Meetings – an acceptable alternative to work

May 10, 2012

I love meetings where decisions are taken, actions agreed or ideas are generated. Unfortunately the vast majority of meetings are simply not like that. They are pointless arse-covering exercises for procrastinators. For lonely inadequates unable to make a decision on their own or  prepared to defend it.  They basically want everyone else to do their job; weigh up the pros and cons and make the decision. But even that would be progress compared to so many meetings where the desisions are simply deferred, they are not even taken.

People moan about being ‘so busy’ when in fact three quarters of their calendar is taken up with ‘meetings’; formally arranged, often weeks in advance running over an hour for something that could have simply involved wandering over to someone’s desk and asking them a striaghtforward question. Let’s say, for speculation’s sake, they were unable to give you the answer, but had to walk to someone else’s desk (taking you with them) to ask their advice. As long as you are asking the right people, then this process is likely to take less than 15 minutes and you have the answers you need. You didn’t need to invite all and sundry to use up an hour of their time for something that you could find out relatively easily on your own and then use that information to progress the project. But lazy people like to make themselves look busy and  important by calling meetings. And their lazy mates are happy to go along and chat for an hour or two at the company’s expense.

Think how much it costs per hour having all those particpants sit together not doing their real job. Think how much it costs as they all have to listen to a fuckwit who hasn’t got the braincells he was born with drone on about an irrelevant side issue. When I get invited to a meeting I often ask what is the point of the meeting to be told ‘To discuss xyz’. What a pile of bollocks. Why are we discussing it? What is the desired outcome?  That I am ‘aware’ of the issue. Who cares who’s aware – if it is important enough to call a meeting about, then  surely there needs to be an actual outcome of the meeting – a decision about what to do or  a decision not to do anything? If you just need to ‘make me aware’ then put it in an email with a line saying why I need to be aware of this issue (i.e how it will impact me doing my work) –  don’t waste my time ‘making me aware’ at your snail’s pace in a meeting.


4 Responses to “Meetings – an acceptable alternative to work”

  1. […] Materials go round and round. Supposedly being reviewed by all team members but not actually being read by anyone. Everyone assumes someone else will pick up the mistakes, point out the inadequacies, make suggestions for improvement. But they don’t. Because they don’t feel it is their individual responsibility. If it’s that important someone else will pick it up. And anyway, they’ve probably got another meeting to go to so they haven’t the inclination to spend time reading and thinking. (see previous posts about saying what they mean or meetings being an alternative to work) […]

  2. […] rants on the pointlessness of meetings, and how to organsie them badly, corporate jargon, and general frustration with office […]

  3. Janet Says:

    So bloody true! Especially the bit about the ‘fuckwit’!! :oD

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