We have the same meeting every two weeks. I don’t mean just a regularly occurring staff meeting or anything, but rather a meeting where we all get together and discuss the exact same issue, come to the exact same conclusions, and then part company knowing full well that we’re going to do it again in 14 days just like clockwork. Nobody, myself included, has the intestinal fortitude to recommend that we stop having this meeting so it seems possible that it will continue on indefinitely into the future, just as it has been held for as long as any of the current participants can remember.
As far as I can tell, meetings are the great enemy of government work – probably work in any large organization. I’m not saying if we cancelled this meeting that my productivity would suddenly jump by 200%, but it would free up an hour or two every week to do something, anything that might be even marginally productive. After all, when what you’re currently doing is complete dead time, even a fractional improvement in how you spend your day is a huge improvement in productivity. That’s not even counting the morale bump that would come from permanently cancelling time sucks like this one. Of course the likelihood of any of that coming to pass is somewhere between slim and none, so if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting to go to.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.