Tag Archives: meetings

Meeting art

I was in a long-winded meeting that I have to attend once a month. I was already in a bad mood because of a potential project that may get dumped on our group. The meeting did not help any. Me and another person in this office attended the meeting in my office via a conference call. The main participants were on the West Coast. As the meeting progressed, I grew angrier and angrier. I got up and started to draw on my whiteboard, and this is the result:

You might need to click on the image to see the larger version, but I think you get the idea. After drawing that, I felt much better, and when the meeting was over, three of us went down to Haagen-Dazs to get chocolate shakes and now I feel fine.

What happened to lunch?

It looks as though the person I was meeting for lunch is running late. It could be after 2 PM when they get here. I’ve been working through lunch but now I come to a dilemma: I’m hungry. I normally eat every 3 hours or so, and it’s already an hour past my regularly scheduled meal. I have another meal at 3 PM, for which I brought a sandwich. So what do I do? The right thing to do is to wait patiently, without complaint and just suck it up, and that’s probably what I’ll do. But man am I hungry!

These are the (busy) days

The first three days of this week seem unusually busy. I had a briefing I had to give yesterday, among other things. Today, I am in meetings from 11:30 AM until 4 PM, including a briefing that I have to give between 11:30 and 1 PM. Tomorrow (so far) I am in meetings from 11 AM – 3 PM and that includes another briefing I have to give between noon and 1 PM. Of course, that leaves mornings for me to get some real work done, but I hate it when it gets like this. Fortunately, Thursday and Friday are looking pretty good.

Early to bed, early to rise

For the first time since putting my new schedule into effect, I got to bed on time last night. I was going to stay up to watch the launch of Discovery, but it was postponed. So I got into bed at 9:30 PM and I was out like a light. I woke up at about 1 AM, to the sound of howling wind, but quickly got back to sleep and felt pretty good when I got up at 5:30 this morning, having had a full 8 hours of sleep.

It’s a cold day in the Metro DC area. Temperature were in the low 20s this morning and it doesn’t feel like it’s warmed up too much since then. My boss is in the office today (he works in the Santa Monica office, but he is out here visiting). He took me to lunch and I’ve had a few meetings with him this morning. I just got out of one meeting that nearly put me to sleep.

Now it’s time to get back to work.

Odds and ends

It has already been a busy and productive morning, and it’s only 10:30. Much of my morning has been spent writing some perl scripts to transform and import a large amount of legacy data into a newly designed database for the data. It is a multi-step process but I’m pleased with the progress I made this morning.

When I got into the office, my iBook AC adapter was sitting on my meeting table, right where I left it.

Smallville is a repeat tonight, but Gray’s Anatomy is all new. I think I’m going to take the opportunity to skip TV tonight and make progress in other arenas. I’d like to finish up Humans today, and maybe even get a bit of writing done this evening.

This was a meeting-heavy week for me, but some meetings have fallen off my calendar, which has helped a little bit. I blocked off my calendar for next week, indicating to one and all that I am not available for any meetings. We’ll see how well that works, but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get some meaningful work done.

I found out today that my boss will be in town next week (he works in Santa Monica, while I work in Arlington, Virginia). He’s taking me to lunch on Friday, December 8 because I won’t be able to make my team lunch in Santa Monica the following week.

The DirecTV service people are coming tomorrow afternoon, and so I’ll be working from home in afternoon tomorrow. I was scheduled to interview someone in the afternoon because I had forgotten about the service appointment so I don’t think I’ll be able to participate in the interview; fortunately, there are others to fill in for me.

It’s going to hit 70 degrees in the Metro D.C. area today–for the last day of November that has got to be close to a record.

My meetings are done!

My four-hour chunk of meeting are finally done for the day! And there are 40 minutes left in my workday. It had been my plan to write a fairly elaborate (and elegant) perl script that would parse some data and prepare it for import to a database. Because of my meeting, I got exactly 18 lines of the stupid code written.

I’ve got three hours of meetings on my calendar for tomorrow, and maybe that means I’ll be a bit more productive in terms of the data import. I’ve only got 2 meetings on my calendar for Wednesday, which is good because I don’t think there are going to be too many people around on Wednesday anyway.


I forgot to pack my lunch today (read: I was too lazy) and so at noon I found myself with nothing to eat, and with no desire to head down into the mall and stand in lines to pay lots of money for bad mall food. Fortunately, a coworker, who sits outside my office, told me about a secret stash of food left over from a conference. With the aid of my stomach enzymes, I located the stash. There were sandwiches and salads, but what stood out most to me was the pasta salad. I heaped a large pile of it on my plate, and then headed back to my office, closed my door, and proceeded to catch up on a weeks worth of The Dilbert Blog, which as it turns out, was even more funny than usual.

I was hoping to squeeze in one productivity podcast, but I’ve got 13 minutes before I need to be in the first of three meetings I have this afternoon. At least I will be energized for the meeting. After that heaping plate of pasta salad, I feel as though I could run a marathon, which is good, since after a one hour meeting in this place, I’m often left feeling as though I have run a marathon.

Off to bed

I just finished watching Heroes and Studio 60 and now I’m packing my lunch and I’m off to bed. Studio 60 has gotten better in the last several episodes, its started to acquire some of that stuff that The West Wing had in its first couple of years. It’s nice to see that.

I had a letter in the mail today from Trevor and thepopeswife which was a nice way to wrap up my afternoon, and to which I replied early this evening. That should go out in the mail tomorrow.

I have a full schedule at work tomorrow, one of those days where my calendar is more meetings than anything else. I don’t typically look forward to a day full of meetings, but I am trying to improve my attitude about work in general. I’ve been too cynical about it lately, and I think that says more bad things about me than my cynicism says about work. So I’m off to bed. I may try and sneak in a chapter or two of Rollback. We’ll see…

Tardy bells

Is it really that hard to arrive on time to a meeting? I don’t know about other organizations, but where I work, the ontime arrival of people to meetings is worse than ontime arrival of flights by the major airlines. I don’t understand it. How hard can it be?

The most frequent excuse I am given for people not arriving ontime to a meeting is that they were in another meeting than ran over. That might sound like a good excuse but it makes the person sound rather silly if you ask me. If I have back-to-back meetings, I always let people in the earlier meeting know that I have a meeting right after this one and that I must leave five minutes early in order to get to the other meeting on time. If you are important enough (I’m not) this has the added bonus of getting people to discuss in 55 minutes what would otherwise have taken 60.

Under very rare circumstances (once this year so far) I knew that I was going to be late to a meeting. In this case, I called ahead and told the people involved that I would be 10 minutes late. And then I made sure that I wasn’t 11 minutes late. But no one seems to do this. People rarely call or send email indicating that they will be late to meetings.

When we were in school, we got a reprimand of one kind or another if we got to class after the tardy bell rang. I think we need tardy bells in organizations like mine to keep people on their toes. Punctuality is common courtesy. When people are late it is disrespectful. We all need to learn to be a little more courteous.

An amazing invention!

I’ve come up with an idea for an invention that will revolutionize business and allow me to retire rich and famous, and I’m posting it here to claim priority to it. My invention is this:

TiVO for Business Meetings

Can you imagine being able to pause live meetings? Or better yet, skip through them, or even attend them at your own convenience? This is just what everyone who attends meetings constantly (as it sometimes seems I do) needs!

In fact, I need it so badly, that I am willing to give up priorty on the invention to anyone who invents it, so long as I get a free copy to use at work.

All right, inventors, you have your orders. Now let’s see if you can deliver!

One of those non-stop days…

I realized that it was one of those non-stop days today when it glanced at the time and it was 2 PM and I hadn’t even thought about eating lunch yet. I spent the morning hip-deep in code, trying to make something work with SQL triggers that has no business working, and yet I managed to convince it otherwise. Then I sat through a great 10 minute meeting. Problem is the meeting went on for another twenty minutes.

By the time I got back to my office, I had heard back form a vendor I am working with to schedule some training, and so I then spent several hours trying to obtain conference rooms for 4 days of training at the end of the month. Meetings are out of control. I had to beg and borrow in order to convince people to shift meetings around so that I could get conference rooms for four consecutive days. And not even the same rooms! Do all companies have these problems when it comes to conference rooms? Do we really need all these meetings? I’m reminded of something I once heard on KNX radio in L.A.:

A meeting is a place where minutes are taken and hours are lost.

It just seems as thought there is something wrong with the world when the time it takes to schedule a meeting exceeds the time of the meeting itself.

Somehow, I was then bombarded by email and it seemed like every message demanded an immediate response. I counted (come on, let’s face it, you know me by now) and in a two and a half hour span, I sent or replied to something like forty email messages. Productive work slipped away. I wrote one line of code, answered two email messages, wrote another line of code, answered three more email messages.

But I finally made it out the door. Switching trains on Mount Vernon Square, the Green Line that game by had an “isolated” car (that means that the car was closed, you had to use other). What this really means is that it was a crowded train by Washington Metro standards. In the 3-1/2 years I’ve been taking the metro, I’ve ridden on trains with isolated cars three times; two of those time have been in the last month.

I was finally able to relax when I got home. I finished up Foundation’s Fear and will start on Foundation and Choas tomorrow. Spoke to Mom, Dad and Doug on the phone this evening.

No need to pack a lunch tomorrow; I’m having lunch with A.J.

Best of all: tomorrow is my “Friday”. I’m heading up to Albany this weekend (a 4-day weekend for me) to see Eric and Ryane and so I took Friday off.

Now, going to watch a Sopranos episode and then off to bed.