MEETINGS: a brief and (only slightly) exaggerated synopsis:

8:30 a.m.:  arrive at work

8:35 a.m.:  get coffee

8:40 a.m.: start planning day

8:45 a.m.:  someone asks me if i heard we were having a meeting.  i say no.

9:00 a.m.:  somebody pops in to ask why i am not at meeting i didn’t know about.

9:00 – 10:45 a.m.:  meeting concerning unfamiliar tasks i was not previously aware that i must accomplish before noon today.

10:45 – 10:50 a.m.:  wonder how it is possible to leave a two-hour informational meeting without necessary information.

10:50 – 10:55 a.m.:  figure out how to do what must be done.

10:55 – 11:00 a.m.:  realize i do not have the tools to do it.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.:  meeting with people who do have tools.  take their tools.

11:15 – 12:00:  acccomplish a projected half-day’s tasks in 45 minutes, which includes a meeting with a supervisor to report what i have done, and a meeting with the receptionist to see if we’re going to have a meeting about postponing another meeting.

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.:  lunch

12:30 – 12:55 p.m.:  resume where i left off at 8:40; wonder if i can accomplish any amount of actual work today.

12:55 p.m.:  realize it’s time for another meeting.

1:00 p.m.:  arrive at meeting.

1:05 p.m.:  meeting postponed until 1:15 because other people have yet to arrive as scheduled

1:05 – 1:10 p.m.:  return to office.  attempt to check voicemail before meeting resumes.

1:10 p.m.: somebody pops in to find out why i am not in meeting that started at 1:00.

1:12 – 4:00 p.m.:  meeting during which i have next-to-nothing to do, aside from engineering my own unfortunate and untimely demise while marveling at conversations such as:


(scenarios are color-coded to mitigate boredom)

person aokay, what are we doing with this one?

person bi don’t know.

person c:  if you don’t know, i don’t know who knows!

me:  *eyeing plastic spork/butterknife combo on table and wondering if self-inflicted spork injury is covered under workman’s comp*

person aif y’all don’t know, i don’t know how you expect me to know.  you requested a meeting about this, person b.  what’s the situation?

person bsomething.

person awell, i don’t see it in the file.

person b:  huh?  well, it’s in there.

person a:  where?  i don’t see it.

person b:  i know it’s…in…the file.  *spends 10 minutes looking through file*

person a:  that should be in the file.

person b:  it’s supposed to be there.  somebody else must have put it somewhere else.

person a:  we need to postpone this one until the next meeting…………..


person a so what are we going to do about so-and-so?

persons b, c, d…:  *various expressions for not knowing*

person e:  do they need such-and-such?

person a:  i don’t know, do they?

person b:  i think they need something else.

person a:  why do you think that?

person b:  because of that one time they did that thing.

person e:  i don’t think they did that thing that time.

person c:  if they did that thing, i don’t know about it!  why don’t i know about it?

person a:  yeah, i don’t know about it, either.

person c:  me either!

person e:  they never did the thing.

person b:  oh.  that’s right.

person d:  yeah, they did that other thing instead, remember?

person b:  huh.  i don’t know.

person a:  person e, can you make a note that they did the other thing instead of that one thing?

person e:  what do you want me to write?

person a:  i don’t know.  what should she write about the thing?

person b, d, f:  *do not know*

person c:  i don’t know how i’m supposed to know!

person g:  just write X!

person c:  just write X, person e!

person a:  write X.

person e:  okay.  i’ll just write X.

person a:  okay, so what are we doing?

person c i think you’d better go ahead and give them such-and-such!

person a [to me]:  how many of those do you have?

me:  *stops attempting to saw through wrist with plastic butter knife*  i don’t know.

person c: you should know!

person a:  why don’t you know?  you really need to stay on top of that.

me:  maybe because i spend all day in meetings?

*everyone laughs*

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.:  meeting to discuss meeting, and how to plan work around future meetings.

4:30 – 5:00 p.m.  prepare for future meetings.


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