Regular Me v. Meeting Me

On the days I really miss working, I try to remind myself of the upside. Like right now I could be stuck in a meeting. Meetings suck. They just do. They sometimes seem like a good idea at first, so that people can communicate and exchange ideas or whatever, but it never plays out like that. It’s because everyone has a regular personality, and then a meeting personality. These are just a few of the types I’ve observed:

Urgent!: Everything we are discussing is of vital importance. We must make a decision now or the world may well implode. We have a grave mission and it must be carried out immediately!

Devil’s Advocate: I will poke holes in everything you say, question your motives and generally object to everything all the time. I will say that it’s not me, I’m just playing devil’s advocate. That way I can say whatever the hell rude thing I want and then throw my hands up in mock innocence if you glare at me.

Over It: Nothing we are discussing means anything, in the grand scheme of things. No one is going to listen to us anyway, and the whole idea was dumb to begin with.

Free Floating Annoyance: Seriously? Again? Why do we have to keep talking about this? Also, what’s up with the coffee? And these chairs are itchy.

Passive Aggressive: I will sit here quietly, nod a lot and take a few notes, but as soon as we leave this meeting I’m going to go make seemingly innocent statements to the exact people who will then sabotage your entire project. You’re welcome.

Been There, Done That: Seen it all before. Tried it all before. Never works, never will work, and don’t think we hadn’t already thought of that junior. Now take your enthusiasm and run back to your office. We’re done here.

Vapid: I got this job because of my dad’s friend or whatever. I have no idea what we’re talking about here, but I have a lunch date so let’s wrap it up. I’m bored. Oh look! Something shiny!

Food Follower: I wasn’t even invited to this meeting, but I heard there would be food so I decided I have something to do with whatever you guys are discussing. And now that I’m here I’m going to take up your time with irrelevant bullshit to make it seem like I belong here.

I know there are many more. Who am I forgetting?


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12 Responses to Regular Me v. Meeting Me

  1. Cousin Dan says:

    Don’t forget the Toastmasters guy or gal, who must seize an extended opportunity to orate in a strangely stilted and pseudo-formal manner. Their speaking style obliterates any actual point they may have to contribute!

  2. Pam Waits says:

    Wow, this brings back memories. In addition to your list, I would add the time waster. This person was the boss who would talk about their personal stuff for the first half of the meeting – things that no one cared about or wanted to know. There was also the whip, again the boss. They would publicly berate someone during the meeting just to flex their muscles. Everyone had a turn in the dog house so we would all support each other. Any thoughts of missing the business world have now vanished. Thank you for the reality check.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Yes! Those types everywhere too. I also forgot the martyr-busier and more burdened than anyone else in the room. Heavy sigh. Yet somehow offers to help never accepted. Hmm.

  3. Carol Ferenc says:

    So funny, Jill!!! I spent way too much time with all of these characters when I was working. But now that I’m retired, I’m Over It.

  4. I don’t miss the all day goals and budget meetings. It’s not the money that was fought about it was the word smithing. Should it be “should” or “must.” Might take an hour for that one (or maybe MUST take an hour). Did we work for the same place? I know these people. I may even be the food person.

    • Yes the wordsmithing gets ugly, especially when it’s obvious that my words are the best! I think if you and I had worked at the same place we would have gotten into a good deal of trouble together. Too bad…

  5. Ann Koplow says:

    I’m very glad I came to your meeting, Jill. What kind of type am I, based on that?

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