Friday, October 17, 2008

Staff Meeting at 9 o'clock

Most people have experienced that feeling of dread at work; staff meeting. You see the memo in near the time clock or in the break room, you get an email, or the best way…word of mouth. Staff meetings are an unusual phenomenon. I find that most of them fall into two categories: self-praise and reform.

First the self-praise; these are the meeting where management gives themselves and the minions they govern props for meeting metrics that they themselves established. This could be in terms of quarterly profit, call or sales volumes, or customer service ratings. The managers are great for having carried out the vision and appropriately delegating responsibility to those capable of carrying out the mission. The employees are great for showing up to work, doing what they are getting paid to do, and not drooling on themselves…too much. All in all, everyone wins; well mostly the managers as their bonus scales tend to be a lot higher when goals are met.

Next are the reform meetings; these encompass training or recommitment to established goals. Again the managers are front and center. This time on the condemning side; those who were delegated to did not comply, step-up, or believe in their mission. The managers still have the vision, but the employees must have drooled too much. So, we need to recommit. Or perhaps you need more training to help you know how to do your job. Nothing is better than having your boss (who doesn’t really know what you do or how you do it) instruct you on the dos and don’ts of your job. Either way you feel reenergized about work when you leave.

Now, regardless of which type of meeting you happen to be having they have one thing in common…refreshments. The food of choice for meetings used to be donuts but this has changed; I think that you will find bagels still the more popular choice. This is odd as bagels tend to be higher in calories than donuts and require a spread, but that is another post. Back to the bagels; we had bagels at a recent meeting; a bakers dozen (why exactly that is 13 rather than 12 I am not sure) in a pre-established variety from the bakery; 2 blueberry, 2 asiago cheese, 2 honey wheat, 3 cinnamon sugar w/raisins, 3 plain. There were also two tubs of cream cheese; one plain and one pumpkin spice. When the call was over, and the remnants cleared from the conference room there were 3 bagels left. All three were plain. I’m not sure why they were all plain; maybe they were the bottom ones; it was a gross oversight; maybe no one likes plain anymore. You decide, but if you need an example of how a meeting at work should go look HERE.

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