The Person Who Invented Pointless Meetings Should Be Stapled To Death

Or drowned in a vat of WhiteOut, or otherwise painfully executed through Death By Office Supplies.

I had four – four – essentially pointless meetings today, taking up a total of six hours. For three, there were points to be covered that could have been covered in, say, 15 minutes each. For the fourth, there was no discernable point at all, beyond allowing a supervisor-type to listen to his own voice.

Meanwhile my desk is so covered with piles of papers and projects that an archeological team may have to be assembled to unearth it. As I sat in the meeting(s), I could feel my voice-mail and e-mail filling up with messages from people who – call them crazy – thought I might actually be working. But no. Not when there’s meetings to go to!

But of course, actual work must get done – which is why I returned to Casa Jodi at 7:45 tonight, to be greeted by my dog looking at me reproachfully. Reproachfully, as if the piddle in the kitchen was my fault which, let’s face it, it was, since I left her in the house for ten hours today.

I realize this is partially my fault, since I have returned to government work and the government is at all levels filled with people who think a meeting is an accomplishment, as opposed to a means to an end. But if I ever have the power . . . man, there’s going be a lot fewer meetings, and we’re going to whip through 'em.

And the next time I’m summoned to a 7:30 a.m. meeting, if I’m not paid off by at least a damn muffin, there’ll be blood on the floor.

Have a beer? Why yes, I think I will. :: Sigh ::

Perhaps you could send memo’s soaked in dog piddle to those people who call pointless meetings asking them to attend a meeting to discuss the pros and cons of holding pointless meetings?

I am tabling further discussion of your excellent OP until your next scheduled post whereupon I will probably table it yet again.

Well try this, I work for an international IT outsourcing firm.
I got told I must attend a meeting at a location 4hrs drive away. Ok so I drive down there to this ‘meeting’ and when I get there I am given a bunch of documentation and I am told “Read this then you can head back” I look at my manager then I look at the documentation which was actually in the form of an email that he had printed out :eek: …
Did I mention that this is our busiest time of the year?

Let’s have a pre-meeting meeting where we discuss who should be in the meeting that formulates this plan. It’s a new paradigm!

I just got the image of some office wank being stapled to a dude in a big black hooded cloak.

Let’s schedule a Preliminary Meeting Reduction Planning Meeting where we can appoint a Meeting Reduction Committee to study the issue of excessive meetings, after which we can set up a regular series of Meeting Reduction Planning Meetings.

Meetings - The Practical Alternative to Work…

We have scheduled a mandatory retreat to explore positive and negative feelings about meetings.

There’s such a fine balance between too many meetings and not enough. I tend to skip all mine, so I never know when something’s coming up. “What do you mean, ‘our magazine is going monthly’? You’ve just doubled my workload and the only reason I found out was I happened to skim through the editorial this month?!” True. Story. I still tend to bite my nails and curse when I think about it and it happened several years ago…aaaarrrrgggggghhhh…

Guess it was partly my own damn fault, though, for not making my presence known more.

I pride myself at evading meetings I think are going to be pointless. Usually, I just say that I’ve got too much work to do. Long meetings to discuss changes in health benefits, or even worse, mandatory employee sensitivity training (what I’ve always called “Blame The White Man meetings”) … can’t remember the last one I’ve been to. “Sorry … I had too much work. I’ll catch the next one, okay?”

Being a planner, though, there are those meetings that you can’t escape from, that aren’t pointless. You know, planning and zoning board meetings, county commision meetings, regional land use committee meetings, and the like.

“Any simple problem can be rendered unsolvable if enough meetings are held to discuss it.” —Bill Smith Elroy (WI) Tribune Keystone

I’m afraid as all the above posts are not itemized on the meeting agenda, they will have to be discussed again once we reach AOCB.

Minutes will be issued in 3 months time, just in time for you to have forgotten everything.

And please address all further posts through the chair!

Sign given to me by an ex-coworker now hanging in a prestigious place in my cube (the sign, not the co-worker):

Are you Lonely?
Tired of Working on Your Own?
Do YOU Hate Making Decisions?


You Can -
See People
Show Charts
Feel Important
Point with a Stick
Impress your Colleagues
Eat Donuts

All on Company Time!

Meetings - the Practical Alternative to Work!

I feel ya, Jodi.

I used to work for a company that was run by meeting pimps. Early in its history, the CEO decided that there would be a 2 hour meeting every Friday. At the first meeting, we discussed a possible benefits package. At the 2nd, he started by opening up the floor to any questions anyone might have. We stared at each other for two hours. Complete silence for the entire time.

The third meeting was a fucking gem. No managers could be arsed to even show up, but the rest of us had to be there. We were made to watch a video on – get this – how not to run pointless meetings. Preaching to the choir, dudes.

Eventually, the meetings lasted half days. When we expanded across the country, it was felt that flying people in for a mere half day was a waste. The meetings became all day affairs.

These meetings reached a nadir one day (actually, a whole weekend) when the first day of the meeting was catered – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 14 motherfucking hours.

To make matters worse, there were two women that always gave a presentation, lasting well over an hour, where they did an immitation of the boring NPR ladies from SNL. Imagine an hour long presentation of earnings and growth potential and other extremely boring crap presented – purposely – in a boring and monotone fashion. For a fucking hour.

Belated plea to those women – Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon are trained comedianes. They have worked hard to learn how to be funny. They are the cream of improv comedy. And even then, they know when to cut off a boring skit before it becomes stale. They can sustain it for maybe 3 minutes. Untalented fuckwads like yourselves doing it for an hour is not entertaining – it’s just bad and boring. Stop it right now.

Ya bitches.

Can I get the minutes to this thread, along with any action items that might be assigned to me?

He was stapled to Death!

Hi. Sorry I am late, but there was like an exploded whale. Can I just get caught up? Yes, I know that I am 3 and 3/4 of a hour late for the 4 hour meeting, but, you know, whale? Mmm, coffee. Is this decaf? Because i don’t like decaf. And can we get to it? I have an appointment in about five minutes. Kay?

Can anyone see Alice doing this to some guy?

What this issue needs a working group – we must tackle the difficult issue of Pointless Meetings. Clearly, the first task is to define our charge. What are our goals? Our mission statement? Our vision? I think it would be foolhardy to rush into this without some institutional reflection.

Once we meet, I think some subcommittees are in order. Subcommittee #1 should craft a position paper. Naturally, I mean drafts of a position paper, so that we can all edit and re-edit, and submit our changes, which will then be distributed to the group for additional edits.

Subcommittee #2 should engage in some peer research. Let’s not ignore the best practices developed by others. Visit the Pointless Meetings of other people – how do they face the challenge of dragging people away from their desks in an attempt to do actual work? How do they pad their agendas?

Subcommittee #3 should think outside the box. Enough said about that. Go on kids, get out of that box! We want our work to be really unique, so brush up on your Powerpoint!

Subcommittee #4 is going to be responsible for the final report of our group. There are clearly some landmines here – three hole punch vs. bound report? Up and down staple, or diagonally across? Footnotes or endnotes?

Do I have any volunteers to chair our subcommittees?