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 despair.com for the awesome Demotivational poster.)

4 comments:

WeezerMonkey said...

I am snorting...while on mute during a meeting.

You are a blogging machine!

BikerPuppy said...

Can't hold a candle to WeMo!!

GoBucks! said...

We have actually cut down our meetings quite a bit, but are still forced to suffer through staff meetings. We go around the table, and everyone gets an opportunity to tell the group anything they may need to know, though most of us have nothing. Since attention spans are so short these days, many feel the clock ticking (and the chuckles starting) and barely say anything.

Or, people *think* they have nothing, but later an issue will come up that we really did need to know! Please, if we're forced to sit in a meeting staring at each other for an hour (or two), fess up!

In the past, at least we could look forward to having breakfast (hosted by a different dept. each time), but that ended when someone complained about having to do it.... (sigh!)

Cathy said...

I've wasted a large segment of my life in meetings--most of them for the two reasons you mentioned. I must be getting smart in my old age; I've become much more adept at dodging them.