Bottom up

For some reason I've been thinking about meetings. Now, being a public holiday - and with me on a whole week's leave - you'd think I'd put all thoughts of work out of my head completely! Unfortunately not. Scrolling through my Google Reader items, I've come across quite a few things written by those who are NOT on holiday, and thus my brain's turned to the office environment.

I honestly don't get the corporate culture. I don't get the concepts of "I'm important because my job says I am", or the artificial value placed on one person over another simply because they're further up some invisible ladder - or happen to have a say in how much cash goes into your bank each month. I don't get the kowtowing or the sheep-like conforming - in other words I'm probably just as effective at being part of a large corporation as I was at being a secretary. Basically, I sucked.

Which is why this thought about meetings is probably not going to fly.

The other day I was in one where a colleague (just a little further up the food chain from myself) was in charge. He'd called a gathering to do something really important - but there were a few top management bodies included. Minutes into the meeting, one of said bodies hijacked the entire agenda and went off on his own mission for the rest of the allotted time. In fact, he went way overtime and us minions were too polite to get up and go! Even though deadlines loomed like spectres, keeping many at the grindstone when they should have been home with family.

Same thing with my immediate boss. She ended up in a Friday meeting once before lunchtime that was taken over by the big boss and ended way past 6! Everything else she had planned for that day was simply required to be cancelled, leaving a huge load on her shoulders for the week ahead.

So here's my thought.

Do any of use lower-echelon corporate types actually have the balls to stand up to the more appointedly-important types and say "Oi, this meeting has been called for a purpose - I will not allow you to distract everyone from the task at hand - we're here to achieve xyz by the end of the hour!"?

Nope, didn't think so.