Combat Hunger in America: Fewer Muffins at Meetings!

If I did the math right, we will all spend roughly 89,000 hours in the workplace over our lifetime (just over 12% of all the hours allotted to us for our stay on this Earth). Based on my career experience heretofore, I’m guessing close to 30,000 of those hours will be spent in meetings.  And how many of those hours will have been time well spent? I shudder to think…

There are lots of self-help books out there on making meetings more productive and with those books comes lots of interesting advice which, if implemented, might actually make a positive impact. But the fact is, people just like to meet. It’s in our DNA…we are a communal folk. It makes us feel important and it gets us out from behind our desks. I’m generally ok with it. Having said that, there are two (trivial) things I’d like to change.

  1. All meetings must be scheduled so as not to exceed 1.5 hours. The attention span of the average adult is like 15 minutes. Multiply that by six and you’re really pushing it. If you can’t get done what you need to get done in 1.5 hours, then schedule two separate meetings on two separate days. You’re killing me.
  2. No more food and/or drink at meetings. First of all, it entices people to schedule meetings unnecessarily and it incents them to stay at those meetings longer than they should. Meetings aren’t supposed to be all cozy and comfortable. This isn’t your living room – get in and get out. Not to mention the appalling waste that comes from ordering food for meetings. Here’s a hint: order half of what you think you need. Seriously. Do we really need all that junk? Plus, there’s nothing more miserable than watching the masses vulture in on the leftovers that get moved to the break room. Hate it! Idea: Take what you would have spent on muffins for your morning meeting and donate it to a soup kitchen. Think of the impact!

Ahhh, it feels good to rant about trivial things from time to time. Or is it trivial?

Image Credit: Share our Strength

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4 Responses to Combat Hunger in America: Fewer Muffins at Meetings!
  1. Trish McFarlane
    December 10, 2010 | 11:54 am

    UGH! You’re so right, we should donate to soup kitchens and orgs that help feed the needy. I have to admit though that I am someone who ALWAYS wants desert at my meetings. It started back when I was with PwC. My secretary knew that I could care less if she ordered lunch for the group but as long as there were brownies and cookies, I was happy. How am I going to remain happy now in meetings? I’m sure you’ve got a great comeback!! (happy Friday Charlie)

  2. Charlie
    December 10, 2010 | 1:10 pm

    Trish – I didn’t say anything about liquor being excluded…just the food. Have a great weekend!

  3. John Jorgensen
    December 10, 2010 | 2:40 pm

    No drink at meetings. God forbid you aren’t including coffee in that. Business will “grind” to a halt.

  4. Charlie
    December 12, 2010 | 8:32 am

    john – coffee remains the sacred cow of the workplace…

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