In college, the universal rule, recognized across the known world, was if the professor didn’t show up 15 minutes after the start of class, you were free to go. Sadly, the same is not true of “professional work environments.” As a professional, you’ll be expected to sit quietly and wait for whoever called the meeting regardless of how long after the scheduled start time they actually show up. One might be tempted to think that their time would be better spent in going back to their desk and getting some actual work done, but unfortunately one would be wrong.
I set my own personal best (worst?) record today in the grand game of sitting around waiting for someone to show up. The meeting started 47 minutes after it was originally scheduled. Which is bad enough. But then of course it lasted almost an hour longer than it should have. Read that again. I’m not saying it ran for an hour after it started. I’m saying it lasted the “original” hour it was scheduled (albeit starting 47 minutes late) and then kept on running for almost an additional hour. All told, I spent just shy of 3 hours on a meeting that was supposed to be done and over in less than one.
It’s days like today that test my increasingly limited powers of keeping my big mouth shut. I’ve been around long enough that most ridiculous things seem like perfectly reasonable courses of action, but there’s something about leaving dozens of people to cool their heels because one can’t get from Point A to Point B in a timely manner apparently pushed all my buttons at once.