Friday, January 30, 2009

Meetings... Are they necessary?

Every week, I am forced to attend between 6 and 30 meetings. Yes, 30. So far, that's my record (OK, actually it was only 29, but...). What do these meetings accomplish? Occasionally, a great deal. Sometimes we hammer out our corporate position on important issues. Sometimes we refine language for a contract. Sometimes we settle disputes. Those are the good ones.

More often, we sit around, discussing for an hour things that could be resolved in 15 minutes. But we've set aside an hour! Thus, we must discuss for an hour.

Admittedly, I work in a cube farm, and I know people need to get out of their boxes and into a room where the walls reach the ceiling. I sympathize. I can even tolerate the meetings that are actually productive. What really, really bugs me, though, is when someone regularly schedules meetings for one of two bogus purposes. First, because he/she is not busy, and has plenty of time to gnaw an issue to the bone. Second, because he/she is hoping that the meeting will accomplish the work he/she was assigned to do.

It must stop. Take a stand, people! Decline those meeting requests! Delete emails suggesting that "we should get a team together to discuss." Fight back! Otherwise ... we all lose.

(Thanks to for the awesome Demotivational poster.)

Dogs have litters. People shouldn't.

Earlier this week, the big news was that a woman in California gave birth to octuplets, even though doctors said she was only pregnant with seven. Eight new healthy babies. Eight. That's a litter. Dogs and cats have litters. People shouldn't. Doctors won't release information about whether the woman took fertility drugs, but there can be no question. For a human to bear a litter, you need drugs. Lots of drugs. Expensive drugs. Now there are eight hungry mouths to feed. So unless this family is rich, they will need a ton of help from family, friends, and, most likely, taxpayers. The family lives in Whittier, which means it's highly unlikely that they are rich. Highly. Unlikely. Add to that the more recently-disclosed information that didn't make the national news: the woman already has six kids. Six. But for some reason, she thought that wasn't enough, so she needed to take fertility drugs. Now she has fourteen. I hope the babies are healthy and happy. And I hope the mom gets spayed.