I used to dislike meetings. Even though they are a necessary evil in most work environments, if they are not propely structured or have an agenda they can take forever and not accomplish much. I say I used to dislike them because now my distaste for them has grown closer to full on hatred.
If you have never been on a conference call that lasted more than 8 hours you do not understand my pain. Yeap, if something goes wrong and you have people all over God’s green earth that need to work together to find a cause and resolve it, you end up with a bunch of people stuck on a phone call that seems to last for days. Thank God for the mute button.
The good thing about it is that if you are not the one that has to talk much and give reports on progress; when you are in a company of thousands and your usershare is only in the hundreds you ar small potatoes, you get to sit back and listen to other people sweat. I could smell the fear of not knowing exactly what was going on with some of the voices an late the excitment when everyone seemed to turn into monkeys flinging poo at each other.
I laugh a lot during this little exercises on human communication. From the guy that goes on a 2 minute talk only to realize he had a bad connection and everyone is trying to make him call back from the people that confuse mute with hold. Putting hundreds of people on mute is one thing, but putting them on hold so they have to continue the call almost shouting because classical elevato music is playing in the background is down right hilarious.
I have heard kids, dogs, birds and even club music in the background while people try to support a multinational company and still have a life. Not that I am totally innoncent and did not have to be quick to mute button when my cat Maia thinks I am talking to her and she decides to talk back. Time differences are also a source of amusment specially when you are handing off an issue. Someone is just started their day while the other cannot wait t get some sleep. I thought I knew everything there was to know about meetings, but I have been learning quite a bit more lately. It sucks to be this busy sometimes, but if you are, might as well laugh while hearing a guy probably sell mangoes in some street in bangalore.