Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Stampeding Herd of Rhinos

Meetings. My very favourite part of working in this office are the meetings we get to have.

I should have put the sarcasm button on there. My bad.

I do not, in fact, like meetings. They are a waste of time and resources. There are very few times when a meeting is actually necessary, especially for an entire department. If you're working on a special project, then perhaps a pow-wow is in order to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you are a d-bag manager with no first name and you are quitting, then by all means have a meeting to celebrate the joyous news. But otherwise, send an email.

Yesterday, we had a "team" meeting. I say "team" because there really is nothing coherent or team-like about this department. Its a collection of people paid to be here at the same time, doing roughly the same work. The day before that we had a meeting also. Two back-to-back meetings after a several months-long meeting drought (not strictly true, but I was sick the last time they had a department meeting. Coincidence? Of course!).

These 2 meetings could not have been more different.

The first was scheduled to last 15 minutes and barely lasted 10. They wanted to discuss the profit sharing that we still get from our old company (the one that sold us last summer). I thought they actually had some numbers for us. Not so much as it turned out. Just wanted to tell us that we would get it for January-August and that the announcement would come on Friday. And then trickle down to us. We already knew this. Except the part about Friday.

So we learned...almost nothing. Probably more an email situation.

Yesterday's meeting was scheduled to last 30 minutes and went on for an hour and a half. Into my lunch. Guess how impressed I was. The meeting was led by John, who isn't even in charge of the department but likes to think that he is.

For the first 30 minutes John did a recap of all the job titles in the new company and how they translated to what we had been used to. Please note that we have already been apprised of all this. We also talked about our Performance Reviews that are coming up. My favourite part of that? Twofold. 1. No cost of living increase, salary increase is based solely on merit. Since John is running the show, this does not bode well for me. 2. We have to rate our own performance, and then John and Amy will rate it and we will discuss. You may think that this means we can compromise on any discrepancies, but you would be wrong. In the end, whatever John thinks is more or less law. And translates into how much I get to earn. Again, this does not bode well for me.

Because it was John speaking, I had a hard time focusing. You know that part in Stepbrothers at the Catalina Wine Mixer where Rob Riggle tells Will Ferrell that he doesn't like his face and he just wants to punch him in the face and he better rearrange his face because it bothers him so much and if he didn't then Rob Riggle would rearrange it for him? That's how I felt during the meeting. I don't like John's face. I hate his voice even more. And he's so fidgety, I just want to shake him. And then hit him in the face.

So I did the next best thing. I spent a good 20 minutes or so thinking up violent ways for John to get seriously maimed or die. I made his head explode. He got kicked in the balls. A crazy person from the "audience" ran up and stabbed him. A herd of rhinos trampled him (is it a herd?). A blowdart got him in the neck and he passed out. The roof collapsed on him. There was an Old West gun battle and he lost. You get the idea. It was amusing.

Almost as amusing as the part about dress code during the Olympics. We all have to rearrange our schedules so that we can "maintain levels of service" and practice "business as usual". But because we will get to work at the a$$crack of dawn, a little leniency is called for in the dress department no? Maybe jeans? No. Dress code doesn't change- oh but its not John that doesn't want it. He's totally cool with it. Its John's boss that is "vehemently opposed" to it. Like he even asked. He then goes into a whole thing about dress code normally, that we're not allowed to wear jeans ever (except on Fridays), while the IT guy is sitting there in jeans. I guess John realized it because he was all, well IT has a special pass because he is crawling under desks all day.

I wanted to ask about the Accounting department, who also wear jeans whenever they want to, but didn't. They weren't there, so they didn't get the memo. But I'm sure they wouldn't care anyway.

And somehow the dress code discussion turned into a sermon on respecting each other in the work place, how some people are really sensitive to food smells, and perfume, and others can't work when people are talking (really?? REALLY?) etc etc etc. Not sure what this all had to do with dress code but it was fun to try and guess. And trade "what the f*ck" looks with Anna.

In the end, an hour and a half of meeting (times 24 people) killed about 4 workdays worth of productivity, so I guess good job all around. Obviously it was a well thought out meeting and I'm really glad to have been there.

Except I would have rather been anywhere else. Like lost in the desert without water.

1 comment:

  1. HA! HA! HA! HA! Stampeding herd of rhinos. That made my day!