Government work isn’t exactly bad when you can get it. There are, of course, strings attached. One of the most off-putting strings by which I am tethered to the job is attending a series of monthly meetings that may or may not have any actual relationship to my profession. Since I’m well known as a team player and an undeniable physical presence in any room, I show up, listen attentively, take notes, and regularly report back only that there is nothing significant to report. Sitting through an endless series of meetings doesn’t require a real human-sized brain, but separating the mind from the body is generally frowned upon. Since my General Schedule overlords seem pleased enough with this arrangement, I too will leave well enough alone.
Look, I’m the first one to rock the boat whenever I think rocking it might actually do some good. Fighting city hall over the number of random meetings people get stuck in isn’t one of those occasions. I’ve been a professional bureaucrat long enough to know that the only thing worse than being in too many meetings is not being in them – because that’s always when someone gets the bright idea to make something your responsibility and not actually bother to tell you about it. So in a way, making sure all the meetings are well attended is a warped kind of self defense mechanism.
So baring a Powerball win, my foreseeable future would seem to include spending the hourly equivalent of at least one full week a month doing nothing more than sitting in meetings where my only real responsibility is signing off with “No sir, nothing to add here.”
This is the life I chose… it’s a blessing and a curse.