Meetings have a special way of sucking. They have the ability to induce in you an extraordinary hatred for your life and everything in it. The biggest advantage that funemployed people have over we cubicle rats is that they don’t have to burn huge chucks of their lives sitting in uncomfortable swivel chairs, wising poxes on their workmates for repeating the same point five times over.
Most of the time, a meeting is only productive for the first five minutes. During this time ideas are propelling themselves out of people’s mouths like rockets. The room is on faya! And then everybody burns out all of a sudden, at the same time, and the meeting degenerates into a miserable, alcohol-less party.
One of the most annoying is the one on Monday morning that ends with everybody describing, in detail, how they spent their weekend. This is supposed to help workmates bond and feel a part of each other’s lives but really it only makes them hate each other’s guts. Just how much are you allowed to reveal and for how long? Can you describe in detail how you spent the whole of Saturday afternoon lancing the boils on your brother’s buttocks or is that too much? Are these meetings protected by a rule of non disclosure? What if one of your workmates is a spy? Then there is the issue of eyes. Where are you supposed to fix them? Only psychopaths can look people in the eye as they narrate their banal weekend activities.
The absolute worst are the ones that morph into presentations. One minute, you’re doodling peacefully, nodding at intervals to avoid being picked on and the next, you’re being called upon to present a document. The last time this happened I stuttered, bled sweat, shot copious amount of saliva on the person seated closet to me and finally, exploded in a sad little firework of expletives. Not cool.
Meetings don’t always trigger feelings of anger and sorrow though. Take last week for example when my face was attacked by pimples so immense; they’d bob when I’d move my head. Because I knew that my meeting with the dermatologist was going to put an end to me resembling a greasy chap from Chicken Tonight, I went willingly, without complaint. The point of this lie is that if a meeting has a discernible purpose and benefit, and promises not to drag on long after productivity has left the room, people will be happy to attend it.
There’s only one formula for meeting-rage that I know which doesn’t involve earphones. Baby ninjas (Thanks, Baz). Close your eyes, take a deep breath and then snap them open (if the lids don’t make a chwa! sound, you haven’t snapped violently enough). Scan the room. Watch in awe and delight as baby ninjas reveal themselves to you. Try not to laugh when they start performing kwasa kwasa around the sugar bowl.
One day your body will rebel because of all the despair, boredom and heartburn that meetings cause it and refuse to transport you to the boardroom. This will annoy your boss so much that he’ll shoot you in the face and you’ll die (which is not a bad thing because the earth will be rid of your snarky, uncooperative meeting-hating self).