Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Too Many Meetingth Dethtroyth Perfectly Good Thweaterth

Over the years, I have worked in quite a few offices. Due to the fantastically creepy way in which offices manage to impose an oppressive blandness, my memories of them are mostly a beige blur of cubicles, busted staplers, and dented filing cabinets, but some things do manage to stand out from my office days. One of the things I remember most is the preponderance of useless meetings that managed to interrupt any actually useful work that we might be trying to get done.

In one particular office I worked in, we were gifted with a manager who apparently loved meetings. In fact, our first meeting with him was about how we would have more meetings with him. Our second meeting with him was about how our subsequent meetings would be constructed. Our third meeting with him, while it did veer briefly into the actual duties of our office, was primarily about how we were also going to break off into action groups for certain kinds of extra meetings meant to enhance our main group meetings.

It was apparent that each of our meetings was going to be about other meetings. I quietly filled in all the spaces in the letters on the agendas to keep from grinding my teeth to nubs.

It wasn't long before things really began to spiral out of control.

One day, we all met to talk about Something-or-Other. After about half an hour, our manager realized that none of us knew enough about Something-or-Other to talk about it, so he scheduled another meeting at which we were to establish what we knew about Something-or-Other.

At the second meeting, it was decided that, although we had brought more information about Something-or-Other to the table, we should really split up into more focused groups and have our own separate meetings to more closely analyze Something-or-Other.

At our respective third meetings, we talked about Something-or-Other, took notes, and talked about what we were going to have for lunch.

At our fourth meeting, our manager decided that our present meeting structure lacked efficiency, SO HE SCHEDULED A FIFTH MEETING. At the fifth meeting, he wanted to discuss the previous four meetings and establish a new meeting structure so that we could have a more useful SIXTH MEETING.

It was at that point that I noticed I had completely unraveled the cuff on my favourite office cardigan.

I did not go to that fifth meeting. I figured that they could figure out what meetings were and why they had them without having to experience me pulling out what was left of the nubs of my teeth to show them what our meetings had truly accomplished.

Thee thith? Thith ith my tooth.

Instead, I tucked myself away in the banks of filing cabinets and caught up on some of my actual work, which had piled up in precarious stacks on my desk while we repeatedly made a mockery of communicating with each other.

At the SEVENTH meeting? We finally talked about Something-or-Other and chose not to go forward with it. It was decided that we lacked the human resources.

And yet, I lived, teeth intact.

I still miss the sweater that was so inhumanely sacrificed to meetings about meetings with a side of meetings. It was nubby and soft and repelled lint and had the perfect sleeves. Sniff.

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