Working Mum: Meetings are just an excuse to discuss meetings

By Giles Broadbent on May 7, 2014 10:00 AM |



By Tabitha Ronson

I have spent every day this week sat in back-to-back meetings, most of them pointless, all of them unduly long.

It has been so crazily bad that I have been forced to take files home because I've had no time to do any "real" work in office hours.

Most of these meetings have been meetings about meetings - past, present and future ones.

It would appear everyone I work with (aside from my boss that is who has been away for the past few weeks - while the cat's away we'll, er, hold unnecessary meetings) loves an official catch-up or debrief whereas I wince every time another meeting request or Doodle Poll pops into my inbox.

There are two kinds of people: those who do stuff and those who hold meetings to talk about doing stuff. The two are oil and water, cat and dog.

I do loathe them. Throughout most of them, I sit there resenting the utter waste of my time, calculating the additional hours I will have to put in at home to catch up on real tasks.

Occasionally, I may chip in with the odd point but on the whole I try to keep my contribution as brief as possible in the hope that others will, too.

This tactic hasn't proved successful this week. My lack of preparation and contribution has led to a number of other meetings being scheduled - "I think we all need to go away, information gather and regroup to discuss ways we can move forward; then we need another pencil to decide if this is the appropriate course; followed by an advisory board meeting to action it."

Annoying Colleague couldn't contain her excitement at the prospect. She loves a meeting because she is under the misapprehension it makes her look somehow important.

Armed with her iPad, Mont Blanc and Aspinal leather-bound notebook, she has been loudly announcing to the team that she's off to a meeting to discuss X, Y, and Z and could we take her calls as she may be some time.

It's either that or she will simply do anything for a free Hobnob.

Working Mum, got to dash as I'm off to, yes, another meeting.