Ten reasons that meetings are not my natural environment

1. On a sunny day, the absolute last place I ever want to be is the third floor conference room of anywhere at all. I'd rather not know what I'm missing, thanks.

2. I can't ever decide if I'm more irritated by conversations that have nothing to do with the topic at hand, or the efforts of others to stay on task. Yes, I'm a control freak. No, a discussion with colleagues is not a good place to display this quality.

3. I learn by doing. My default approach to all tasks is "figure it out along the way." When someone asks me how to do something, I can demonstrate but not explain in words the process that is required. So it's five minutes to fuck up the explanation, then forty-five seconds to sit down and run through the task, then another five minutes to lead someone else through the task that I can recall with my hands but not my head. This makes meetings much longer than they need to be.

4. If I'm uncomfortable with someone, it makes my skin feel twitchy to be in the same room with them. This shows on my face, I think.

5. If I'm not, I have a tendency to completely forget that whole "personal space" thing. So I sometimes only remember afterwards that leaning past a person to the other end of a table is not the solution to a keyboard button that needs pressing. My sister would tell me to use words to get what I want, but that doesn't generally work as quickly.

6. Sitting and talking is not comfortable. Sitting, yes, and talking, sure thing. But the two together make me trip over my brain and say stupid things. I don't know how people manage to have conversations where they aren't moving and doing something else at the same time.

7. My law school poker face has gone completely to hell in the past four years. There was a time when I could sit for two hours and make no visible indication of what I was thinking. These days, I'm lucky if I make it two minutes.

8. Pizza + pop + laptop + meeting = accident waiting to happen. Even when I manage to make it through without spilling something, I spend the whole time waiting for the other shoe to drop.

9. Anyone who knows me is aware of my difficulties with the whole "don't interrupt" rule. This is a rule which is ruthlessly applied during things like meetings. The application of this rule is guaranteed to make me miserable. So miserable that I spend the rest of the day cranky and snappish with people who haven't the faintest idea why.

10. I leave meetings with a list of things to do, but my relief at being out of the meeting and my annoyance with anything related to it means that I avoid doing those things until the urge to throw something subsides.

And this is when the meeting itself goes as well as can be expected, and I like the people I'm meeting with, and it's about a topic that I enjoy talking about. In other words, I feel like crawling under a rock after a *good* meeting.

I want to punch walls and scream after bad ones. Most of them are somewhere in between, so things could be worse.


At 6/16/2006 12:32 PM, Blogger Priya said...

At least you got through it!


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