Sure, you might look at the title for this blog post, and think I’m being a little overly dramatic. After all, what I’m going to talk about doesn’t literally serve as an antithesis towards everything in my life. Today’s subject doesn’t truly suck my life force away through a punishment akin to a thousand paper cuts. And it doesn’t always make me want to tear what little hair I have left out of my scalp.
I mean, a lot of the time I feel that way, but that’s just speaking in hyperbole.
Clearly, I’m talking about meetings.
I hate meetings. Actually, hate isn’t quite the right word. It doesn’t capture my true feelings towards them. I’m not sure if it’s a word that’s too strong, or too weak, but it clearly isn’t right. I mean, my feelings towards meetings are basically that I wish they never existed, or that, if they continue to persist, they just leave me alone. Kind of like door-to-door salesmen, really. They strike me as a tremendous waste of time, almost as terrible as the forced sort of engagement interactions that plague the modern office setting. At least with those, there’s no illusion towards accomplishing something other than spending time socializing with people amongst whom your only connection is that you happen to work together. Meetings pretend to be productive, even though you could get more work done trying to get a boulder uphill using just the power of your exhalations (Sisyphus never tried to blow the stone, did he?).
Even worse, meetings are now just another in the list of things that, aside from taking up valuable getting-stuff-done time, also result in me not being able to spend time with Nugget. Even if that time is as simple as me sitting at the computer crunching numbers while she coos softly from her rocker, it’s still valuable. So, when I have to take part in a meeting, I get extra grumpy. And when a call-in number isn’t provided? Oh boy, that’s the best ever.
Because of my dislike of meetings, I’m planning on trying a few things to see if they might get me out of being invited altogether. Now, assuming that none of these activities get me fired, I’ll be able to report back about their effectiveness (if they do get me fired, I’ll have even MORE time to report on their effectiveness, but a much smaller sample size). Here’s what I’m considering attempting.
1. Bring a ping pong ball, and turn meeting participants into unwitting backstops.– This activity will either get me uninvited, or give me mad basketball skills, provided that the basketball remains small enough to be palmed by even the worst illusionist.
2. Eat nothing but the most foul smelling dishes before, during, and after.
– I don’t actually presume that this will work. Unless I’m expected to share. The food, not just the aromas.
3. Convince everyone during a meeting to speak with different dialects.
– Bonus points if half of the meeting immediately starts doing impressions of either Christopher Walken or Andy Kaufmann’s “Foreign Man”.
4. Leave every 15 minutes for a diaper emergency.
– Key for this will be leaving Nugget at home.
5. Pay attention. Become a productive part of the meeting, offering good suggestions throughout. Ensure that there is a sense of progress.
– In other words, be the model of a modern major meeting attender. There’s a step two in there somewhere, but step three is solidly profit.
Oh, who am I kidding? There’s no way that anyone would actually take the time to try and perform option number 5 during a meeting.