Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It is my firm belief that most staff meetings that are called on the job are pointless. 80% of them are done by people who either have no one to talk to once they leave work or are in some type of relationship where their partner does not listen to them. Only about 20% of meetings are called with some kind of point or productivity in mind. I remember when I co-managed a group of 14-15 people, I tried to avoid meetings like grim death. I much preferred to go from office to office with a notepad to tell my co-workers what I needed from them, and to hear what they possibly needed from me. There were no dumb questions, no small talk about the weekend, and no stale food that I was forced to eat to keep myself from falling asleep. When the other manager would call a meeting, I would sit there impatiently waiting for it to be over. As I think about it, I really think a detailed email with bullet points, trumps a meeting any day. Especially the meeting I had yesterday at my job.

Now I can't go into as much detail as I want to, because you never who is going to read this. But I CAN say that this meeting I attended yesterday morning was about the craziest thing I have ever seen. Leis and flower coasters were handed out for what I thought was going to be a team building exercise, but it turns out, they were brought in to boost morale. My manager was sharing things with the group, that only a therapist should hear, in the name of helping the staff get to know her. Maybe I am cold and callous, but I can give a good goddamn what's going on with my manager's personal life. Just manage me, I'll humor you with the OCCASIONAL small talk, and its a win-win. But to hear about deeply personal things like I heard yesterday was just a bit much, especially since no one else was asked to share their life story. So instead of team building and pumping everyone up, I think the staff walked out of there feeling like they had just been forced to watch the Lifetime channel for an hour. I know I sure as hell did.

I'm sure no one was surprise that Clinton won the primary yesterday, although I was a bit shocked at her margin of victory. I was really hoping Obama would put this Democratic nomination out of its misery, but he didn't. At this point, I think I'm going to shun the coverage of this whole thing, and then ask someone to call me when a winner is declared. I'll occupy myself with the NBA Playoffs until then.


Janelle said...

Unfortunately, my friend, this political battle will last longer than the NBA playoffs.

And I bet any amount of money, this person called this meeting because their boss is questioning whether they are a good fit for their position so they divulged all kinds of personal shit so you guys could feel bad and not not their ass to the wall when the big boss comes sniffing around. hahahahahahaha

Chubbs said...

LOL at the leis and flower coasters! I agree with you, most meetings are pointless...or they just serve to tell you what you discussed in the last meeting, and what you will discuss in the next meeting, and this disussions never really end because you spend most of your day in meetings, and have very little time left to actually get the work done that's the basis of said discussions.

Jo said...

RM just face you are just anti-social.

Thank God you weren't required to go to any of your co-managers meetings! Wink, Wink . . .and if I remember correctly, you always complained afterwards that when you went around to each of the staff members individually they never got it right . . .everyone was doing something DIFFERENT. Hence the reason for a MEETING. So that everyone has the same experience, the same information, and the opportunity to be really informaed based on the questions and answers that come out in a meeting.

For the most part regularly recurring staff meetings are ineffective, but I have found that the ones that happen spontaneously usually help to ge a lot accomplished. What I have also found is that a manager who individually meets with staff can create a divisive and less tolerant team atmosphere. i am currently suffering from that model, and I can tell you, it sucks. Everyone is treated differently and told something else. It's very deceitful.

So, that's just my take on it . . .as for the leis and coasters, though . . .well, it was a nice thought. . .but maybe kinda wierd if the person had never done something like this before. What I am thinking is that maybe someone in her personal life suggested that she make herself seem more accessible to people. Who knows . . .

As for the campaign . . . I have been staying on the fringes with the news watching . . .but it is hard to stay away from online media . . .I am addicted. I do wish it would be over, though . . .

It's TIME! Yes, it is!

lex said...

staff meetings are a menace.

at one job i had, our director wanted to meet twice a week. it was completely insane, she was the object of much derision.(behind her back of course)

finally, they got to be too much. i vowed after that to never force my staff to undergo such trauma