The fam was on vacation last week, so this week I came back to work and a boatload of meetings. Meetings that are remote access via speakerphones, meetings that are impromptu with just 1 or 2 other people just outside of my cubicle, meetings in a conference room with a hard and fast agenda, and hybrids of all of those. Therefore today’s topic is the timely topic of “Meetings.”
1. When I worked for IBM occasionally I would see people bringing cases of beer and even worse, smiles, into their meetings. This would happen several times a week at the conference room at the end of my hallway. You moan about meetings a lot. I’m not of the belief that alcohol helps every situation in the world, but in your case would beer make it a better situation for you?
I do not trust meetings with libations. I think my filter would be severely impaired by alcohol, so spirits would cause me to say things I should not… more often… ‘cause I already say things I shouldn’t
2. Would it be only you drinking it?
I think it would be better if everyone else were imbibing.
3. Everyone drinking it?
Everyone but me.
4. Everyone but you drinking it?
That’s the stuff!
5. Or just the lead meeting person drinking it?
This could be fun as well.
6. Do you enjoy lunch meetings more than the usual kind?
Sadly, since I started working for the DOT, lunch meetings have kind of gone away… but I used to love lunch meetings… bbq, sandwich trays, box lunches, all of it
7. How long and/or how many meetings in a row is the threshold to qualify as “meeting hell”?
3 meetings back to back or meetings that span more than 2 continuous hours.
8. I rather like off-site meetings. Do you?
Of course I do. Those are the best, even if the off-site is someone else’s on-site.
9. My kindergartener was very confused that I was already well acquainted with the people I was going to be “meeting” with early one workday. Is it weird that we meet people we already know at meetings?
Not all the time. I have been to many a meeting where I am actually just meeting someone for the first time, but I do understand why a kindergartener would find this to be confusing.
10. Would a meeting in St. Louis be more enjoyable, even if it wasn’t at the fair?
A meeting would be good anywhere away from this office…well, almost everywhere. There are some truly shitty places in the world where I would not want to have a meeting.
11. Other than an IRS audit is there any such thing as a mandatory meeting?
Probably some court related stuff.
12. Sunday going to meetin’ clothes. Does anyone say that anymore?
Nope, you are an antiquated anachronism.
13. How much actual work is done in the typical 1 hour meeting?
Well, that is a function of how many people are in the meeting. I would say that in a meeting with 4 to 6 people, you can get about 4 hours of work done in a 1 hour meeting. If there are more than 10 people, probably about 25 minutes.
14. Meeting to plan a meeting. Explain if you can before my head explodes!
The meeting to plan a meeting is done with a small subset of the meeting attendees to create the agenda for the meeting proper.
15. Is a canceled meeting the equivalent of a “snow day” for those of us who grew up in the northern part of the country?
Nope, because a snow day ended up either being used because it was too snowy to go to school and allows kids to play in a winter wonderland, or it ends up not being used due to a snow event and taken as a day off later in the year. A cancelled meeting, just makes you go back to your typical work day, and that is not a vacation.
16. What would you do if asked to attend a meeting about which meetings to attend?
I would set a meeting to get an agenda set up for the meeting about which meetings to attend.
17. Have you ever been caught doodling & not paying attention? Did you try to cover?
I unabashedly sketch during meetings. I get out notecards and pens and pencils the second meetings starts. Sometimes I take requests before meetings start. Follow this link to see all of my meeting and conference call sketches.
18. What do you do in a meeting when your first impulse is to stab the person speaking? And don’t front and say that’s never happened either…
I typically put my head down and draw… usually something more violent than a static pin-up style pic.. sometimes with an arrow pointing towards the offending j-hole (J-Hole= non-vulgar term combining jackass and asshole, try it today!)...
19. How do you stay awake during meetings?
The morning ones are the hardest, of course, but by diverting some attention to the creative center of my brain. It helps me not fall asleep and pay some attention instead of being unconscious and drooly. Doodling and sketching is the key for me…
20. Is there some aspects of meetings that you would want to control for every meeting you have to attend? End time? Start Time? Attendees? Participation level? Snacks?
I think most meetings that are not impromptu should require snacks or refreshment of some kind. Simply providing water would be nice. That and long meetings should always have a break.
The Little Girl does not like lobster
Crablegs are her seafood of choice
I ate too much crap last week
Too much crap that included the dreaded gluten
I am doing what I can get back to the equilibrium I was at prior to the vacation
9371.84 and I need to get to 8400
Cryptic? You betcha
Jim Steranko is an amazing guy with an amazing past
And his twitter account is the best thing ever
If you are on the twitters, you need to follow this guy
Give him a follow @iamsteranko
Have a great weekend everyone
top image from Despair.com