I’ve been trying to schedule a meeting since about 7:45 Monday morning. If you’re a regular reader around here, I think my general feeling about meetings is fairly well known. What I haven’t done, perhaps, is give you a glimpse into why I think they are enormous time sucks from which there is no hope of escape. The following events are true. They took place in the first week of August 2014:
-0745- Received email informing me that I had to attend a video conference on Tuesday afternoon.
-0750- Forwarded video conference information to the people responsible for scheduling such things.
-0900- Followed up via email with the people responsible for scheduling such things.
-1230- Informed that the people responsible for scheduling such things no longer had access to email.
-1235- Contacted the people responsible for scheduling such things via phone. Informed that there were no video conference lines available
-1245- Contacted the people responsible for scheduling such things in three other buildings.
-1430- Received confirmation that there were no lines available anywhere no matter how many times I asked.
-1515- Informed by person scheduling the meeting that they were moving the video conference to Wednesday morning.
-1600- End of Tour.
-0745- Received email invitation to newly scheduled video conference on Wednesday morning.
-0800- Called the people responsible for scheduling such things and was advised by all locations that I was SOL.
-1000- Contacted by the people responsible for scheduling such things to tell me that a line had become available.
-1100- Advised by echelons higher than reality that we didn’t want to talk about Issue #1 in a public forum.
-1115- Informed meeting organizer that I was not prepared to discuss Issue #1 and requested I be excused from attending the meeting.
-1200- Received email confirmation that I was no longer required to attend the meeting.
-1230- Released the one available conference line back to the people responsible for scheduling such things
-1555- Received phone call from meeting organizer informing me that my attendance was now required, but instead of Issue #1, I should discuss Issue #2.
-1557- Requested a “give back” of the one available conference line from the people responsible for scheduling such things
-1600- End of Tour
-1601- Looked around wondering if I had any of the slides left from the last time I had to discuss Issue #2
-1607- Threw my hands up in disgust and departed for the day.
Proposed Itinerary for Wednesday:
-0730- Check email to see if the people responsible for scheduling such things were able to give me back the one available conference line.
-0735- Begin looking for slides related to Issue #2
-0800- Swear violently and possibly throw something.
-0925- Fill coffee mug with fresh “go juice” in effort to stave off inevitable madness.
-0930- Wander halfway across the county to the place where they keep the one available conference line
-1030- Attend meeting and discuss Issue #2. Or not. Depending on what’s in my inbox in the morning.
-1200- End meeting knowing nothing more about Issue #2 than I did at 0930.
-1600- End of Tour.
So as you can see, my visceral hatred of meetings isn’t just something I came up with as an excuse to write a book. It’s a goddamned self defense mechanism.