Cheeseburger Gothic

Procrastination Masterclass

Posted February 16, 2014 into Funny by John Birmingham

I've been enjoying the challenge of coming up with a non-news related funny column each Sunday. Although, I think I'll be relieved when it's over.

Today's topic, procrastination.

I'm JB and I will be your master for today's class. You might know me from some of the very interesting articles I failed to submit on time, or the amusing columns I never got around to writing at all. I have not published more than a dozen books that I'm sure would have been very popular, and some of which were undoubtedly a lay down misere to not win some quite prestigious awards had they been written … which they weren't.

[Insert your joke about reading it later in the comment thread below].

15 Responses to ‘Procrastination Masterclass’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 16, 2014

I just couldn't wait to post something on this interesting and compelling topic! I've been working hard on formulating a new theory explaining procrastion. I am engergized and motivated!

More on this later.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted February 16, 2014

"I can complete any task I’m assigned, as long as I have something more important to do.“

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted February 16, 2014

I got nothing, I’m putting off procrastinating until next week .

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Blarkon asserts...

Posted February 16, 2014

"Any sufficiently advanced procrastination will be indistinguishable from preparation"

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted February 16, 2014

Related to procrastination is the truism of Parkinson's law:
"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

Though there is the corollary, which neatly states the positive side of procrastination:
"If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do."

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insomniac mutters...

Posted February 16, 2014

I hate it in the mornings when ms insomniac dawdles; she makes me late for work and wastes my goofing off time.

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Blake swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 17, 2014

i would make a joke about reading it later, but ive got other work to do so I felt I could best maximise my procrastination time by reading it first then make an unneccesary comment here.

I'm a big fan of that essay which used to exist a few years ago online by an American philosophy professor who made the point that by structuring your procrastination appropriately you could actually get more work done (than you're standard procrastinator). Unfortunately I think he's pulled out most of the detail of the essay in an effort to sell books.

http://www.structuredprocrastination.com

insomniac asserts...

Posted February 17, 2014

I agree with the prof's sentiments. On a possibly related note, many many years ago when TQM became the rage, the committee formed to study these things decided to do a time efficiency thingo, so we were required to categorise what we did every 15 minutes. The results were never released officially, but the morons on the committee had a habit of printing something to the communal printer and then forgetting to collect it, so it did become published in a way. The category where you had been doing nothing had been graphed for the 20 or so of us. It started off very low, and built up at the very end where I suspect I was, at about 20% doing nothing, and yet I was one of the busier, and higher output, people. I may piss around for long periods of the day, but when I work I do so quickly and accurately. I'm definitely a procrastinator (I'm here aren't I), but perhaps not a structured one, and I don't sit around expanding my work to fill the time, as expounded by w above.

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Conspiracy Cat puts forth...

Posted February 17, 2014

You don't have my address. I couldn't be arsed filling out the enrolment form.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted February 18, 2014

A tweep asked why we weren't packing up the detrit, er, accumulated possessions of a lifetime to move south. I'm using the old assignment technique of doing nothing until the last minute then throwing something together in a panic. It's worked for me so far.

Conspiracy Cat would have you know...

Posted February 19, 2014

Oooooh, remind me to come and check out your first hard rubbish collection after the move. I'm in need of another trebuchet, and there's probably a few echidna skulls I could find a use for.

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted February 18, 2014

Don't you have a new book coming out ... Weapons of Choice or some such thing?

Why was there no reference to faffing in that cartoon?

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted February 19, 2014

I don't know about anybody else, but on the slider at the top that highlights recent blogs, I am a little unsettled by the photo for 'Procrastination Masterclass'.

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Isabella Moncrieff is gonna tell you...

Posted February 22, 2014

I am so glad I came across this while procrastinating!

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The Meeting II

Posted January 19, 2014 into Funny by John Birmingham

I write one of these each year for The Age, at about this time each year. Minutes of a meeting with cat and the dog. On the agenda, corporate fitness.

[JB] explained the five stages of the Fitness Friday program, stage one being the very meeting in which they were currently engaged. The consultation phase. Cat and the dog were then asked for their thoughts on how the company might improve opportunities for the staff to exercise more. The dog was very enthusiastic about chasing more cars, barking at nothing and perhaps more vigorous licking of its anus. Cat proposed that it take more high-intensity naps.

15 Responses to ‘The Meeting II’

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2014

I propose a meeting about some meetings being a waste of time.

Fuck yeah I will make my day longer so I can sweat in work time.

How good is the Company that cares about my physical fitness?

Reminds me of those 'pep' meetings to instill some excitement and positivity!

Loud music/dancing/physical hand clapping.

Sweet baby cheeses.

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2014

As I thought you had an elegant sufficiency of cats, aren't you in danger of your cats banding together, forming a voting bloc, and outvoting you and the dog on important matters?

Lobes puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2014

Unlikely to happen. In JBs house all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted January 20, 2014

The proposals you introduced at the meeting have that horrifying tone of what really does get suggested by a significant fraction of clueless middlemanagers promoted beyond their competence and forced to justify their position by devising ridiculous programs and mindless slogans so cleverly parodied by the demotivators™ organisation at Dispair inc.

The handmaidens of this pernicious group think are the ‘consultants’ who go around promoting the latest quack system and your piece makes me realise that if you ever chose to use your talents for evil rather than good, (well betterness at least) then you could be the master of a corporate empire selling these snake oil nostrums in no time.

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JBtoo asserts...

Posted January 20, 2014

You would not believe the number of internal spam emails I receive each week along these lines. Oh wait, you work for Fairfax - of course you would believe.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2014

Good to see you're optimising cross-silo synergies in line with corporate values and team-focused customer actuations.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted January 20, 2014

And yes, I was once forced to sit through a couple of days of Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective Sleep Inducing Self Help Motivational Nonsense Concepts Which Costs Megabucks For People To Endure So Thank You Suckers Signed Stephen Covey

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Johnny B Gone mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2014

I love these cat dog meetings. Kinda like people meetings. 'Cept shorter. And with bacon.

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted January 20, 2014

ya fkn foregot the proposal to reduce the number of fkn fur balls, the subsequent decision to form a fkn SUB FKN COMMIITTEE!!! FFSAKES and table theit initial findings at the fkn next meeting, but wait!..theres fkn more. Its been noted that assessing the individuals balls fur coughed fkn up, might be a personal fkn intrusion, thereby requiring P & FKN C ( thats people and fkn Culture, once known as fkn HR) to be brought in to fkn SANITISE ALL DOCUMENTATION AND CORRESPONDENCE before any fkn does anything, looks fkn sides waysm or communivcated even via fkn TELEPATHY! against the fkn odd chnace some oh so deserved fkn retard might be fkn offended!. WHEN they report back and having vetted all and fkn sundry the sub committee, might make a reccomendation to the main committee who in turn report to the executive sponsor, who being a member of the fkn executive fkn committee will pass it on. In the fkn mean time the business has either gone fkn arse up, missied the opportunity or has necked its fkn self, or!.....well, fkn hell, they wonder why ya wanna cut ya wrists or....CAP SOME FKN DESERVED FKN GIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2014

People & Culture? I remember some arsehat middle manager suggested renaming the accounts department to Adding Up or some such nonsense. A lot of us spurted coffee through our nostrils at that meeting. No, we didn't punch her in the face.

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2014

This a true story. A very large Australian organisation had a series of very important meetings to devise a new name for an office within the organisation. They came up with a new name and, brimming with awe at their own awesomeness, they announced the name to the nation. The section will now be known as 'Compliance Unit, National Team'.

Oh, how delighted everyone was, but, after rolling around the floor in hysterics for a while, eventually someone did suggest to the powers-that-be that the acronym of the new name may be problematic.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted January 22, 2014

I worked with a Gov dept who had a Strategic Communication And Marketing unit.

oh how we laughed

insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 22, 2014

20 years ago when I was working at the Patent Office, they formed a committee for Occupational Health and Safety when the craze took hold. I don't know if it was ever called thus, but we always knew it as ...

Not helped of course by the shitheads on said committee.

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Bruce Baldey asserts...

Posted January 22, 2014

Funniest thing I have read since, since...since...

You have the psyche of cats and dogs down pat (sorry).

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 22, 2014

Your dog and cat are more outspoken since the last annual meeting, JB, but it's nice to see that you encourage an inclusive work environment. No top down dictatorship in your writing roost, methinks.

I trust you, sweet puss, and the labrador mutt will attain Black Caviar form come the Melbourne Cup racing season, and request that you ration the bacon, donuts, and cream.

Happy 2014!

Yours in fitness,

JG.

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Reconstruction: Youtube Comment War of the Beliebers

Posted November 23, 2013 into Funny by John Birmingham

I gotta get this done for Blunty. A comedy troupe hired a couple of classical actors to 'perform' a Youtube flame war as an icily murderous dinner table conversation.

It is brilliant.

13 Responses to ‘Reconstruction: Youtube Comment War of the Beliebers’

DrYobbo mumbles...

Posted November 23, 2013

This needs to be a thing which remains a thing for some time and through several iterations.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted November 23, 2013

!

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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she_jedi mutters...

Posted November 23, 2013

What Murph said.

I'm speechless with awe at the sheer comedic brilliance of this. Who the hell would have dreamed of such as this, much less make it happen?

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Flinthart has opinions thus...

Posted November 23, 2013

Yes. Just... yes.

How wonderful.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted November 24, 2013

Man, I want someone to do this with some of my interactions at the pool and classroom.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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MickH has opinions thus...

Posted November 24, 2013

Some of the flames on the athiest pages would be just brilliant

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted November 24, 2013

though for amny of the 'coversations' in youtube comments it would probably be more appropriate for the level of debate if it was voiced by 4 year olds. Poorly socialised four year olds.

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BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted November 25, 2013

That was great. Didn't think it was possible to care that much about One Direction, but there you go.

What we need now is a similar reconstruction of reader's comments from an article on the Daily Terror website about, say, gay marriage, the Republic, Julia Gillard's legacy, or the carbon tax. Mind you, there'll be a lot of crimes against grammar, spelling and rationality, but these two actors should be able to rise above.

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JG is gonna tell you...

Posted November 25, 2013

Brilliant. Shakespeare at his best. Haha. Thanks for the first laugh of the day. Will pass this clip on to my daughter.

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Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted November 25, 2013

Brilliant. Like Shakespeare on twatter, like.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted November 26, 2013

Yes.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted November 28, 2013

Loved it. Simply loved it.

Check this out: Josh Groban sings Kanye West Tweets:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Axzxe1a78E

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Respond to 'Reconstruction: Youtube Comment War of the Beliebers'

To boldly go and get shitfaced wheresh, grngll,.. what're you lookin' at you don' know me at all

Posted September 6, 2013 into Funny by John Birmingham

I always assume everyone sees these things as soon as they hit the webz. But then not everyone spends as much time on the webz as I do. For, er, research. Yes, research.

Anyway, this is how space battles should always be fought.

Drunk.

6 Responses to ‘To boldly go and get shitfaced wheresh, grngll,.. what're you lookin' at you don' know me at all’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 6, 2013

I always felt that the space battles in Star Wars - although perhaps not fought drunk - were conceived of by really, really drunk generals.

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BigWillieStyle is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2013

Luuuuke, I'myafaaather ya fugggin little..............the fuggya lookin' at?? Yagotta twin shishter.......fuggin Obi-Wan hid yez from me the old c...c...cun...ah fugg yez all.

Empire would have been so much better if they'd made Vader a pisspot.

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Dick has opinions thus...

Posted September 6, 2013

I did actually see this on the Fairax entertainment page. Haven't watched it yet as I rarely access the interwebs except at work, and I get funny looks when I play movies at work.

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Barnesm mutters...

Posted September 6, 2013

To be fair the navigation officer who sees four, no five ...contacts was probably only one.

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Rob would have you know...

Posted September 6, 2013

that was awesome , along with Drunk History booze really makes narrative come alive,

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Sekret Sekret asserts...

Posted September 6, 2013

And that, people, is what Star Wars, LotR, Star Trek, Buffy The Vampire Killer, DR Who , Iron Man, Batman Returns, and Every Other Blockbuster feels like to every non - American- Blockbuster film goer.
Gold, JB.

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Think I like like writing for bookies more than the news media

Posted August 21, 2013 into Funny by John Birmingham

These guys know how to treat a blog about zombie policy.

(In one of those odd cross overs of this business, the sportsbet.com.au guys asked me to write something for them after I interviewed their poltical markets trader for a feature I'm writing on Rudd).

Anyway, zombie policy. A perennial fave of mine in an election year.

16 Responses to ‘Think I like like writing for bookies more than the news media’

Barnesm mutters...

Posted August 21, 2013

First World Problem I can not access it becasue Work blocked it for catagory:gambling thats gotta be UnAustralian

insomniac reckons...

Posted August 21, 2013

snap, although I get Forbidden Category "Gambling"

Surtac has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2013

Yep. Same same here.

Dave W reckons...

Posted August 21, 2013

This category is forbidden: gambling

Peter in the bleaches mumbles...

Posted August 22, 2013

And again.

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Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted August 21, 2013

JB

I saw your first video 'Bar ometer' about the election at The Age.

Have you done more and are you able to link them here at CBG?

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted August 21, 2013

Wow it's like we woke up in Hitler's Germany.

Bunyip has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2013

Nazis? No Nazis here. They've been long dead and buried...

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2013

Gold + Mr B.

Bunyip mumbles...

Posted August 21, 2013

@NBlob "Tomorrow belongs to... braaaaiinnnsssss"

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 21, 2013

Is 'Bar ometer' Verbotten?

Who was that vixen Marlena?

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JG has opinions thus...

Posted August 21, 2013

Nice. Noice. I like your vizuals, yer visuals, John... even the grab from the polly rock You Tube clip, Round and Round.

Anyway, I expect an open invite to your zombie bunker in the mail. Nah, forget it. Those freaks will get you too. Your bumker won't save you,JB.

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she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted August 21, 2013

Man I'm crushed I didn't try to access this at work. I work for a casino, and I'm dying to know if it would be a "Forbidden Category: Gambling". Oh the irony.

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat has opinions thus...

Posted August 22, 2013
24 carat, JB. Now I want to see you guest starring on the ABC's Q&A on the same topic. Just to see you run rings around that red speedos guy.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted August 22, 2013

JB

Today is your lucky day.

http://rt.com/usa/nasa-sells-shuttle-launchpad-786/

Go you halves?

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Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted August 23, 2013

JB, JB, JB.... blogging not only for a gambling concern but a foreign owned one!! I have to asy that I have an account with them as the opposition just to see what they are up to and to compare odds but really, supporting Paddy Power and encouraging the export of dollars to the Poms and the Paddys?

But I did enjoy the article.

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The Meeting

Posted July 15, 2013 into Funny by John Birmingham

(From the back page of the Sunday Age)

I called a meeting this week. I felt it was important to meet because I read an article in The Wall Street Journal about how checklists could turn ineffective meetings into growling, super-charged engines of productivity. My spluttering, lawnmower engine of productivity often coughs and stalls when I’m distracted by articles of eye glazing dullness on sites I would never visit in a million years were I not on deadline, so at the top of my meeting checklist was an agenda item to discuss the importance of not reading Wall Street Journal articles about meeting checklists.

I summoned my department heads and senior VPs of this and that which, since I work from home, meant the cat and the dog. The dog, who is the hero of our organization’s long struggle to waste as little effort as possible was already efficiently asleep under my desk, her early arrival at the meeting signaled by gentle farts and a rumbling snore.

The cat, however, was nowhere to be seen. Hmm. This meeting was already going off the rails. Not sure how to proceed, I checked back with the Journal.

The other division heads are plotting against me. I know it.

The ‘first thing to check’ said The Wall Street Journal, was whether this meeting required ‘a meeting’ or whether we could simply meet? Given the many, long festering rivalries between my subordinates, disputes which have on occasion erupted into open hostilities, the chances of being able to resolve anything during some informal corridor meet up were judged to be somewhat less than the chances of any such meet up turning into a yowling, spitting explosion of bad blood and fur.

It seemed then that we did require a proper meeting, because important working people in this go-go business world of ours are always meeting and if we were not to be left behind it was time to get down to business and started checking off that list. Cat or no cat.

The dog farted, once, softly in agreement.

Having satisfied the need for our meeting, but still hamstrung by the absence of a key player, I turned to the Journal for guidance. The dog lifted her head at the mention of ham.

Are the right people meeting, the Journal demanded to know, and only the right people? The dog signaled her agreement with some on topic flatulence that, as far as she was concerned we had everyone present who needed to be present, but there should probably be some ham, too. I opened a window to clear the air of her contribution. She did have a point, though. According to The Wall Street Journal, anyone not directly contributing to the meeting was nothing more than a Meeting Tourist and should be detailed off to more productive work.

This raised an important point that I felt justified moving off-agenda, even if only briefly, lest this meeting fail to meet its objectives, forcing me to return to writing something for money. The cat, by his studied indifference to and absence from a meeting he very well knew to be important to the future of this whole operation, was not contributing. As such he really couldn’t be considered anything more than a Meeting Tourist and should be dismissed to get back to his core competencies of having a long nap on the front deck unless he was already busy sleeping in the sunny spot on the couch.

But if the cat wasn’t there, how could we even move these things forward.

Well, Wall Street Journal? Well?!!?

The Journal, never one to be taken unexpectedly by the unexpected, demanded to know “who is leading this meeting”. For the first time I was actually thankful for the absence of the cat which has long questioned and even openly challenged the formal hierarchy of our organization.

“Me,” I said. “I’m in charge here. Don’t listen to that damned cat.”

I could have sworn the dog laughed at that point, but she cunningly pretended to be asleep again and turned it into a snore when I glared at her. This whole meeting was teetering precariously on the edge of collapse and ignominy. I had deadlines to attend to, paying deadlines, and yet here I was stuck in some interminable meeting that stopped me from moving on to other things which could have just as unprofitably stopped me from moving onto those deadlines.

Buzzfeed’s very important articles on “The Miniature Pigs You Need To See Before You Die” and “40 Things We Learned At The Hedgehog Convention” remained unread while I was shitting stress kittens trying to deal with the ticking timebomb of this whole meeting checklist fiasco.

The last thing I needed to hear at that moment was the whiny, judgmental drone of the The Wall Street Bloody Journal asking “Are you stressing yourself by trying to run the agenda, keep time, take notes, direct the conversation all at once?”

No! I was stressing myself by trying to bring some semblance of order to a bloody shambles of a day that had been torpedoed amidships by my shiftless and disloyal feline Vice President for lounging around on his furry arse all day and the complete lack of anything even resembling support from Farty the Wonder Dog who decided to opt out of any sensible contribution just because there was no ham on the agenda.

Finally, in a fit of rage I declared the meeting closed and stormed out of the office, only to be confronted by the cat, arriving late, saying he’d heard there was ham.

30 Responses to ‘The Meeting’

Rob reckons...

Posted July 15, 2013

That reminds me of a meeting I had organised by a colleague doing a masters degree in management. If I bought my pugs it would have been more interesting, actually the cats and pugs would have made it better.

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Conspiracy Cat puts forth...

Posted July 15, 2013

Once my kidlets were all in school, I found it provident - nay, essential - to gather the family together on a weekly basis to discuss family business. The Sunday night agenda would list such things as upcoming events, (like dress-up days at school, so I'm not stuck making a goat costume at midnight the day before - again), outstanding homework projects (as we don't have a dog to blame for eating them), and who has detention for failing to bring in goat costumes or homework projects the previous week.

As is to be expected, the only way I can entice the family to the meeting table is with deep fried food wrapped in bacon. I can usually manage to discuss (...nag about...) three agenda items before all the good stuff is eaten and the remainder (usually salad) is used for what has become (despite my strenuous objections) an obligatory family meeting food fight. (Allegedly we are a democracy, and I was outvoted. *sigh*). I have learned the hard way to never serve corn cobs on a Sunday night.

Somehow I doubt the Wall Street Journal would have mentioned that.

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sibeen reckons...

Posted July 15, 2013

I have similar staffing issues at my home office, JB.

The yougest staff member is always complaining about me calling her a bitch.

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insomniac asserts...

Posted July 15, 2013

The dog is a toady. A cat would never be as yes-man.

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted July 15, 2013

Labradors=Farts.

When they get up, for no good reason, and walk away you should take note; it's gonna be a bad one.

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Carolyn Cordon is gonna tell you...

Posted July 15, 2013

Don't trust the cat. Cat's always have their own agenda. and the words World Domination always feature prominently. Just don't trust the cat, your life and the lives of millions depend on your vigilence.

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat ducks in to say...

Posted July 15, 2013
You're right, Carolyn. It's taken me 7 months, but I have finally wrestled back my office from the cat.

I just Googled "cats and world domination" and there are whole websites devoted to this disturbing truth.

On a serious note, there is a team where I work which has "stand-up meetings" - no one is allowed to take a seat, because they want the meetings to take under 10 minutes and be super-slick. Seems to work, but no fried food.

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Jayanthi's Atomic Cat reckons...

Posted July 15, 2013
"God made the cat in order that humankind might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger."

- Fernand Mery

Watch out for that crouching tiger!

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Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted July 15, 2013

I have had far less productive meetings than that with actual people (no offense to any dog or cat who's convinced that they are indeed people). Also got sin-binned from head's of dept meetings for suggesting that most of the items were of no interest to more than two or three people, if anyone. Three week "penalty".

damian mumbles...

Posted July 16, 2013

There is a joy in practising the art of disrupting the boring and pointless meeting, a joy that is born in the blackest despair. The very best thing is when your alleged derailment actually turns the meeting productive and leads to a positive outcome.

Well okay, not the very best thing. There are many, many better things. But context is everything...

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted July 16, 2013

Meetings need to have an agenda and discipline.
On the fun side, I once somewhat reformed a regular meeting that had developed bad timewasting practices by accurately recording the minutes.

  • Simone proposed that her second child, Tommy, was getting too much homework from his 3rd grade teacher. Bob said that, when he was in 3rd grade, he didn't get any homework. It was agreed that Tommy seemed to be getting too much homework.
  • Barry said it took him 75 minutes to get to work that day. It was agreed by all that the traffic is getting terrible. Sally proposed that Barry consider public transport. Barry said that he would try 'park and ride' and report back.

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RobertL would have you know...

Posted July 15, 2013
FFS I see heaps of this sort of management advice at work and it's all shit. It's all just common sense. Good managers don't need it and bad managers will never understand it. Once every six months or so I pick up a useful tidbit but that's all.

ww8 has opinions thus...

Posted July 17, 2013

That is truth!

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Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted July 16, 2013

I love meetings. I love even more cancelling them or rescheduling at the last minute. So far just today I have screwed up 3!! Dogs are indeed "yes men" but cats are "what evahs". The only good cat is a catseroled cat. My dog loves catserole.

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted July 16, 2013

+1 for catserole.

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Shifty Tourist puts forth...

Posted July 16, 2013

Reminds me of my last job where I was in charge of a team of, lets say, "very special people." Anyone who has worked in government service knows who I'm talking about... the "ghosts".... they are often seen pushing mail carts around, have been in the public service for decades, and have been redeployed about a dozen times as their workplaces closed, restructered... to the point where nobody is around who actually remembers hiring them.

I had a manager who would insist I hold fortnightly team meetings... he was what you could rightly call a management type. He'd read all the books, was all about developing people, efficiency, change (for the sake of change)... part of his plan to get the team to work better was having meetings to discuss processes and bring about "change" for efficency. I kept wanting to tell him, "they're giving it, all they've got Cap'n".... but of course, young ambitious and not completely stupid I knew I couldn't say that.... so we did the team meetings, every fortnight basically the same (because the work hadn't changed, or any potential to change being extremely) just me talking, awkward silences as I seek input which never comes from the crew.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted July 16, 2013

'but of course, young ambitious and not completely stupid I knew I couldn't say that...'

Wish you had.

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Surtac ducks in to say...

Posted July 16, 2013

Having seen the John Cleese training film 'Meetings. Bloody Meetings.' many years ago, I've subsequently been very cynical about meetings ever since. And I think I've seen every variation and fashion in the meeting space, including the stand up type (popular with Booz Allen Hamilton while they were here in a contractor / consultant role iirc).

And Shifty is right: they always seem to end up in the mail room.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted July 16, 2013

Luckily I no longer have to attend many meetings. I used to volunteer to take the minutes. Whatever happened in the meeting is what I put on paper and by jingies you can get away with making up a lot of crap. Just make sure that the person with 'issues' gets his/her name mentioned a lot. There's always someone with 'issues'. Probably more than one which keeps them busy interrupting each other in discussion about the merits of paperclips versus spring back clips.These types live for meetings and the subsequent minutes; its the only time they see their name in print and for some people its their own little fifteen minutes. Loved under a 'budget' agenda item once I minuted the meeting agreeing to invade Poland. The only person interested in 'budget' received a redacted version of the minutes. I only had one other attendee mention the Poland thing and that wasn't the 'issues' person. They were too busy re-reading their starring role in the paperclip debate and basking in their post meeting glow, preparing their agenda item for the following month.

Shifty Tourist is gonna tell you...

Posted July 16, 2013

Stupid stupid debate.... paperclips versus springback clips. What moron would choose paperclips.... and don't get me started on four clip binders versus two clip binders.

Dave W is gonna tell you...

Posted July 16, 2013

omigod omigod omigod- mori clips!

Mori clips are da bomb, paper clips and springback clips suck arse. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you just don't work in an office and understand how these things can sometimes excite the imagination. Just imagine how bored you'd have to be for the appropriate way to keep two pieces of paper together.

Yeah, that's right, that bored.

Shifty Tourist mutters...

Posted July 18, 2013

Mori clip!! Fracking philistine!!!

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted July 16, 2013

What you should be worried about is the meeting that cat was attending whilst not attending yours......

It may have been held in the kitchen

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Johnny B Gone mutters...

Posted July 16, 2013

That was an awesome Tuesday morning read.

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted July 16, 2013

Cheers guv

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Tim Richards mutters...

Posted July 16, 2013

"What you should be worried about is the meeting that cat was attending whilst not attending yours......

It may have been held in the kitchen"

Chaz I think you were just missing the final line:

"WHERE THE KNIVES ARE KEPT."

And yes, I should be writing things for money right now too.

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Garth puts forth...

Posted July 16, 2013

Haha! Echoes of Kinky Friedman in there too, nicely done.

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oberonsghost mutters...

Posted July 16, 2013

Hilarious. Many thanks for the belly-laugh.

*heads off to find ham sandwich*

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Len puts forth...

Posted July 16, 2013

Yup. The cat was involved in something far more serious than your meagre attempt at a meeting. He's controlling the agenda, running the whole show behind your back, making plans that extend generations into the future. And he'll strike when you least expect it. My advice? The next time you want to hold a meeting, find the cat first. He'll be attending the real deal and then, you'll know. You'll really know. Good luck.

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JG ducks in to say...

Posted July 16, 2013

Holy shit, you're better off playing your playing marbles than holding a meeting, John. I did however, approve of the good-looking cat and dog, pictured, albeit not your mangy (mangey? whatever... yeasty infested) pets.

The lustrous black cat and the grinning dog who reminded me of myself circa 1984, stoned, were, I trust, not harrassed to attend your said meeting. I am prepared to call the RSPCA.

I trust also that working from home does not drive you stir crazy.

Respectfully, Ms JG aka Joanna who cannot be trusted, JG.

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