I’m sure I am not the only one in the world who despises having to attend meetings at work. Although sometimes the time suck that these meetings provide is welcome, the excruciating pain of idiocy is never pleasant. I have never been to an office meeting that was efficient and informative. I’m not even asking them to be interesting or entertaining.
I would just like for something that could be explained in 15 minutes to take no more than 30 (considering that people will always have questions). But right now things that could be explained in 15 minutes for some reason have meetings that take 45+ minutes. And that’s if you’re lucky. What is the reason for this? How is this even possible? I’ll tell you how: idiots.
Usually the idiots are attendees of the meeting, not the person(s) administering the meeting. But I did have an instance today where the person in charge of the meeting was…not an idiot, but not a good listener? So everyone who had questions, most of which were actually legitimate (which is such a rarity), had to repeat their question roughly six times before the administrator actually answered the damn question. I don’t know if this asshole thought we were all stupider than we ended up being, so he thought we were asking simpler questions than we were, or what, but it was like everyone was speaking a different language. That alone sucked away 20 minutes of everyone’s time. Maybe if that asshole just paused to listen to the actual words people were saying, in the order they were saying them, he could have answered them the first time instead of the sixth!
But I have to say that typically at most of the meetings I attend, the administrator is on point and it’s some of the attendees that need to be beaten in the face until they shut up or need to have their mouths gagged. For example, at the meeting today, the administrator said before he started the slide show that there would be a Q&A session at the end. So what does one asshole do in the middle of the presentation? Ask a fucking question. Which then set off a cascade of other people asking questions. And I don’t mean that these people raised their hands and the administrator called on them, thus inviting questions. I mean these assholes just interrupted. So not only were they stupid, but they were also rude, which is one of the worst combinations I can think of. The dude already SAID there would be a Q&A session. WRITE YOUR DAMN QUESTIONS DOWN and WAIT UNTIL THE END. Because maybe he’s about to answer your fucking question in his presentation! But NO. You’re special, and your question is SO FUCKING IMPORTANT that you need to ask it RIGHT NOW! And then other idiots have to jump on the bandwagon. And this continued even after the administrator REMINDED people that there would be a Q&A session and said some of these questions were about to be answered! THEY KEPT GOING. Breaking news: Your question is not that fucking important. If someone tells you at the beginning to hold your questions until the end, fucking LISTEN TO THEM. If the interrupting idiot brigade isn’t enough to induce an aneurysm in any semi-intelligent person, I don’t know what is. I don’t know how I escaped with my life. I might have blacked out.
But I shouldn’t be surprised. Because on top of these two problems, in every meeting I’ve ever attended there is always what I like to call the Zoolander moment. And the reason I call it that is because it plays out exactly like that scene in Zoolander where they’re in the cemetery and Derek says “But why male models?” and J.P. Prewitt says “Are…are you serious? I just told you that a moment ago.”
I have this moment at EVERY MEETING I AM IN. Where someone will ask a question, sometimes a dumb question (Breaking news: THERE ARE STUPID QUESTIONS. SORRY TO REVEAL THE TRUTH.), and it will be answered. Then, sometimes, the very next question is the exact same one that was just answered. Maybe sometimes there are synonyms, but the question is the fucking same thing. And I just want to shake the second person and scream at them “HAVE YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION AT ALL?!” until they start bleeding out their ears. Sometimes I can’t help but roll my eyes. Because COME ON PEOPLE. If you are already taking the time out of your day to attend the meeting, you will SAVE TIME by fucking paying attention to the meeting. TURN OFF YOUR BLACKBERRY, STOP ZONING OUT AND JUST PAY ATTENTION. Or, if you KNOW you haven’t been paying attention, then DON’T ASK ANY FUCKING QUESTIONS. Because you will immediately reveal to everyone else that you haven’t been paying attention and someone might lunge across the table and stab you in the jugular when they finally can’t take these Zoolander moments anymore. If you haven’t been paying attention and suddenly hear something that alarms you, wait after the meeting and ASK YOUR QUESTION IN PRIVATE. Some of us who HAVE been paying attention don’t appreciate hearing the same fucking question five times in a row.
I’ve never had the pleasure of administering a meeting at my office, and I’ll avoid it at all costs if I can, because I would not tolerate this shit. And I’d be rude about it, too. I wouldn’t tell anyone their question is stupid (even though it might be), but if someone asked a question I just answered, I would say “Pay attention next time, because I already answered that.” And I’m sure people would find that rude. But you know what I find fucking rude? WHEN PEOPLE DON’T PAY ATTENTION WHEN I’M TALKING. So if you’re going to be rude and zone out in a meeting, I think you deserve to be treated like the jerk you obviously are.
Actually, I think if I ever get the chance, I would lead a meeting. You’d better believe it’d be the most efficient meeting ever, even if everyone was in tears by the end of it. And hell, that’d be pretty entertaining too. Bonus points!