Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I Don't Get Anything Done: A Demonstration.

How I plan to spend my day:

40% - Grading papers
30% - Work on research
20% - Work on job applications
10% - Prep for tomorrow's class

How I actually spend my day:

30% - Office hours
20% - Division Meeting with Dean
10% - Department Meeting
10% - Committee Meeting
10% - Answering e-mails
10% - Forced collegial interaction with other professors I don't actually like
10% - grading papers, working on research, working on job apps, and prepping for tomorrow's classes.

I wish I were kidding. Talk about being nickel-and-dimed to death.

Am I the only person who fricking hates meetings? At least 90% of the meetings I go to are seriously meetings for the point of having meetings (or discussing what was talked about at the last meeting). It's always the same. At first, I try to pay attention in case there's something useful to glean out of what's being discussed. Slowly but inevitably, the words start to fade and blur until all I hear is "blah blah blah, shit I don't care about, blah." I could summarize every single meeting I've been to in about 30 seconds. Do administrators actually LIKE meetings, or they hate them as much as I do? If they do, who on Earth likes them so much that they're constantly scheduling new ones for us to go to?

Aaaaaaarrgghhh! I wanted to punch the Dean this afternoon because she just. would. not. stop. talking. about. NOTHING.

Ok. I feel a little better now. Not much, mind you, especially since I didn't get anything done that I wanted to do today. But I daren't talk about it any more, otherwise I'll have to add another % to my table labelled, "complaining on CM." So peace out.



  1. I have a confession: My name is EnglishDoc, and I actually like some meetings. A lot of them are pointless wanking, but the good ones are events at which I actually learn something. I have found that many people will not take advantage of technology to interact but will contribute in face-to-face meetings. When I chair a committee, I try to do as much as I can online and keep meetings to a minimum. But there are some things that face-to-face interaction does better.

  2. Fair enough, EnglishDoc, but probably one in subjectively 6000 meetings feels like that to me. I guess I feel like I spend a lot of time not doing what I really need to do, because I'm doing stuff other people tell me I need to do if I want to get tenure, like show my face at meetings in which I have nothing important to contribute and take nothing important away. Rant continues. ; )

  3. While I've never formulated an actual breakdown, that feels like how my days are.

    And I agree completely with meetings. Very few are actually worth my time. Luckily, all of my meetings are online, so I can do other things while people talk.

  4. Middle managers, including most administrators, consider meetings, and writing memos and reports, to be 'real' work, as opposed to teaching and research.

  5. Like, gag me with a spoon, Paddington. Ugh.

  6. Meetings are God's punishment to us for everything we have ever done wrong in our lives.

  7. Dave Barry has said it best....

    “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings”

    “Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot masturbate”


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