Organised time wasting

I have just spent my first two hours at the office in a meeting. It certainly was… interesting. You just gotta love meetings in big corporates. They are just an organised waste of time. The good thing about this particular meeting was that it was in the boardroom with the great view. I got to sit there for 120 minutes watching the rest of the city getting about doing constructive things.

This particular meeting was with the marketing department. Those are the best ones. They make sweeping statements about what needs to be done and then finish them off with “That shouldn’t be a show stopper, should it Sarah?” They then go on to put ridiculous time frames on things. Or ask impossible questions. “How long does a site take to build?” I’m thinking about learning Russian so that I can randomly answer in it. I don’t think they’ll even notice.

Speaking of other languages, the reason I was in the meeting in the first place is because they need a ‘site’ built for a new campaign they are doing. No problem. Turns out the ‘site’ is actually a pretty complicated application. Still no problem, although a server would be a good start. Things started going downhill when they told me that the ‘site’ needed to integrate some new software that we are showcasing. Uh huh. They asked for a timeframe. I suggested that perhaps they should show me the software first. They were very helpful. They gave me a manual to skim.

The very first page of the manual made me a little nervous. It specified that the platform only supports programming in a language I know very little about. I mentioned that. One of the guys helpfully left the room to print me out a learner’s manual. I thanked him graciously and asked him if in return he would mind hosting an event for me in a couple of weeks time. In Chinese. I think they started to take my point.

Anyway, it’s all so surreal that I’m finding it quite entertaining. They have obviously been planning this campaign for months. They have a very complicated planning diagram all mapped out with timeframes locked in and tasks assigned. Most of them seem to be mine.

It would seem the only thing they forgot to do was tell me about it.

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4 thoughts on “Organised time wasting

  1. Unfortunately this seems to be the norm. I was once discussing an addition to a system with the Operations Manager of a large organization and at the end of the talk he asked me if he could have it tomorrow. I laughed loudly into his face thinking he was joking because I could see it taking 3 – 4 months. His look of anger clued me to the fact that he was actually serious and I had to very quickly explain to him that I thought he was joking and why it would in fact take much much longer than that.

    Fortunately he wasn’t stupid and he accepted both my explanation and my apology. Since then I have made it a point never to laugh at outlandish comments just in case they are being serious.

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