoying; I don’t care if we’re talking about being trapped in the Gumdrop forest, if you can’t leave, you’re miserable.
6. Staying Late. It would be one thing if having an all-staff meeting bought you an extension on that project that’s due by COB that day. Of course, it never does, Nope, you’re deadline didn’t move but you just lost crucial work time to discussing the pros and cons of the re-designed Time Sheets. So now you get to stay an extra hour tonight to tie up loose ends. On deadline days the announcement of a meeting literally drops a bomb on your to-do list. You spend the entire gathering twitching anxiously watching the minutes tick past. Slowly, your hopes and dreams of making it home in time for dinner slip away. You already know it’s going to be another night of ordering take out at your desk. So by the time the meeting breaks you’re ready to trample anyone who gets between you and your desk
7. Here Comes The Bus. A lot of times meetings get called to address an “issue”. Of course that tends to be code for “Bob screwed up and now we all have to get together to talk about his mistake.” Or, even better, the meeting itself is a trap to catch a culprit. And the suck-ups just love those meetings because they’re dying to drive the bus right over the guilty party. So you just slouch down in your chair praying you’re not the guy who winds up under the wheels. Half the time if a meeting isn’t an announcement, it’s an indictment. Going in you never really know which one it’s going to be, and that’s always fun.
Meetings have all sorts of different functions, but usually by the time they’re over you’re pretty much ready to slaughter someone. But I think it’s healthy. Just keep your weapons at home and your murderous urges off of Facebook and you’ll probably be fine. But if you absolutely can’t resist exacting punishment, I hear Ex-lax makes excellent chocolate. And nobody can resist cookies during a meeting right?