Moncton — Office workers across the province are standing up and demanding more meetings that focus exclusively on meetings. The Manatee met with employees at a provincial government office in Moncton to hear about the issue.
“I don’t know how we’re supposed to get anything done unless we sit down for seven consecutive hours with different combinations of people in the office and just really plan out how to get stuff done, and schedule more meetings to recap the previous day’s meetings,” said IT specialist Jeff MacLean. “Lately I’ve been left to my own devices a little too often, forcing me to do ‘work’ or something. It’s just not really my style. But that’s a story for another meeting!”
MacLean then bolted out of the board room in order to take a call that he assured everyone was definitely meeting-oriented.
“I’d like it if we could schedule more meetings where we prep for upcoming meetings,” said receptionist Juanita Jarvis. “I’m actually swamped right now because I have to not only arrange meetings, but prepare for them, and attend them. This new meeting I’m proposing would lay out guidelines on meeting prep. In fact I think we should meet tomorrow and really delve into how that meeting workflow would go.”
Department head Ellen Murphy couldn’t be more proud of her industrious staff.
“I hire meeting-minded people after a series of intensive get-to-know-you meetings, and I hear their plan for how their ideal meetings would be structured,” she said. “Education and experience is of course valuable, but how will those book smarts play out in the real-world situation of meetings?”
Daryl Smith, HR representative, interrupted to say that hiring the right people is crucial in a meeting-focused government setting.
“I myself majored in human resources, but I minored in team leadership, and I think those skills really speak for themselves in meetings,” he said, as if to justify his position in the department and kiss ass at the same time.
“The great thing about the government is that instead of doing stuff, we get together and talk about doing stuff. I personally can’t get enough of these meetings where we plan more meetings.”
During this meeting, marketing manager Holly Driscoll suddenly noticed a one-hour window in her April calendar that was just wide open — no meetings at all.
“Um…this is weird,” she mumbled, staring worriedly at Outlook on her laptop as the others spoke over her. “I normally have a meeting from 11 to 12 on Tuesdays but the other person cancelled it to attend a different meeting about meetings. Huh. Maybe I can schedule a phone chat with someone during that hour so we can prepare an agenda around what the rest of the day’s meetings will look like. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.
“If that doesn’t work then I guess I’ll have to book a lunch meeting. I honestly don’t even know what my job is apart from meetings.”