The meeting…

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:

Monday:
-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.

Tuesday:
-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.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Filling up the quiet time. Some people assume that because I’m not talking they need to find a way to fill in all the quiet time. Rest assured, if something needs said I’ll say it in front of princes, profits, potentates, or presidents without regard to their rank, race, or religion. I’m quiet, not shy. There is a difference. On the other hand, when I don’t have anything of substance to add, I’m happy sitting quietly. I don’t need an endless nattering buzz of small talk in my ear to make me feel connected. Most days I desperately wish some people didn’t have a pathological need to fill in the quiet times with pointless chatter.

2. iPhone. I love my iPhone 5. It’s been a workhorse since the day UPS handed it to me. Since then, we’ve gone everywhere together. We’ve been inseparable. Sure, the UI could use an update and I wouldn’t mind a bigger screen sometimes, but those aren’t the issues that make up the hate end of my love-hate relationship with this phone. It’s the battery life. It wasn’t great right out of the box, but over the last few months it’s gotten progressively worse. Through resets, wipes, switching off functions known to draw lots of power, and aggressively managing what apps are open, I can sort of slow the battery drain a bit, but that’s not exactly a substitute for a battery that doesn’t suck. I’m trying to think of a good reason why after three hours of pretty limited use, my battery is drawing down towards 50% and none really come to me. I’ll limp along with a handful of cables and a external battery pack until the 5S comes along… but if that battery doesn’t show some significant performance enhancements, it might be time to reevaluate iPhone’s place as my daily carry.

3. Turning left. When you’re the first vehicle in the left turn lane, you should go ahead and pull all the way forward to the stop line. That way the invisible traffic gnome knows that you’re trying to turn left at the intersection and can wave his green light wand to change the signal. When there’s a line of traffic 40 cars deep sitting behind you in the left turn lane, it’s sort of a bad time to be confused by basic effing driving skills, you useless excuse for a meat sack. I have no idea why it’s socially unacceptable to drag people from their cars and beat them with a Stick of Shame for such mindless asshattery.