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2010-07-22 4:27 PM

Master
2083
2000252525
Houston, TX
Subject: meetings = time wasted?
I am a strange breed of person.  I was made for small companies.  I have worked at a few large companies and it never really works out very well.  Two reasons: 1) I don't handle bureaucracy very well 2) I hate meetings.  Hate them.  realized this a few years ago and left my last large company.  My wife still works there so I hear many stories about the pointless meetings.  She is not too fond of them either.  She usually has around 4 meetings a week.  This is a reduction from around 9 or 10 a week.  She was able to reduce the number by scheduling "fake" meetings.  she will put meetings on her calendar that don't actually exist in order to get out of real ones.  She does this so she can actually get real work done.  I consider my wife quite ingenious.

I, on the other hand don't do this.  I have maybe 1 meeting every 3 months.  I work in a small office and if I need to know something, I just walk in, ask, and go implement.  It is absolutely amazing how much I get accomplished in a week.   One of our competitors has 5 people doing my job.  Whenever I call to talk to my equivalent over there, he is in meetings.  I think I see a connection.  Fortunately my boss hates meetings too, so he avoids them like the plague.  Three of the other managers I work with will refuse meetings also.  So we have a pretty deep culture where I work of meeting avoidance.

So here's my comment/thought/public service announcement.  To all you bosses, business owners, Directors, organizers, presenters, etc.......  You know who you are.  QUIT CALLING [expletive] MEETINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Let us get our job done.  Believe it or not, we'd actually like to work and get our day finished instead of listen to you ramble on about some junk that is marginally important just so you can feel important by organizing a meeting.  Meetings are a complete waste of time and money.  And if it happens to be part of the 1% of meetings that are actually beneficial, stick to the subject at hand!!!!!!!!!  I don't need to hear your musing on the weather or some joke about your dog.  get in, get out, and let me get on with my job!!!!!  we can talk about all that stuff during happy hour at the bar after work.  Don't schedule your social hour on MY WORK TIME.

[expletive], I hate meetings.


2010-07-22 4:33 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Subject: ...
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Edited by Chr15 2010-07-22 4:33 PM
2010-07-22 4:47 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Extreme Veteran
3177
20001000100252525
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
We generally only have meetings for 1 of 3 reasons. First is the monthly staff meetings which is just to cover new issues and give us a chance to discuss amongst the deparment any new policies coming out. Usually short and productive. 2. to meet with someone from another department - since we are widely spaced if you need to discuss something in more detail than a phone call can accomplish you usually schedule a meeting for a short time and get down to business. 3. these are what I like to call the "productivity meetings" usually called for different departments by upper management to discuss productivity issues and what gets in the way of it, which, ironically, is usually the meeting itself. These are usually not for informative for us and take much longer than they should. Thankfully these stopped a while ago and hopefully do not start again.

My thoughts are as long as a meeting serves a clearly defined purpose and that purpose focused on, they are ok. If there is no purpose I will get up and walk out of a meeting because I have better things to do. 
2010-07-22 5:05 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Champion
6046
5000100025
New York, NY
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
This is the part of going from being self employed to employed I dread.  At least now I have a blackberry - the last time I had to attend meetings no such luck....I think maybe I had just gotten a cell phone!  so at least I can try to distract myself when I am bored out of my skull.....
2010-07-22 5:49 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Pro
4174
200020001002525
Keller, Texas
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

jgaither - 2010-07-22 4:27 PM She usually has around 4 meetings a week.

Ummm...that is a light day for me.  I now work for a MEGA company.  I think we have about 250,000 employees.  I came from a small company and like you, would walk to anybody I needed to talk to and ask the question.

Given the choice, I would go back to a small company. 

2010-07-22 5:54 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Champion
5529
500050025
Nashville, TN
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
Meetings are often very overrated and only exist for people to hear themselves talk. 

I supervise a staff of 4.  We have a monthly staff meeting and ad-hoc meetings when needed.  I cap the ad-hoc meetings at 30 minutes and our staff meetings no longer than an hour.  I have often employed the no sitting down meeting.  If you are forced to stand things move quicker. 

For a while my staff fought me on these issues.  They were the type that liked to talk about things.  Not with me.  My process is simple--you bring your issues to the meeting, state the problem, why it is a problem, you have a solution in mind, propose it, we decide.  None of this here is the problem, lets discuss for 30 minutes and never get any resolution crap. 



2010-07-22 5:56 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Elite
3090
20001000252525
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

I go to 5 meetings a week, and they are mostly time wasted. But my boss wants me to  insists that I attend, so I do. I just try to have a good attitude and try to enjoy them. After all, wasted time or not, I am getting paid

2010-07-22 6:40 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Veteran
399
100100100252525
Puyallup, WA
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
It's interesting that, in my experience, excessive meetings usually indicate poor communications. The meetings I regularly have now are done via data conferencing.
2010-07-22 6:52 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Extreme Veteran
667
5001002525
Melbourne
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
There is a definite correlation between the lack of communication within businesses I've worked in, and the number of meetings held.

If I ever go for another position elsewhere and notice a number of meeting rooms during the interview process, think I'll give them a miss
2010-07-22 9:16 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Pro
4189
20002000100252525
Pittsburgh, my heart is in Glasgow
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
See, I'm desperate for more meetings in my one job. Because of restrictions (read: stupid rules and ineffective spaces for doing what we do), my entire team cannot work together on any day (not because we don't get along, on the contrary, there aren't enough desks for us). But the problem is because our budget is so stingy, we can't schedule a meeting because we'd go over our allotted hours (OH NO! You'd have to shell out another $8.50 for a meeting! SHOCK! HORROR!). "Communication" is in the form of one line e-mail messages that are suitably vague and never directly address a specific instance we need to address. There are mega "all staff" meetings that I go to that are pretty cool and straightforward but they never address my department or section (again: see the fact that I'm the lowest on the totem pole and therefore unimportant until someone needs something ASAP).

AAAANNNNNND thus I continue my job hunt.
2010-07-22 9:51 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Champion
7347
5000200010010010025
SRQ, FL
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
Small company, I call most of the meetings.  I make everyone stand.  Amazing how quickly you can get thru all the important stuff when people are not relaxing in chairs.


2010-07-23 2:42 AM
in reply to: #2998712

Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
Huge bureaucracy. A few years ago I was with a group where I had to go physically to the mothership every other week. We started the meeting at 8:00 Monday morning and I had to break out of it at noon Friday to make it back home before dark.

No kidding, during one marathon meeting we had a sub-meeting where they asked why more of the project wasn't complete yet.

At one point I annoyed the snot out of my boss when there was about 30-40 people in a "thou shalt attend" meeting where they required everyone's physical presence. I got asked why an item wasn't complete and I answered, "If I weren't in this meeting it would have been finished two or three hours ago." I was pointedly excused from that one.
2010-07-23 7:32 AM
in reply to: #2998712

Extreme Veteran
837
50010010010025
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
I used to like meetings when I first started working in a small admissions office.  One staff meeting a week and if I needed clarification, I'd go directly to the person.  Those were happy times.

After grad school I decided to head hunt for a year in my field.  At a regular meeting where people were expected to ask for help and share ideas, I did.  As a newbie, I asked for an idea about a search I was doing and was promptly berated and put down by the owner/head of the firm.  Not cool.  After the year I had with one of my three bosses (long story for another thread), it was time to hightail it out of there. 

And now, I work from home so the only meetings I go to are when I am on campus which is about 5 times a year.  AWESOME.
2010-07-23 8:28 AM
in reply to: #2998712

Expert
1203
1000100100
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

We have 1 weekly Sr. Managers meeting on Monday mornings.  A timer is set at 60 minutes and each person has roughly 10 minutes to discuss what their department is up to.  We had gotten away from these for about a year but since returning have found that departments had created work-arounds and various self supporting processes that had we spent just a bit each week discussing could have been avoided.

In addition to those I may have 1 meeting a week to discuss an Operational issue with a department head(s).  Again, timer is set at 60 minutes and if it can be finished then we adjourn and finish at a later date.  No department is an island and in a complex production environment such as ours a seemingly minor adjustment to how data is entered and/or documented can have detrimental effects down the line that the originator is completely unaware of.

These brief meeting have resolved that and I think our company runs more efficiently as a result.

2010-07-23 8:31 AM
in reply to: #2998712

Champion
4942
2000200050010010010010025
Richmond, VA
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

my ultimate goal in life is to eventually get a job in a large corporation where I spend my day sitting in meetings.  in this corporation, i get to munch on food during these meetings (bagels in the morning, sandwiches during lunch, snacks in the afternoon), all the while partaking in coffees and sodas alongside the food.

i don't want an actual job, i just want to sit in meetings all day.  you get credit for being at work, but you don't have to do anything.  granted, if I start having to work late to get real work done b/c I spent my whole day in meetings, then I might rethink this job thingy...

2010-07-23 10:27 AM
in reply to: #2999649

Elite
3090
20001000252525
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

condorman - 2010-07-23 8:31 AM

my ultimate goal in life is to eventually get a job in a large corporation where I spend my day sitting in meetings.  in this corporation, i get to munch on food during these meetings (bagels in the morning, sandwiches during lunch, snacks in the afternoon), all the while partaking in coffees and sodas alongside the food.

i don't want an actual job, i just want to sit in meetings all day.  you get credit for being at work, but you don't have to do anything.  granted, if I start having to work late to get real work done b/c I spent my whole day in meetings, then I might rethink this job thingy...

Wally, is that you??



2010-07-23 10:41 AM
in reply to: #2998712

Elite
3972
200010005001001001001002525
Reno
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

you would not BELIEVE how awful the 90 minutes I wasted yesterday on one was......

2010-07-23 11:27 AM
in reply to: #2998712

Pro
4277
20002000100100252525
Parker, CO
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
my last job was with a very large government organization.  we had 6 top level managers managing an office of less than 30 employees (including the 6 fat arses).  these people could not have enough meetings!  then, they would sit there reading emails to each other coming in on their Blackberries. they really felt they were important...when everyone thought they were tools. Soot me!

some companies don't think you are a good manager if you don't have regular meetings.  years ago I managed a group and we made the decision as the group to only have monthly staff meetings.  my director did not like this and it was reflected in my performance appraisal.  weekly meetings just for the sake of weekly meetings. 
2010-07-23 1:09 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Expert
1231
100010010025
B'ham
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
I'm halfway through a 2-hr "Core Team" call for a project.  We meet every other Friday and it is always the same level of excitement.  If asked right now, I could not tell you which agenda item is being discussed.
2010-07-23 1:45 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Veteran
561
5002525
Arden Hills, MN
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?




(meetings.jpg)



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meetings.jpg (55KB - 2 downloads)
2010-07-23 1:58 PM
in reply to: #2999984

Champion
4942
2000200050010010010010025
Richmond, VA
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?

zed707 - 2010-07-23 11:27 AM

condorman - 2010-07-23 8:31 AM

my ultimate goal in life is to eventually get a job in a large corporation where I spend my day sitting in meetings.  in this corporation, i get to munch on food during these meetings (bagels in the morning, sandwiches during lunch, snacks in the afternoon), all the while partaking in coffees and sodas alongside the food.

i don't want an actual job, i just want to sit in meetings all day.  you get credit for being at work, but you don't have to do anything.  granted, if I start having to work late to get real work done b/c I spent my whole day in meetings, then I might rethink this job thingy...

Wally, is that you??

 

ok, I just had a 3 hour meeting.  I retract my previous statement.  towards the end I started seeing in how many styles I could write the word "bored."



2010-07-23 2:43 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Master
1862
10005001001001002525
San Mateo, CA
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
We hold meetings in order to plan future meetings.
2010-07-23 3:26 PM
in reply to: #3000804

Master
2083
2000252525
Houston, TX
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
betyoursilver - 2010-07-23 2:43 PM We hold meetings in order to plan future meetings.


I would like to think you are joking except my wife was shoving her blackberry in my face one night a while back screaming "Look at this!  Look at this!!!!!  Are you kidding me?!?!?!? She scheduled a meeting to try to figure out when to schedule a meeting!!!!!!"  She was quite upset and I couldn't really see what she was talking about since the phone was about half an inch in front of my nose.  So I just took her word for it. 

So I know it happens.
2010-07-23 6:39 PM
in reply to: #2998712

Payson, AZ
Subject: RE: meetings = time wasted?
My manager would hold meetings to figure out how to reduce meetings.  Not kidding.
2010-07-23 8:35 PM
in reply to: #2998712

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