Trials & Tribulations of a life in advertising

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Weekly Hoax Called Job Meeting

On a predetermined day towards the beginning of every week we gather together in our conference room. The agenda is to understand the current status of almost every job, projects that are likely to come up during the week and to schedule meetings both internal and external. Theoretically, there’s nothing wrong with such a lofty idea. But in practice, well, it’s another story.

Your interest in any particular job in an agency is inversely proportional to your involvement in it. People come up with blindingly obvious insights about things they have nothing to do with in the first place.

In case you’ve spent the weekend in office (the higher you go, the rarer it happens), you want the whole world to appreciate it. People will give extremely focused hints about it, “Heard Crash is a nice movie, then again, I was tied up last Saturday…”

If even a single senior manager comes on or before time, however unusual that may be, you can safely expect a 15-minute lecture on the merits of punctuality. That will be closely followed by another 15-minute sermon on professionalism or the lack thereof.

The most crucial aspects of a job are left out of the meeting since it would take some time in explaining to others who have virtually no interest in it. So, the job meeting becomes a weekly update of the most mundane chores including mailing of an excel sheet.

This is an unparalleled occasion to demonstrate to the rest of the world how diligently committed you are to the organisation. Which means you are eternally tied up in the greater cause of serving the agency. So, you could be “flying to the HO” or “busy preparing for an annual review”.

If you happen to be one of those professionally challenged, stuck up managers with nothing else to do in life, in response to your colleagues’ busy schedules, you can always get away with, “I have something critical coming up towards the end of the week, slightly confidential you see”.

If your group has done something commendable, it’s simply because of you. If your group has messed up something, ladies and gentlemen, take this opportunity to admonish your subordinates in front of everyone to prove your soaring leadership skills.

The most unbearable, yet universally accepted law of job meetings. At any point during the meeting, you will give your right hand to find faults with others’ projects.


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