Deja Vu – Meeting Survival

i’m starting “Day 2” of a three day workshop.  This means that as of yesterday afternoon, we’d accomplished the following:

1) Listened to encouraging words about our tasking.  We were told that we’d been “Selected” for this important task because of our unique and special expertise as Subject Matter Experts*.

2) Were pelted with background information.  Things we need to know to accomplish our mission.

3) Were given our “Charter”!  Go forth and make Powerpoint Chartage!

i was delighted to discover a bootlegable wireless signal from the hosts at the meeting venue.  Spent a small portion of the morning developing my own personal “charter” and “mission statement”. 

Productive, and it kept me away from the donuts… 

VISION:  Continue to receive paycheck.

MISSION:  Appear to be useful / productive / “value added team member”

GOAL:  Survive three day workshop – leaving with zero “action items”

APPROACH:  Drink my weight in coffee.  Caffeine and constant urge to urinate assure consciousness.

OBJECTIVE METRICS:  Stay awake – without electric shock or poking wrists with pen.  Avoid all taskings while appearing to be useful.

THRESHOLD METRICS:  Five minute nap (vertical) per hour of meeting.  Agree to be “Scribe” (which allows for marker-sniffing as a bonus).

Effective Props are Essential
Effective Props are Essential
From the good folks at ThinkGeek!

* Everybody say “oooooooh” and “aaaaaaah”

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16 thoughts on “Deja Vu – Meeting Survival

  1. ok..hope you read this when you get back from a bathroom/marker sniffing break. I went to the link that Ms.Stephie so kindly provided and it was awesome…OOOOOH…..AHHHHH…..

    you do know that we could help keep you awake by sending you meaningless text messages all day. put your phone on vibrate and the fun will never cease..
    Just a thought =)

  2. stephanie – yep! thinkgeek rules the universe! thought i’d put the link in there but was having to actually WORK during the meeting around the time i posted this! can you imagine?

    unbearable banishment – a holiday inn is not bucolic. bagels and ginormous muffins for breakfast, and the ‘corporate cookies’ in the afternoon. i’m sticking with a bagel in the morning, and skipping the afternoon sugar. working hard to get my body ready for the upcoming humiliation that will occur in a few short weeks… but the meeting is on a topic of great interest, and i’m enjoying the work i’m doing. it’s a good gig…

    gnukid – thanks. i feel so much more “expert-y”… sat on my hands during a breakout session during a ‘leadership vacuum’ and successfully avoided becoming the de facto sub-team lead! w00t!

    hisqueen – i ended up becoming much more engaged in the work in the afternoon. cuttin’ into my bloggin’ time! like the idea of setting the blackberry to ‘stun’, if ya know what i mean!

    uncle keith – MBA for Slackers Who Don’t Give a Shit. i like it… wanna teach with me? we can roll around on the plates of cookies when no one is looking!

    renal failure – my HR department has an intern follow me around taking notes. they use my bad behavior to train the new kids… i’m swiping the ‘metrics are in my pants’ line. haven’t done that one yet!

    manuel – hey, dream big! once, when asked about my ‘near term and long term career goals’, i answered “keep my job” and “retire early” respectively. i had to do it over… boss people have no sense of humor sometimes.

  3. so let me get this straight, you posted this while you were in meetings at work? at least something actually got acccomplished in one of your meetings…unlike every other meeting (so i’ve heard)

  4. is this a project management workshop? i remember putting together a “project charter” once and we never looked at it again.

    “subject matter expert” – that term always gives me a laugh for some reason.

  5. lynn – can’t access the blogosphere from the office. get the “blocking hand of death” for any personal sites, or accidental attempts to surf porn. really. it was an accident…. anyway, yeah. most meetings aren’t particularly useful – to the point where i will sit and and estimate the cost of meetings in lost salary, then say “Hey! We’ve spent $5,000 in salary since we started – are we done yet?”…

    chris – cool! you get paid for dating? probably more that “appear to be useful/stay awake” stuff. bummer. if you’re struggling to stay awake on a date, she’s probably not going to rock your socks. then again, that electric-shock thing? hmmm…

    nursemyra – my priority at the moment? sleep… need to get more. and i need to start doing some planning at some point for a holiday with you next summer. travel planning is my favorite kind! woo hoo!

    dave – not exactly, but we have a rather daunting strategic planning effort to finish. i really think all that “mission, vision, charter” bullshit is as much about teambuilding as anything. basically, the long-winded arguments, nit-pickery about the meaning of this word and that phrase? just gets a new group of people used to each others’ voices… In my world, “Subject Matter Expert” is often abbreviated to “SME”, which is then pronounced “Smeee”. Worked for a knuckle-dragging caveman who pronounced it “Schmeee”. made me laugh out loud… (he didn’t like me. wonder why?)

  6. Ooh! Did they say “smee”? I love it when they call me a “smee”. It’s sort of like being a smurf, but in less comfortable clothes. There’s an article by Phillip Armour called “When Executives Code” that makes great reading during these kinds of workshops. I can e-mail you a copy if you can’t find it.

  7. chris – YES! i, too, feel ‘smurfish’ when tagged a Smeeee. makes me wanna paint myself blue and live with a bunch of freaky short dudes… would love a copy of the ‘executives code’ article. ping back if you need my e-mail!

    rassles – my favorite ‘think geek’ product is the little electronic ‘annoyance’ device. you hide it in someones office, and it emits a series of random beeps. guaranteed to drive someone absolutely batshit crazy! when i retire, i may devote my life to product development for those evil geniuses….

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