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Old 07-19-2014, 08:49 PM
 
317 posts, read 791,165 times
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I don't know how pervasive this is in other industries, but I work in the public sector and it seems like there is a total and utter lack of regard for meeting times. This isn't true among everyone, but some employees show very little respect when they stroll into a meeting 5-10 minutes late and other times are complete no-shows.

More than once, I've had one particular coworker not show up to a meeting at all until we had to send someone to retrieve her, DESPITE the fact that she 1) had accepted the meeting, 2) was sitting at her desk right before the meeting, and 3) had a big flashy Outlook reminder on her screen, which was obviously ignored. And these aren't the big division staff meetings where attendance is kind-of-but-not-really mandatory. These are small 3-4 person meetings, where I need everyone who said they were going to attend to actually attend.

If people have legitimate excuses, I can understand that if I'm notified promptly. But to ignore a meeting that you're supposed to be at just to continue lounging at your desk is extremely rude.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:58 AM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,228,412 times
Reputation: 3565
Yes, it is rude. Knowing that we can't change others, and can only change our reactions to others, I ask: Do you always start and end your meetings on time?

When a company usually waits to start meetings until everyone arrives, or will stop the meeting and recap for the late-arrivers what was covered, people lose their sense of urgency.

In a culture of back to back meetings, going right up to the ending point or even "just a minute" over, makes people late for their subsequent meetings. 50-minute meetings have not caught on where I work and some of our buildings on campus are a good 10-15 minute walk apart. (Doesn't account for the woman sitting at her desk, of course, but it does account for the culture of how employees view meetings)
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,238 posts, read 9,994,274 times
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Retired now, but, can certainly reflect on the 'meeting culture' of many organizations. Frankly, many people conduct 'busywork' meetings so they can collect information and make it appear like they are actually contributing something to the real work! Apparently your co-worker does not value your meeting ... as highly as you do. (Or, she may simply be rude or ill-prepared).

Based on years of experience, it is also possible that you are holding 'regular meetings,' just because you said you were going to hold 'regular meetings' ... whether they are necessary or not ... and don't really benefit anyone but, you. Honestly! Nobody gets any real work done while they are sitting in a 1-2 hour meetings that could easily be replaced by a 5-minute status report. Could you, for example, simply ask for a one-paragraph update and then consolidate those results and send them to the co-workers who would otherwise sit through another unproductive opinion session, ... billed as an 'important' meeting?

Last edited by jghorton; 07-20-2014 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:15 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,599 posts, read 31,143,716 times
Reputation: 26656
At most of the places I've worked, meetings are a waste of my time. I spend maybe 2-5 minutes discussing where I am in a project, then the rest of the hour is either irrelevant or is information that could have easily been delivered via e-mail. So I'm sitting there trying to look interested when I really want to go back to my desk and do actual work.

Meetings need to have a point and a clear agenda. Whoever is running the meeting needs to be able to stick to that agenda. Frequently, meetings go off-topic and run long because whoever is running it can't keep the focus on the agenda, or doesn't know when to take a conversation "offline" because it's out of scope and will devour too much of the meeting's allotted time. Basically, you have to have respect for peoples' time just like they need to have respect for yours.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:19 PM
 
4,383 posts, read 8,678,519 times
Reputation: 2331
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Retired now, but, can certainly reflect on the 'meeting culture' of many organizations. Frankly, many people conduct 'busywork' meetings so they can collect information and make it appear like they are actually contributing something to the real work! Apparently your co-worker does not value your meeting ... as highly as you do. (Or, she may simply be rude or ill-prepared).

Based on years of experience, it is also possible that you are holding 'regular meetings,' just because you said you were going to hold 'regular meetings' ... whether they are necessary or not ... and don't really benefit anyone but, you. Honestly! Nobody gets any real work done while they are sitting in a 1-2 hour meetings that could easily be replaced by a 5-minute status report. Could you, for example, simply ask for a one-paragraph update and then consolidate those results and send them to the co-workers who would otherwise sit through another unproductive opinion session, ... billed as an 'important' meeting?
So if you were one of the ones who would skip why would you not say that you are not going to go to these meetings, instead of pretending that you are going to go and then not show up.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
5,846 posts, read 6,598,211 times
Reputation: 8518
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm2008 View Post
So if you were one of the ones who would skip why would you not say that you are not going to go to these meetings, instead of pretending that you are going to go and then not show up.
Maybe it isn't pretending. Maybe it's like exercise or eating vegetables or something that you know what you are supposed to do, you make plans to do it, but in the end it just doesn't happen.

Conference calls are better because you can play 2048 on your phone without being noticed.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,141 posts, read 2,783,325 times
Reputation: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
Retired now, but, can certainly reflect on the 'meeting culture' of many organizations. Frankly, many people conduct 'busywork' meetings so they can collect information and make it appear like they are actually contributing something to the real work! Apparently your co-worker does not value your meeting ... as highly as you do. (Or, she may simply be rude or ill-prepared).

Based on years of experience, it is also possible that you are holding 'regular meetings,' just because you said you were going to hold 'regular meetings' ... whether they are necessary or not ... and don't really benefit anyone but, you. Honestly! Nobody gets any real work done while they are sitting in a 1-2 hour meetings that could easily be replaced by a 5-minute status report. Could you, for example, simply ask for a one-paragraph update and then consolidate those results and send them to the co-workers who would otherwise sit through another unproductive opinion session, ... billed as an 'important' meeting?
I agree...most meetings are either done purely out of tradition or to give the appearance that you're "doing something". For a lot of upper managers/clients who are from the old school...email updates and teleconference calls aren't enough. They think that making everyone leave their cubicles and gather into a conference room for a 2-hour face to face meeting is more productive...because well, that's what they always done for the past 30 years they've been with the company.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:45 PM
 
1,198 posts, read 912,499 times
Reputation: 1493
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstrom View Post
I don't know how pervasive this is in other industries, but I work in the public sector and it seems like there is a total and utter lack of regard for meeting times. This isn't true among everyone, but some employees show very little respect when they stroll into a meeting 5-10 minutes late and other times are complete no-shows.

More than once, I've had one particular coworker not show up to a meeting at all until we had to send someone to retrieve her, DESPITE the fact that she 1) had accepted the meeting, 2) was sitting at her desk right before the meeting, and 3) had a big flashy Outlook reminder on her screen, which was obviously ignored. And these aren't the big division staff meetings where attendance is kind-of-but-not-really mandatory. These are small 3-4 person meetings, where I need everyone who said they were going to attend to actually attend.

If people have legitimate excuses, I can understand that if I'm notified promptly. But to ignore a meeting that you're supposed to be at just to continue lounging at your desk is extremely rude.
YOU need to focus less on others and more on yourself. Working with people that are not punctual can be anoying, but it fails in comparison to people that can't mind their own business. If it's not your job to discipline these individuals, than don't worry about it.

that's free advice
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:04 PM
 
317 posts, read 791,165 times
Reputation: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky4life View Post
YOU need to focus less on others and more on yourself. Working with people that are not punctual can be anoying, but it fails in comparison to people that can't mind their own business. If it's not your job to discipline these individuals, than don't worry about it.

that's free advice
You don't seem to understand. We are holding meetings where these no-shows are an integral part of the topic at hand, so no, I can't just "focus less on others." Sorry, but I reject your crappy advice.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:21 PM
 
6,121 posts, read 3,318,365 times
Reputation: 13007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstrom View Post
You don't seem to understand. We are holding meetings where these no-shows are an integral part of the topic at hand, so no, I can't just "focus less on others." Sorry, but I reject your crappy advice.
Whoa! Do you exhibit the same attitude at your meetings? No wonder people don't want to attend.

If these meetings are as essential as you say they are and tardiness or no shows affect the productivity of everyone there, the supervisor is responsible for making sure people are not wasting their time. Who is the supervisor and what's his/her response?
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