Have you ever spent two eight hour days seated in a straight-backed chair (designed for a 13-year-old’s body) listening to someone rehashing all the things you already know? This happens to me at the beginning of every school year! I wish someone would figure out how to plan meetings that offer us invaluable information instead of the same old stale subjects, regurgitated for a new calendar date.
Frustration mounts. In a classroom, several hundred yards away, there are empty bulletin boards that I need to fill. There are lesson plans to be copied. Disarray needs to be organized. In short, there’s actual work that needs my immediate attention, and all of these meetings are offering nothing that will help expedite or minimize those tasks.
Unfortunately, what happens when a presenter is less than stellar or the information is nothing new is that the audience checks out. Some people are listing out what they need to do when they finally can get to their classroom. Other people are texting underneath the table (or maybe playing Bejeweled). Some of us are sleeping with our eyes open (a skill I cultivated during Army Basic Training).
I’m drawing out my bulletin board designs, counting how many of each letter I need, deciding what colors will work the best and what sort of pictures I’ll need to make the most impact. Somehow, my ears are hearing what’s being said, but am I really listening? Will I retain anything? Sadly, no.
What’s the answer to this decidedly wasteful use of time?
- Condense it into one day and give me extra time to work.
- Highlight the major points in bulleted format and distribute it during an hour-long meeting.
- Intersperse the “training” with actual work time.
Look at those three awesome ideas that would get the important information out and still provide time for meaningful task completion. Someone should hire me to manage these things, shouldn’t they? No thanks. I have enough stress in my life.
It seems that people who get paid four or five times what we underpaid peons make like to hear themselves talk. They have illusions of grandeur and falsified senses of importance. Their position gives them the right to dump loads of fluff and rhetoric on those who are their underlings in the workplace. Of course, they can’t stop us from turning around and dumping all of that in the dumpster, if we even take it out of the room with us.
How would you solve this issue of too many meetings and not enough work time? What do you suggest to pass the time during those endless sessions? Maybe you have more ingenious ideas for curbing these meetings. Share the wealth!