Wednesday, 19 November 2008

TBH Day two

Things to do to pass the time in meetings, meanwhile maintaining an expression of rapt attention

  • mental review of all current craft projects, with much mental fondling
  • pelvic floor exercises
  • try not to worry about DVT because of sitting too long with legs crossed
  • time the sunbeam as it tracks from one carpet square to the next, calculate how many carpet squares to traverse before the lunch break
  • mental knitting: amazingly satisfying, accompany with subtle finger twitching
  • experiment with eyes-open meditation: success if you can manage to miss at least two Powerpoint slides without losing expression of intent professional interest
  • inspect shoes and surreptiously remove dirt
  • inspect fingernails, ditto
  • check if team secretary is still awake
  • spin quietly back and forth on swivel chair
  • ever so casually adjust watch on wrist, so that later you can glance down to check time
  • regularly check agenda just in case it has miraculously shrunk and lunchtime is closer than you realised
  • occasionally nod as if the speaker is really profound
  • look longingly through narrow glass window in door, at the real world where lucky people have freedom of movement and don't have to look at Powerpoint slides
  • inspect colleagues and try to guess if their expressions of intent interest are in fact sincere
  • feel guilty and amazed at how much money you are earning to sit here on your butt accomplishing precisely zero, compared to people who have real jobs and work really hard, like teachers and police officers.
  • catch the media relations manager taking a long sniff of an uncapped marker pen. Begin to wonder about substance abuse. Resolve to check manager's nose over lunch as it looks like she has accidentally painted her nose with a fluorescent pink dry wipe marker
  • wonder at the lack of self awareness in people, who put points on flipcharts like "stop wasting time in team meetings" when they are the worst offenders

We got off to a 'great' start this morning [irony]. After a session where we were all supposed to call out what we got out of yesterday's session (luckily nobody asked me what I thought of it), we were then asked to each label a flipchart with our name (no anonymity) and put down what we hoped to give over the next few days, and what we hoped to take away. Since my answers would be 'nothing' and 'my sanity', I was a bit stumped, but it was all too much for our poor secretary who burst into tears and fled the room. I felt really bad for her, she is even more bored than I am and it is even less relevant for her, plus she doesnt have my years of experience at pretending to be paying attention during long presentations. She was coaxed back in with much expression of inclusiveness and team spirit, but I don't see that this was an improvement for her as then she had to sit through the rest of the day. She should have kept running...

3 comments:

swooze said...

I am so sorry but I cannot help but laugh hysterically at this torture. I think you should suggest everyone fill out a flipchart of what they are doing to pretend to care about the presentation. I bet that would totally make you bind and you could all learn something from one another!

swooze said...

Bond...not bind....I think you might already be binding...you must knit....you need the fiber...to stop the binding.

scraphappy said...

You forgot a couple of my favorites: 1. While pretending to take notes on the scintillating power point slides, secretly write out shopping list and to do lists, 2. Surreptitiously practice continuous line quilting patterns on slips of scrap paper under your notes.
The worst things about meetings like those are the things you actually should be doing but can't while you are sitting there.

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