Shout-Out To This Editor’s Bosses For Actually Attending The Meetings!

, , , , , | Working | August 20, 2020

I am a facilities manager for a medium-sized tech company. During a major expansion, we score a new operations director, stealing him away from one of our biggest customers. It should have been a clue that the customer didn’t seem all that upset to have lost him.

It quickly becomes apparent that our new director LOVES meetings. Every morning, all of us managers — about ten of us — have to attend his ops meeting, which never goes less than three hours and often runs over four hours.

In every one of those meetings, some of us are told to schedule new one-on-one meetings with him to discuss items from this meeting. We send the meeting requests, he accepts, and then 98% of the time he fails to appear, usually because he tends to double-, triple-, or quadruple-book and only ever attends meetings he’s scheduled himself in those cases.

One day, about three and a half hours into the ops meeting, an item in my area of responsibility comes up.

Director: “[My Name], why is this back on my agenda?”

Me: “I don’t know. I dealt with that three weeks ago. It was a five-minute fix.”

Director: “I thought I asked you to schedule a meeting with me to go over it.”

Me: “You did. I just figured I’d save you the trouble of standing me up by not scheduling it in the first place.”

That was the last time he ever spoke to me.

He tried to lay me off a few weeks later, but the owners were already on to him. He was given the opportunity to succeed elsewhere, meetings became fewer and further between, and I stayed with the company for about ten more years.

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