It’s not an official duty day without attending at least one meeting. It is, therefore, imperative that we have an effective and efficient means of coordinating who should attend and when they should arrive. If only there was a widely available and heavily used computer program that would make that possible. Oh, yeah… Outlook does that. In theory. What setting up meetings in outlook really does for us, though, is generate mass confusion surrounding any meeting that we might ever attempt to schedule. In fairness, I suppose it’s not so much an Outlook error as it is operator incompetence.

Scheduling a major meeting at our “organization” (i.e. any aggregation of more than four people) involves a process that looks something like this:

Step 1: Set up a meeting request in Outlook

Step 2: Change the time and/or date of this meeting at least three times

Step 3: Receive one or more cancelation notices

Step 4: Get three follow-up meeting requests either the same or slightly
different than the first

Step 5: Receive a reminder email from the meeting organizer two days before the meeting

Step 6: Receive a reminder phone call from the meeting organizer one dat before the meeting

Step 7: 15 minutes before the meeting receive 1-3 automatic reminders from Outlook depending on how many of the original meeting requests the organizer remembered to cancel.

Step 8: Arrive at the appointed conference room to find it empty and the lights off

Step 9: Consider the misguided series of steps that led you to your current career.

If you’re lucky, the no one else will figure out when or where the meeting is actually supposed to take place either and you’ll at least have a nice quiet conference room to hide in for a while. Quiet weeping is optional at your discretion.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.

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