If you work in an office in Nigeria, or anywhere in the world as a matter of fact, then I can bet that you have had your fair share of ‘annoying meetings’. Unfortunately, these meetings are a necessary evil; part of working in an office and it is expected that you do your best to manage them.
In a bid to successfully handle them, the first step that should be taken is understanding them. Having a clear understanding of these meetings will also ensure that you keep up both your morale and your head in the office.
The funny thing is that in most cases, you know the type of meeting you are in for right from the moment you get called to attend the meeting. But like so many other not-so-pleasant things in life, there’s really not much you can do to avoid the situation entirely, except hope and pray that it will take a different but positive twist be this time.
These are the seven different categories of annoying office meeting, and remember a really, really bad meeting can include lots of annoying meeting types in just one single meeting…Arrgggghh
1. The Impromptu Invitation
Ok, so you have been sitting in this meeting now for almost an hour and you are yet to understand a single word anybody has said. Obviously, you are there only because your boss couldn’t make the meeting themselves. The worst part of the deal is that he did not even take time to give you a briefing about the meeting, well except you’d count the three-lined email he sent five minutes before the meeting as sufficient information. Oh and yeah, he expects that you’re perfectly capable to handle any and all questions heading your way, even though you are completely unprepared.
2. The Drifting Topic
Now, you’re in a meeting and it quickly becomes very clear that nobody seems to be staying on topic. For instance, what may have started off as a meeting discussing the key strategies to effective content distribution, soon devolves into a rambling and pointless conversation about a colleague’s failure to attend happy-hour last Friday night.
Huge swathes of time disappear into a conversational black-hole, and before you know it time has ran out, and the person that set up the meeting has no choice but to speedily run through his incoherent and most times annoying to-say list and set yet another time for the next time-swallowing meeting, which has a strong probability of going exactly the same way.
3. The Bad Timing Meeting
Could they not get a more suitable time? Why you ask? Well, for one, because everyone else is at home having dinner or on a date with friends or that special someone, for goodness sake it’s after 5pm. Whatever the purpose of the meeting is, it is obviously not more important than getting lunch or meeting and having a good time with your friends after work, but nevertheless the meeting is important to the meeting organizer, and to them, having a social life outside work is not a good enough reason to not attend –or so they say.
So you are forced to sit there staring at the clock as the seconds tick by, your stomach is rumbling, while you’re imagining your friends on their second helping of pizza as you nod and smile and pretend that you have nothing else you’d rather be doing.
5. The Long Meeting
This meeting got you looking at your watch. You keep wandering how long have you been in this meeting? It’s been what? Three or Four hours? Time has lost all relevance, only your stomach and the pounding of your head gives you an idea of how long it is that you’ve been stuck in the same room, and the most annoying part of everything is that you’re still only on point four of seven of the presentation. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worst, the department’s ‘I-know-it-all’ insists on asking lots of questions. These questions have either already been answered, or nobody except the person asking them actually cares about the answer.
By the end of the meeting you have agreed to take on a lot more work than you normally would have, just to cut the meeting shorter.
6. Bad Gadgets
The meeting is heavily dependent on technology; it might be a projector, a video-conferencing line or a laptop. The sad thing is that the technology hasn’t been serviced, replaced or even checked in God knows how long, and despite the fact that the person who called the meeting was well aware of that, they decided against the need to test the equipment beforehand. Therefore, it’s no surprise to you when the entire first hour of the meeting was spent with the organizer under the desk tugging cables, or shouting ‘Hello’ through a crackly phone line, and despite the organizers claims of “it being all right the last time they tried it” most of the meeting time has disappeared into a blur of technology driven expletives.
7. The Meeting With the Annoying Coworker
You all know and have that one person you can’t even stand to even talk to at work? Now, come, no need to pretend, it’s why we are humans. Ok, so now, you’re trapped in a room with them. It’s not like they are bad or anything, but there is just something off about them that makes you question the entire hiring policy of the company. It might be that their personnel hygiene is a tad below average standards, maybe they insist on eating boiled eggs every day and don’t bother to rinse out their mouth after they do, or maybe they’re just one of those annoying and painfully-nice people that everybody seems to love except you.
Anyway, the point is, being in the same room with them drives you to distraction, and rather than listening to what’s going on, you’re stuck on their revolting nail-biting habit, or that dizzying scent of their perfume.
What makes these meetings totally annoying is that there’s absolutely nothing you can do to avoid them. It is however useful to remember that once you understand the categories of annoying meetings, you can use that understanding to your own advantage when you have to set up your own meeting.7 Types of Annoying Office Meetings by Stellamaris Obomanu