Friday, October 31, 2008

Hate: Other People in Meetings

As a middle-management lackie, I attend a lot of meetings.  At some of those meetings, shit actually gets done but most of them require some sort of follow-up meeting.  And, quite often, there is a meeting immediately following the meeting which is sort of a post-meeting meeting to meet about the stuff we just met on.  Regardless, it's a damn lot of meetings that take up valuable time that could be better served writing blog posts (because I post SO often) or, my latest addiction, skulking about on Facebook.  Dude, we don't have enough time to talk about Facebook but if I had my own company, I would install something in people's chairs that would cause their pants to catch on fire if they ever visited Facebook while on company time because it is such a time-waster!

OK, where was I?

Oh, yeah, meetings.  I was originally going to write about a particular guy who just bugs the piss out of me.  Let's just call him Talks Way Too Much Guy (TWTMG, for short).  I'm not a big fan of people and I'm even less of a fan of people who talk so this guy didn't stand much of a chance of being my best pal in the first place.  Got a point to make?  How about using only 50 words instead of 10000000?!  TWTMG also chews his fingernails.  Or, should I say, fingernubs?  Now, I ain't perfect (surprising, I know) and I chew my fingernails too but I sure don't do it in meetings!  I wait until I'm in the comfort of my own home to gnaw my fingernails until they bleed.  Not TWTMG - he'll stick half his hand in his mouth and start chewing away!

TWTMG also taps his foot.  Loudly.  He only does it every once in a while so he catches you off-guard when he does it.  You know how some people get the whole knee going up and down thing?  That's not as bad as the one-tap because the up-down thing is quiet.  If I close my eyes, I don't even see them doing it.  Mr. One-Tap stomps on the carpet in a random pattern so I can't brace myself for it.  Bastard.

And then there's Mr. Talk About Something Even Though Everyone Else In The Meeting Is Talking About Something Else (let's just call him The Interrupter 'cause it's shorter.)  Like I said, occasionally a meeting will actually produce something of value.  The team is working through something and the next thing you know we're solving world hunger.  Everybody except The Interrupter, that is.  He's talking to his sidekick, Drinking Buddy (with all due respect to Chris Farley and Mike Meyers) about something completely unrelated to world hunger.  And then we all have to re-hash everything we just talked about so he can get caught up.  Oy!  Hey, Interrupter - shut the fuck up!  

A variation on the Interrupter is the I'm Never On Time To Meetings Guy - also known as That Asshole Who Thinks The World Revolves Around Him.  Look, Asshole, if I wanted the meeting to start at 9:13, I would have told everybody to be there at that time.  Usually, though, I stick to the hour and half-hour times.  You know, 9:00, 9:30, that sort of thing.  When you grace us with your presence at 9:13, you're just as bad as The Interrupter because everybody has to stop what they're doing to go over everything that your rude ass missed for the last 13 minutes.  Do us all a favor, if you're going to be more than a couple minutes late just go update your Facebook page instead of wasting my time.

Of course, these days we also have Mr. Cell Phone Bastard.  Mr. CPB loves his phone.  He's got goofy ringtones that he actually changes semi-regularly.  He's texting people and calling people and generally making love to his phone.  If he could marry his phone he would.  The only thing he is not doing with his phone is setting it to vibrate during meetings!  Dude, that's why God made the vibrate feature - so that I could hold a meeting without you disrupting it!  Here's a new feature for you.  It's called the Cell Phone Up Your Ass feature and it's pretty self-explanatory.

Do NOT get me started on Miss (it's always a chick) Loud Gum Chewer!  Hello, do you think we can't hear you just because your cud, I mean gum, is in your mouth?!  I know that you aren't really a two-bit whore but you sure look and/or sound like one the way you chew your gum!  All the rest of us are trying to conduct a meeting here so please take a minute to not snap, crackle and pop your gum.  It would be much appreciated.  Also, you probably won't "accidentally" get a dry-erase marker jammed in your eye.

So, unfortunately because of my middle-management-ness, I have to attend meetings all the friggin' time.  Sure, occasionally I get lucky and a cute chick shows up but I work in manufacturing and cute chicks are about as rare as an Alaskan governor who doesn't de-rail a presidential campaign.  Until that happens, I have to suffer in misery.

That's it for today.  Gotta run to a meeting.