18 Comments

  1. They’re having a meeting to schedule a meeting. Why not just have the actual meeting now?

    Sort of standard joke about executives who are addicted to pointless meetings.

    Of course, in actuality, you might schedule a one-off meeting, and one of the first things you might need to do is figure our a regular meeting time for the group.

  2. The idiot boss got everyone together so they could schedule a meeting. No one wants to tell the boss he’s an idiot and this *is* a meeting.

  3. Of course, he could be getting everybody together briefly to make sure everybody can set aside time for a really long meeting

  4. Rationalizing his behavior undermines the joke. If you want the panel to be funny, then the boss has to be an idiot.

  5. I was once in a meeting where we had to figure out a regular schedule for keeping our groups in sync. One group thought we needed fairly frequent sync-ups, and one group thought occasional ones would be good enough. Eventually, both sides were satisfied when we agreed on “biweekly” meetings.

    Hilarity ensued when we got down to the details of what “biweekly” meant.

  6. Back when Dilbert was funnier: The Pointy-Haired Boss announces there will be a short pre-meeting before their regular meeting to assure it goes smoothly. Dilbert asks if they’re just going to dive into the pre-meeting. Last panel shows the PHB calling the pre-pre-meeting to order as other employees glare at Dilbert.

  7. Had a great job at a great company with an amazing leader (in the actual sense of the word). He had three rules for meetings and they were followed:

    1. All meetings must have an agenda, even if it is just a few lines, to keep discussion focused
    2. All meetings are to be no more than 60 minutes in length, start on time and end on time
    3. No recapping for latecomers as this penalizes those who arrived on time

    This place had the most productive meetings I’ve ever attended. Now, there were a few meetings, like the quarterly senior management review, which did take more than an hour, but operationally, it was an hour max.

    If did help that it was a great company staffed with really capable people (excluding myself), so not a lot of deadwood taking up time and space.

  8. If you’ve ever worked in a big company or government office, scheduling a meeting to schedule meetings doesn’t even register on the absurdity scale.

  9. Now, a progress report that reports how you’re progressing on your progress reports — THAT would be meta.

  10. Ugh, this hits close to home. My work built a brand new meeting room last year. It’s very nice, with comfy seats and three gigantic touch-screen TVs. Ever since then, the number of meetings they schedule has quadrupled. It’s hard to get any actual work done sometimes.

  11. @Kilby: “Rationalizing his behavior undermines the joke. If you want the panel to be funny, then the boss has to be an idiot.”

    Don’t know if I *want* the panel to be funny or not, but since this is PARDON MY PLANET, I’d recognize that “wanting” that would be pretty much a lost cause (and certainly “expecting” it would be).

  12. @ B.A. and even more @ Shrug – I said “IF“, and I meant “IF!” Nobody is required to rescue this mediocre joke.

  13. “Of course, in actuality, you might schedule a one-off meeting, and one of the first things you might need to do is figure our a regular meeting time for the group.”

    It isn’t just business settings and business executives, either.

    Back when I was coaching robot teams (a team to build robots, not of robots) we’d have a meeting to announce our existence and recruit new members, and then have to find meeting days and times that worked with the team members different schedules.

  14. “Now, there were a few meetings, like the quarterly senior management review, which did take more than an hour, but operationally, it was an hour max.”

    I worked in an environment where a small group of managers had weekly meetings, but the rest of the staff only had one meeting per year. It was scheduled for 2 days but often left things unresolved, requiring follow-on meetings.

  15. One of features of “agile programming” is to have daily status meetings, but they’re “stand-up” meetings. Meaning you stay on your feet. Supposed to cut down the length of the meeting.

  16. Only meetings I have been to have been as a board member of a “club”. Generally the board meetings of both our reenactment unit and my embroidery chapter start late, run just about as long as needed, and rarely have any disagreements. My job at both sets of meetings is to say “How much will that cost?” or “Let’s try to keep the costs down.” or “We are going to feed dinner both days to all of the participants at the reenactment from all the units and we are going to build a fort? How much will that cost? Can we keep the costs down?”

    With the exception of the meeting last week for mom to be leaving the short term rehab center she is in – met with staff, Robert, one sister (who was the one who knew what was going on) and the other sister on conference call – there my job was to say “How much will cost for mom to go there?” “Can we keep the costs down?”

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