Been to any good meetings lately? Or should I ask: Have you ever been to a good meeting?
If you have a job, or belong to a church, a club or any sort of organization or if you are involved in local politics, you most likely have to attend meetings.
I’m not saying there aren’t groups that have productive meetings, but, overall, I find very little is accomplished during the course of most meetings.
There seems to be two types of meetings: Long meetings and short meetings. Of course the latter occurs only when the meeting is interrupted by a three alarm fire or an attendee goes into labor. Hell or high water might also shorten the meeting time. Thus, long meetings are the ones we usually attend.
Most meetings are planned with good intentions—intentions of solving a problem, or planning an event or developing some sort of strategy. Sometimes the person in charge of conducting the meeting can be blamed for turning what should be a thirty-minute discussion into a drawn out escapade comparable to Congressional hearing.
Too often he or she goes on and on and on about absolutely nothing and lulls his or her listeners into a daydream that can only be broken by the activation of the sprinkler system. There are few breaks because these drawn out speakers to possess a bladder the size of the Boar’s Head balloon and enough hot air to fill it.
I belong to quite a few organizations, work outside the home, go to church, and attend civic meetings. What I have discovered is that most of the meetings I attend do not go on till midnight because of the leaders’ poor planning and lack of organizational skill, these meetings go on and on and on because of a small, but boisterous, group of individuals I like to refer to as verbal vampires and talkative twits.
Verbal vampires are those people who show up at public meetings with no speaking skills or professional etiquette whatsoever and enjoy causing a raucous. They tend to lack the ability to focus on present issues and tend to dwell on issues that were resolved at an earlier meeting—but not resolved to their liking. They show up with an attitude that usually stems from either their inability to work with others or the fact their skull is three-fourths to an inch thicker than the average human. Instead of seeking medical attention they are more interested in gaining social attention my lashing out at everyone in the meeting hall and becoming a legend in their own mind.
Verbal vampires can be vicious. They seem to gain much pleasure from going for jugular vein of those conducting the meeting and even those simply attending. Sadly, thir sharp teeth lose a lot of their bite because they have swooped down so often that no one really takes them seriously anymore. How unfortunate it is that vampires are unable to see their reflections in mirrors. If they did, these verbal menaces might take a look at themselves and see just how ridiculous they are acting.
And then there are the talkative twits. They usually stand up and follow the obnoxious bellowing of the verbal vampires. Talkative twits show up at meetings with an attitude that stems from personal inadequacies and their inability to deal with life in general. They blame everybody for everything and try to convince the world that the world is out to get them. These unfortunate twits go through life thinking the definition of “fair” is “everybody does everything I want them to do”.
Twits love the sound of their own voice. They go on and on and on about absolutely everything and everyone. After all is said and done, nobody really cares about what they are saying. They flit about like hyenas that have had a few too many cappuccinos at the local watering hole; spitting out their complaints and losing more and more character points with each laughable paragraph.
Finally, after the meeting has gone an hour over its scheduled time and the verbal vampires are red-faced and the talkative twits are fanning themelves and trying to catch their breath, what have we accomplished? Well, we have all come together and exercised our freedom of speech which, of course, is a good thing.
Verbal vampires leave with their chests poked out in victory even though they accomplished nothing, the talkative twits are happy with their ranting and raiding though no one knows what they said, the meeting organizers have heard from the people, and the rest of us have had a 50/50 experience—50 percent informative and 50 percent entertaining.
We all will have the opportunity to attend plenty more meetings. Some will be poorly organized, some will be boring, some exciting, and others will be infiltrated by those characters of which I have described. If you don’t mind long meetings, I suggest you sit back and enjoy the show. If you would like to go to a meeting and get out as quickly as possible, maybe a bunch of us could get together and discuss our options.
When should we meet? It shouldn’t take too long. Should it?