The Meeting Commandments

IMG_8368From AGMs to workshops, briefings to seminars, no workplace is complete without a multitude of meetings. Ladies and gentlemen, I present “The meeting commandments”

1) Desire to consume digestive biscuits is directly proportionate to the length of the meeting; 9.00am: Who would eat a digestive? It’s the worst biscuit known to man. It tastes like sawdust. I’d rather lick the carpet. 11.30am: Is it just me or do those digestives smell tasty? Have they changed the recipe? 2.00pm: Where are those digestives? I’m so hungry, I have to have one right now. Oh my gosh, tasty brown wheaty goodness you are the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

2) When you are asked a question, it will not relate to anything discussed in the 4 hours, 59 minutes and 35.5 seconds when you were actually paying attention. It will instead relate to something discussed during the 24.5 seconds that you spent thinking about who your favourite Strictly dancer is/what you’re going to have for dinner tonight/why someone decided to fill the office biscuit tin with digestives/where you can buy red shoes to match your party frock/when the meeting might end (delete as appropriate).

3) PowerPoint has magical time bending qualities.  One real life minute is equivalent to seven minutes in PowerPoint land.

4) There will, without doubt, be a debate about the temperature of the meeting room. In the blue corner will be the chilly clique, all wrapped up in outside coats and scarves and yet still shivering. In the red corner will be team tropical; scarlet and sweating, they’re either feverish, overweight, menopausal or  sitting next to the closed window being blasted with magnified sunlight.

5) Yawning etiquitte. Do you a) Unashamably go for it. Open wide like you’re sitting in the dentist chair flashing your tonsils like a badge of honour. b) Become the master of disguise and sneakily transform your yawn into a fake cough or sneeze. c) Fight the yawn, clamp your mouth closed, hope that the yawn does not try to escape out of your nostrils or ears and try not to look too much like you’re sucking a lemon.

6) It is scientifically impossible to write on flip chart paper in a straight line.

7) Video conferencing brings a whole new raft of challenges, not least that if someone in the video conference rustles their papers within 10 feet of the microphone in a meeting room in London, it will produce a racket measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale in a meeting room in Scotland.

8) Getting the giggles in a meeting is bad form, however, being stuck in a tiny room for hours on end, deprived of oxygen and forced to consume digestives can sometimes cause spontaneous irrational laughter which can be difficult to contain.

9) If you are taking a conference call on hands free whilst driving and you are not actively involved in the discussion at the time, please remember to mute your phone. No-one wants to hear you chomping on your travel sweets or agressively referring to another motorist as a bloody bellend in a BMW.

10) If you are going to invite me to a meeting; ensure that digestive biscuits are not on the agenda.

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