When you go to the trouble of moving multiple thousands of people 150 miles down I-95 and spend a few billion dollars kitting them out with new buildings all around, one of the things I’d think you’d do is make sure to have more than two rooms available in which to hold a meeting. Now usually, I’d rail against the need for meetings at all, but given the nature of my employer, they’re simply a fact of life to be endured. Therefore, it doesn’t feel like a stretch expecting that there would at the very least be a room available somewhere (that doesn’t require a 15 minute drive, a cross-country hike, or requisitioning a boat) for those moments when you need to put more than five people in the same room. God forbid you need to do something crazy like connect to the internet or join a teleconference or video feed being piped in from another location. That’s all apparently several bridges too far.
Instead of being able to use one of two such rooms within steps of where I actually work, I got to spend the vast majority of the morning making desperate phone calls and begging other offices to free up space for us to use… out of the goodness of their hearts, rather than for actual compensation in any form. So here’s tonight’s helpful tip from your kindly Uncle Jeff: If you ever find yourself working for a big, bureaucratic organization and in the position of deciding how many fully-equipped meeting rooms you’re going to need, go ahead and take you initial estimate, multiple it by three, and then add at least two just as safety stock. That’ll get you close to the number of rooms you’re actually going to need… because God knows the fate of the free world depends largely on your ability to find an empty room on no notice for whatever wild-assed meeting someone wants to have on the spur of the moment.
And it’s only Tuesday. Sigh.