"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman

:malicious user:

Thursday, August 21, 2003

anatomy of a teleconference:

2:00 c and i dial in. we are the first attendees to do so.
2:10 last attendees dial in. as there is no agenda provided, the project leader starts by asking the consultants to explain the purpose of the upcoming phase of the project, phase X, which we have currently amassed some 700 pages in preparation for. the three consultants begin their explanation.
2:15 the debating begins on who is responsible for what. people remain polite.
2:25 the debate begins to run slightly askew. we are no longer talking about phase X. we are back to discussing phase X-3. conversation moves from discussion of policy to expressing opinions. tones of voice rise slightly. i quietly begin to work on another project. c is shaking his head sadly.
2:35 the consultant proffers an answer to the purpose of phase X. four attendess verbally attack this answer. we are now back at ground zero, except we're 30 minutes older. and a little irate.
2:40 people are now interrupting one another. the word "crazy" is used.
2:55 that deathly silence that characterizes the worst marital arguments descends upon the group for a full 2 minutes. c is flipping through a book of album cover art that i keep in my office for these occasions.
2:57 debate resumes on phase X-3. the discussion has taken on a definite "potshot" flavor.
3:07 i complete my other project. c excuses himself.
3:10 the topic is tabled. all parties excuse themselves admidst nervous laughter and comments with that tone of "i'm sorry i insinuated you are an idiot."
3:15 email arrives scheduling the followup meeting. there is no agenda attached.
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i used to be disgusted. now i try to be amused.
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