Monday was a hum-dinger of a day.
And yes, I said hum-dinger.
Yesterday was my company's annual all-day meeting, where the employees congregate in a local hotel banquet room and spend the day listening to recap presentations and "State of the Agency" addresses from upper management.
It's been a while, but this event reminded me why managers make horrible speakers. And usually bad leaders.
First off, we were handed an itinerary of the day. Lots of speakers, so each person was allotted 10-20 minutes, depending on their topic or hierarchy within the company.
|15 minutes? Fuck You! I'll speak until I'm done!|
She pulls out the slide projector...
40 minutes later, I know more about a small South African province than I ever thought possible. And we are already behind schedule after one speaker.
The transition from one speaker to another was ghastly. Every manager had their own powerpoint presentation on their own thumb drive, and none of them set up before it was time for their speech.
Watching managers being managed reminded me of herding cats. It's an exercise in futility. In the large group of managers, there wasn't one effective leader among them. Morale was not boosted. People were not motivated. Instead, we all sat and were lectured, over and over, waiting for lunch to arrive. Or 5...
The next five speakers went like this:
- 10 minute timeslot
- 3-5 minutes to set up powerpoint, and refocus the projector (even though, if they left it alone or paid attention, they would notice that the previous person already did this, and the projector was in focus)
- 1-2 minutes of jokes on why they were happy to be here, or why their department is the best (and y'all can suck it)
- 15-20 minutes on a powerpoint presentation, explaining to everyone what their department does, and boring statistics for the year.
Of the 112 employees present, about 8 were "new" and this was their first all-staff meeting. Me being one of the newbies, *I* even found the "This is who we are and this is what we do" speeches dull. I couldn't imagine if this were the 5th time I've heard it...
And holy crap, the powerpoint... it's like they have no idea how to set one of these up to make it the least bit stimulating. I felt like I was being executed via powerpoint...
Lastly, every department has its own acronyms, but none of the managers seemed to realize that a noob like me has no idea what ARRA, AoA, CCAP and the like mean. All of your stats focus around these acronyms, so they must be important. But what the fuck are they?
Meetings like this make me glad I'm not in management anymore. Even though I always tried to engage my audience, I don't want to be lumped into the same group as these people. Either they give management a bad name, or they're doing it justice. I'm siding with #2...
The highlight of the evening was the banquet at the end of the day. The food was ghastly (pressed turkey loaves, anyone?) but the no-host bar more than made up for it.
|Wild Turkey > Processed turkey|
The booze definitely took the edge off, even though I ended up sitting next to the HR director for dinner. Thanks to her, I probably had about 1/2 the drinks I really wanted, which was probably a good thing.
So I survived the once-a-year shindig that is my company's all-staff meeting from hell. Remind me to be sick sometime next May...