Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Minutes Hate


Unfortunately, I get invited to meetings all the time at work.  Pretty much it is the biggest waste of time.  I would get more accomplished sitting at my desk and surfing the interwebicon.  Nothing gets accomplished, no consensus is ever reached, no useful information is ever given.
Here are just a few reasons I hate meetings:

  • Timeliness - No one (except me) shows up on time. I take the meeting start time as the start of the meeting...not the time that you should leave your desk and slowly make your way to the conference room.  10am means is should start at 10am.
  • Preparedness - No one comes prepared.  You should bring pencil, paper, and any other materials relating to the topics to be discussed to the meeting.  I hate when half of the answers are "I'll have to check on that and get back to you."
  • Repetitive - Regularly scheduled meetings (like a weekly 'progress' meeting) tend to rehash the same things ever single week.  I could take a transcript of a meeting from 2 months ago and it would have 95% of the same info as last weeks meeting.
  • Poor Presentation - Informational meetings are not usually that informational.  If you are going to pass out copies of your Powerpoint presentation, and your whole meeting is just you reading your Powerpoint presentation, lets just skip the meeting and give me the handouts.
  • No Decisiveness - Even if decisions are made, they are rarely followed.  Many times a week after a meeting something will come up and I will be like "That's not what was decided in the meeting..." only to be told that plans have changed.  If plans have changed without needing my consultation, why was I needed in the first place?  It is clear that you already knew what you wanted to do, you don't need to have a sham democracy for my benefit.
  • No Follow Up - People always say that they will look into something and get back to you.  They rarely do.
  • Attendees - Not everyone needs to come to be invited to every meeting.  I am expected to attend several meetings that do not pertain to me.  I have complained that I probably do need to be there but they want me there "just in case."  Waste of time.
  • No One Really Wants to be There - no other explanation needed.
  • People Don't Speak Up - In large meetings when people are asked their opinion they will often just go along with everyone else...even if they don't agree.  It happens all the time, after a meeting I will hear someone complain about something that they agreed to in the meeting.  Why did you agree if really don't?  Is there really that much peer pressure? No.

There are many more reasons...but I only have two minutes.  Just know that I would be happy to get rid of 99% of my meetings and would probably be more effective in my job...and happier.  In fact, I quit going to a couple weekly meetings over six months ago because I felt they were a waste of my time...my absence has only recently been noticed.  You might say that I must not have been participating or just going along with the crowd - that was not the case, I was never listened too or the meeting had nothing to do with me.  So I stopped going and gained 2 hours of work time each week.  Well worth it.

A few years ago, I attached an 8x10 of the wonderful Despair.com Demotivator pictured below to the back of the main conference room door.  That way everyone could see it and understand it's truth.  It made me smile at all meetings.  I expected there to be a hubbub about it every time there was a meeting held in that room.  It was up for about 8 months before the shit hit the fan.  I freely admitted that I hung it up and said that I believed it to be true...no consequences because I think most people saw the truth in it too. 

I love all of Despair.com's Demotivators

Meetings are terrible...but Webinars and Conference Calls are even worse.  Just let me do my job.  Seriously.

End Hate

1 comment:

Lax Guy said...

I agree 100%. Should we schedule something to discuss how invaluable meetings truly are?
Seriously, I think you hit all the biggies! I start to zone out after about 30 seconds.