What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Staff requirements. I’ve always been slightly put off by the idea of needing “personal staff” to run a household. After a few more weeks like this one, I’m going to need to seriously reconsider the need to hire out both the cooking specialty and the cleaning specialty to qualified subject matter experts. We’re very quickly reaching the point where I not only want to stay home during every available moment of down time, but where I don’t want to spend that down time doing anything that requires actual thought. The next 40 or so days promise to be an epic battle between my internal demand for order and expending every drop of mental energy focused on other things.

2. Lunch. I miss regularly eating lunch. I did manage to stuff food into my face during the middle part of two out of four work days this week… so if lunch were a professional sport I’d be averaging .500 and headed for the Hall of Fame. Still, it seems I’m going to have to come up with better options for physically breaking away for 30 minutes because even the wild hope of managing to snag a meal at my desk has proven to me a pipe dream.

3. The elephant in the room. I suspect I’ll never not be perplexed when a room full of adults sits around asking questions to which everyone knows the answer, but in which not one of them wants to be the one to say it out loud. I mean are we all pretending that we don’t know the answer? The reason some things are the way they are is because someone made the decision. It might not sound like a good enough reason when you say it out loud, but that doesn’t make it any less the reason something is the way it is. It would be convenient if we collectively had the internal fortitude to say it out loud, but that’s the kind of brave decision that needs to take place at pay grades well above mine so I’ll just sit quietly and wait for someone to call for the next slide.

The nastiest of four letter words…

Maybe it’s the fact that during a “normal” week, I spend five out of seven days at the office, but it does feel like more and more of what ends up on these pages finds its inspiration from my four by eight foot cell. That’s genuinely not intentional. God knows I’d much rather leave that mess where I drop it at the end of the day than drag it along with me here. Despite that, the office – and probably any office – provides a wealth of reasons why someone might blog, or drink, or take pills excessively. In my experience the modern office is a reaffirmation of why, in the end, work is simply another nasty four letter word that darkens our vocabulary.

As a case-in-point, I offer the following vignette:

It was suggested today that perhaps the weekly 2-hour meeting that we were all sitting in was not sufficient to get us to the root cause of any of the issues that keep getting thrown around week after week. Someone daringly offered up the suggestion that a solution might be found by way of scheduling an informal weekly follow-up meeting to the already scheduled weekly 2-hour meeting. Let that sink in for a moment. The solution to one unproductive meeting is to continue to hold it, but to then schedule a second meeting to discuss the same topics that were at issue in the first meeting.

Someone, some brave soul, might have there suggested that the solution to solving problems might be found by sending the whole group out of the conference room and back to our desks, waiting voice messages, backlogged email, and, you know, actual work. While we all cast looks askance at one another, not one intrepid fool among us floated that idea. Our fate was plainly sealed.

Some days I wonder what the hell we’re doing here… but mostly I just shrug, roll my eyes, and trudge on towards close of business.