It’s Monday morning and I’m thinking back to a team meeting we had last week.
Generally speaking, one might argue that the purpose of a meeting is to filter down information from management to lower levels, or to allow the exchange of knowledge between workers at the rate of the slowest attendee.
When it comes to defining “rate”, I can’t help thinking that a meeting is perhaps hidden corporate speak for time dilation.
My team leader has neither friended me on FB, doesn’t follow my tweets, and is not a regular reader of this excellent time travel blog. So be assured that what I write now is no cheesy attempt at brown nosing. Point is – he’s a good egg. He has a lot of well-deserved respect from his team, and personally I think he works blimming hard to ensure that things go as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.
But sling a team meeting in the works and you may as well throw a spanner into a time machine and hope for the best.
Look at the timing. The meetings are usually held on a Thursday. This is the time of the week when we’ve got over the manic Monday morning and the Wednesday mid week blues and we’ve reached maximum efficiency when we’re peaking in productivity and creativity.
This is the time of the week where we’ve got 3 days work behind us to build on, and the Friday feeling and weekend ahead of us to look forward to.
Psychologically, it couldn’t be better! We’re on a roll – we’re buzzing! Innovative, developing, whittling down that stack in our inbox. Proposals are made and sent off. Queries are received and answered. Scientific breakthroughs are discovered and published.
So yeah, why not stick us in a team meeting for two hours to curb all that?
Sitting in a meeting is like Einstein sitting on a hot stove. Minutes from the last meeting are read, and minutes from this meeting taken. Minutes. Time drags on, not just within the meeting where my poor boss can’t get a word in edgeways before some cretin picks him up on the letter of what he’s speaking about and not the spirit, but also intra- meeting.
This is where things that have been discussed many many months ago in similar meetings still receive undue attention.
Fred Blogs is still unhappy with his off-site connectivity. Mary May still thinks IT services are responsible for her poor performance. John Smith still has troubles with his time sheet and no-one likes the default meeting scheduler. But all that was last Thursday, and we came back to work on Friday full of the joys of the looming weekend. Work hard, play hard.
And today it’s Monday. The laptop won’t connect to the server and the screen has frozen.
Was it really 4 days ago – over half a week – that I was sitting in the meeting? It seems like yesterday