Meeting Bitterness

We are here in this meetin to discuss the meeting about meetings.

We are here in this meeting to discuss the meeting about meetings.

Okay everyone, meeting in the conference room, 5 minutes.  Alright is everyone here? Fantastic. Today’s meeting is to discuss further the meaning of a meeting.  You know that expression “Unnecessary is the mother of all meetings?”  No?  Well, it’s new.  I just made it up.  It’s also true and it is the bitter topic of the day, so it was necessary to invent it.   So deal with it.  If you ever have to use that quote, just remember I trademarked it.  If you ever use it, please send payment to me, C/O Ben’s Bitter Blog, and remember I was the one that made it up. Also, make sure to use this quote right after you say it. “Here is all my money, Bitter Ben”.  Address the envelope,  then send it through the mail or Western Union.   See how I am rambling and getting off track here?  That is a meeting.  And now it is dismissed.  Well, right after you read all these things that make meetings bitter.

1. Meetings are a black hole of information.  If you came with information, it will be gone before you leave.  If you leave with any, it doesn’t make sense or words are missing.

2. Meeting are a great way to talk about things that relate to me not at all.

3. Meetings are like that prison that in the original Superman with the rotating rings around the SuperVillan prisoners.  Even Superman couldn’t escape meetings.

4. Meetings are like the hospice of good ideas, creativity and enthusiasm.  Except hospices at least give your ideas dignity before they die a slow, painful death.

5. Meetings are a place where heavy sleep and nightmares get interupted by a more terrifying thing called work and reality.

Even Canaries can't deny the allure of an interesting meeting.

Even Canaries can’t deny the allure of an interesting meeting.

6. Meetings are a magical way to take a discussion that would take 5 minutes between two people and cause it to be a 2 hour discussion between 10 people.

7. Meetings are a way to discuss things like productivity, efficiency and teamwork, and condensing it into a two hour fight club.

8.  Meetings are a way to forget things by discussing them over and over again.   So you can..uh what were we talking about?

9.  Meetings are the one thing that is more boring than work.  Talking about work.

10. Meetings are a good way to learn skills like work avoidance, eye rolling, muttering things under your breath, glossed over eye look, heavy sigh and loud snoring.

11. Meetings are a way for the group know-it-all to display their skills of talking endlessly about nothing.

12. Meetings are a way to learn technical knowledge that you can easily forget before you even learn it.

13. Meetings are a way that you can bring a smartphone or laptop to a meeting and get caught surfing the web in a whole new way.

A way to make meetings more interesting.

A way to make meetings more interesting.

14. Meetings are a way for the least funny person in the room to practice how their stand up will be in real life.  Also to a silent room.

The ironic thing is that I came up with all this in a boring meeting.  Meeting dismissed.  Get back to doing your bitter jobs.

Arrgghhhh

Bitter “Dying slowly in a meeting” Ben

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134 thoughts on “Meeting Bitterness

  1. Pingback: Bitter Brick Wall | Ben's Bitter Blog

  2. My favorite of your bitter comments: “Meetings are like the hospice of good ideas, creativity and enthusiasm.” I almost spit my yogurt out all over my laptop. That certainly would have been a bitter experience.

    My very un-favorite meetings are the higher-up’s version of CYA. Often called “training,” an activity where you languish for 2 hours before receiving a certificate showing you were there, you sit in a room and watch someone on TV read word-for-word from a notebook exactly like the one in front of you. That way, when you screw up and forget some jackass rule that no one with 3 brain cells would inflict on another person, the higher-up’s don’t have to take the blame.

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    • I have been sent off sight to a meeting where you get certificate’s that are as useful as the “Leibster award”. They send to you so expensive one day training where you forget the stuff you learned before the training even starts.

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  3. i can identify with all of this. in my world we currently have a committee that meets to discuss the protocol and bylaws of said committee so no real committee work gets done.

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  4. Omg I just started at a new position and we have meetings CONSTANTLY- and we always use terms like “action item” and “synergy” and “circle-up” and “run that issue up the flagpole” i want to lampoon myself over the flagpole

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  5. Eff meetings darn it! :p hey Ben… I nominated you for what is probably just a HUGE chain letter but you got the nom anyway man! (And you are totally number one on the list for a reason), keep up the good work my friend. 🙂

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  6. Over 22 years in a bitter bureaucracy (and those folks *were* bitter, bitter bitter), it was great fun reading this entry. Brilliant bitterness! Not to mention accurate.

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  7. I dread to hear the words “let’s have a meeting” from my manager’s mouth. What follows in an hour and a half long meeting of repeating each other, talking about nothing of consequence and sometimes working through lunch, because my manager apparently has no concept of the fact that we eat lunch at 12:30…everyday.
    I think this description of meetings is bitterly brilliant: “Meetings are like that prison that in the original Superman with the rotating rings around the SuperVillan prisoners. Even Superman couldn’t escape meetings.”
    And that you came up with this during a meeting…even more bitterly brilliant.

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  8. cheer up hoss, be glad that they invited you to the meeting. I mean, is that not a form of workplace friendship that they invite you. Unless it is a mandatory meeting, then they should feed you. If they do not feed you, I think that you should not be required to attend. If you are so required to attend, there is no food, you should then fart in the meeting.

    Live to be referred to as, that’s what I say

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        • Well enough to give you a tongue twister I’ve been saying many, many years before I met you on WP. Funny, it even has the words bitter now and then. Have you heard of it? Betty Butler bought some bitter butter, so she got some better butter to make the bitter butter better. It’s very easy for me to say. Yes, I feel a lot better. Not completely well, but the fevers are gone. Just a cough now and then. 😦 Thanks for asking!

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        • I had never heard it until I started this blog. Since then I have heard it two other times before you. Who knew that you would need this saying two years later to quote to a bitter guy later. You never know when something like that would come in handy. I hear bitter buttered popcorn and a movie is good for getting better. It’s bitter being sick this time of year when the weather is so nice. Glad you are feeling mostly better!

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  9. Although I don’t work outside the home anymore, I loved this. Partially because I am a mormon and we can have an INSANE amount of meetings about what we are going to do at our next meeting. IN fact, I think they just suggested that we have less meetings, but I’m sure there was a meeting to decide that too. Ugh.

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  10. I hate meetings, They suck all the life out of me. If ever I am asked to go on a committee I always say “no thanks I only do dictatorships”,

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  11. Meetings about meetings was a fan favorite at a previous employer.

    The plus-side to meetings? Everyone has a forum to show off all that never-annoying biz jargon like “touch base,” “circle back” and “ideate.”

    Barf.

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  12. UGH, that # 6…it’s so true. SO TRUE. I used to work somewhere that elevated that skill to an art form.

    Great post Ben.I hate to tell you, but this actually was an uplifting one for me, for I no longer work at the place that had meetings every other day. SO THANKS FOR THE GOOD FEELING!

    Burn. Suck on that, evil twin.

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    • If you are going to burn me, then freeze on you, good twin. Are you telling me that you work at home? That would be the only place I know that you wouldn’t have meetings all the time. Unless you are meeting with your cat or dog later. I’m bitter that you had a good feeling from this post. That just means I need to work harder next time.

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  13. Skills learned during a meeting can actually be used in a hostage situation. Technically they are the same thing. being held against your will, with a deadline, with an exchange of money in the background that in no way ever profits you. Stay bitter my friend

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    • I am just starting to perfect my craft of sighing but still working on 11. And by working on 11 I mean trying to hit that person with a blowdart filled with sleeping poison without getting noticed. I just missed them yesterday.

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  14. My favourite part of meetings is the part where you only have to attend on your day off at five in the morning and then when you get there you find out it was cancelled. 🙂

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  15. It’s amazing how many really important and amazing things can be accomplished during a meeting. For instance, this blog post. What a great accomplishment Ben! I wonder if War and Peace was written during a meeting. (By the way, your boss told me that you were responsible for keeping the minutes during the meeting, so your boss is expecting a full accounting of every topic discussed within the hour) Meeting adjourned!

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    • Here are the minutes for the meeting that I will turn into the boss later.
      Blah blah blah blah
      Bitter post idea!
      Blah blah blah blah
      Another bitter post idea!
      Blah blah blah whine nag
      Think of donuts.
      Blah blah blah
      what should I eat for dinner?
      Blah blah blah
      If I won a billion dollars I would walk out of this meeting right now and throw up some ones and yell, “Suckers!”
      Meeting adjourned.

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  16. Every meeting I’ve ever endured in my entire life has been captured here. GET OUT OF MY BRAIN I say, because this is so terrifyingly close to my life that I feel as though Bitter Ben here is lurking somewhere in my subconscious.

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    • Bitter Ben is more of a ghost that haunts people’s nightmares and steals their thoughts at night and brings them to me to write blog posts. It just so happens it was your turn last night, (or whenever you thought about these things.)

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  17. when I worked for a large insurance company shaped like a rock we held a meeting to discuss how long meetings should be and how to cut back on meetings. the meeting ran a long time and nothing changed.

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    • That is why meetings are so effective. When the get too much I imagine myself as Dilbert with the pointy headed boss and since I am a cartoon, I won’t get in trouble for ripping the boss a new one or driving him off a cliff, because you know, it’s a cartoon.

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  18. Ben, I have a post about the characters you find in meetings sitting in my iPad waiting to be posted. But you’ve covered a lot of it here–especially 11.

    I hate meetings.

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    • Sorry. I guess you must be very bitter right now that I stole your thunder. Hopefully it is completely different or I will claim copywrite laws or trademark or something and collect the $.20 you owe me. Only $.90 more and I can get some Cheetos!

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      • I’ll show how I wrote it several weeks ago and soon I’ll be the wealthy benefactor of the $.20 cents. Since I’m a woman, I might be able to get the judge up to $.25 to get the full quarter. I’m a hustler.

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  19. I’m an introvert and have always thought of meetings as forums for folks to share facts and get down to brass tacks. In my (oh-so-bitter) experience, extroverts LOVE meetings and see them as venues to articulate every thought that crosses their minds. So-very thankful for the evolution of the virtual meeting, and email. 😉 Do I dislike people/extroverts? To paraphrase Mickey Rourke in 1987’s Barfly: “No, but I seem to feel better when they’re not around.” xD

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  20. Pingback: Death by a Thousand Meetings | createdbyrcw

  21. I totally agree with all your points, except that in this very week, I have been to two (2) meetings that were, somehow, actually AWESOME.

    Still bitterly trying to regather the pieces of my exploded brain . . .

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    • You know, you didn’t even want to win my contest. But if you want to win so bad, I will send you a penny a week for like 10 years. If you invest them, with inflation you might be able to get $5 out of the whole thing. I hope you have a bitter meeting later. PS – Bitter morning to you too.

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        • I’m pretty sure you said that wanted to be ineligible because you wanted to help me with that video. I think the only reason you wanted to win is so that I would have to scrounge up $20 in pennies. I could offer you up a Ben’s Bitter Blog T-shirt, but I couldn’t find any kid’s small T-shirts to make them with.

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