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 a: okay, what are we doing with this one?
person b: i 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 a: if 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 b: something.
person a: well, 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?
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.