Do any of you dread company meetings? How many of you have sat through a meeting with no agenda, no outcomes, no resolution and frankly no purpose? I’m willing to bet that anyone who reads this has walked out of a meeting thinking, “wow that was a complete waste of time!” I promise you when I say this, you’re not alone and I recently wrote a blog post titled “Five Strategies For Effective Meetings” that I hope will give you some insight on how to make meetings more impactful for everyone involved.
With that said, I would like to share a few stories from friends and colleagues of mine who have sat through some mind scratching experiences. Some are funny, some or downright unbelievable and others are just too good to not share. My hopes are that you will feel enticed to share some of yours too.
“I worked for Fortune 500 company in Ohio where the expectation was you would work as long and hard as you needed to excel at the job. I was working 70 +/- hours a week and one day realized why I had to stay late every night and work weekends was because I was in business meetings 40 +/- hours a week. I went to my direct boss to bring this to his attention. He said, “it is what it is!”…… I then went to his boss and she said give me a written analysis of the actual hours you’re in meetings and report back to me as soon as possible. Of course, this was going to take even MORE time to write all of it down and log it but I did it in hopes that the number of meeting hours would be reduced. After a week, I reported back to her. She said she would take it under advisement. Nothing changed. Basically, all my work went in one ear and out the other. I then spoke with HR and they did an inquiry into my report. HR came back to me and asked for a suggestion/solution to this concern of too many meeting hours. I came back with, what I thought was a minimal solution that everyone could live with. My solution was NO meetings allowed on one day of the week. Any day but just one day completely free of meetings. I didn’t suggest Monday or Wednesday or Friday. I left that “day” decision to upper management. HR came back and said the suggestion was denied. Nothing changed and we all continued to work 70 +/- hours/week…. Welcome to Corporate America!!
“One evening while I was working late, my boss came into my office at 615pm when I was about to race out of my office to go teach a fitness class at 630pm at a local gym. She asked, where are you going? I said I’m teaching my fitness class tonight at 630pm. Gotta go! She said I think you need to give up your “second job”. When I need you, I expect you to be available. My second job she was referring to was a fitness class that I taught 2x/week for an hour at 630pm. Something I actually enjoyed doing on my “own” time for health, socializing and sanity. But I guess for them, it is against the rules?”
“One day, I had planned a one-on-one meeting with one of my employees. It was time for his yearly review! About 15 minutes into the review I looked up from the paper I was reading and he actually was sleeping! Snoring no less! He was a fantastic employee but I guess he was just bored of hearing how great he was doing?
Do you have a funny story to share? I know you have all sat through meetings and seen something that wasn’t right. I would love to hear from you, please comment below!