Our company meetings remind me of repeats of old
T.V. comedy programmes. It’s always the same people arguing with each
other and trying to impress the boss. In fact, it’s quite common to
have 5 or 6 people talking at the same time, so nobody’s really
listening to other people’s opinions and ideas.
Most of the younger, ambitious executives only seem to be interested
in criticizing people from other departments. Nobody ever admits to
making a mistake and the chairman’s quite happy to talk about things
that are not on the agenda. This means he meeting often runs over time
and we have to stay at the office one or sometimes two hours extra on
manager always lets us have a copy of the agenda a couple of days
before the meeting so that we can prepare figures, reports and
questions. He controls the meetings very carefully and they usually
start and finish on time, which is good.
We nearly always cover the whole agenda, and by the end of the meeting
I’m quite sure what the action plan is and what everyone’s expected to
do before we all meet again.
Our meetings are not always in our manager’s office. We rotate.
Sometimes we meet in my office, occasionally in Jan’s….er… our
personnel manager’s office. But the best thing is the wonderful
selection of cakes, pastries and biscuits that our manager provides
for everyone. If the meeting is relatively short, and you have a great
slice of chocolate cake and fresh coffee, how can you complain?
Management do their best to give the
impression that everyone’s opinion is valued and that they are open to
suggestions and ideas from the staff. But the truth of the matter is
that the boss already knows what she wants to do because she decided
before the meeting even started.
Our meetings are so long and boring. I always use the time to make a
shopping list or have a quick game of cards on my laptop. There’s no
point saying anything because nobody ever listens and nothing ever
changes. We might just as well be talking to a brick wall.