Meeting my obligations

Here are two words that should never be used together: “lunchtime” and “meeting”.

A couple of our organisation’s senior executives visited our office today, and so we had to schedule a series of obligatory meetings with them.

The first started at eleven, and we all walked in with absolutely no idea what the meeting was about. This happens quite often where I work: a meeting’s scheduled, and we’re all expected to be there, but there isn’t even a hint about what it’s about. It’s as if they’re being deliberately vague to make it more interesting. You can almost hear the voiceover guy in the movie trailers saying, “What will they be talking about today in the Mystery Meeting? There’s only one way to find out”.

Unfortunately these meetings never quite live up to the hype, and this one was no exception. They started talking about stuff I already knew, and finished off with stuff I didn’t need to know.

From there we went straight into the lunchtime meeting. This meeting was much better because we got to ask them all sorts of interesting questions…

Okay, so I lied. This meeting was better because they supplied lunch, and the food was actually pretty good. We did get to ask questions, but they either didn’t concern me, didn’t interest me, or I didn’t like the answers.

For a while I actually felt myself slipping out of my good mood, especially when I looked out the window at the Brisbane River just a short walk away. I wanted nothing more than to take a relaxing stroll along for shoreline in the sun, but instead I was stuck in an office building under fluorescent lighting.

For some reason people think it’s okay to take away our lunch hour if they supply food. I’m sorry, but I do a lot more with my lunch hour than just eat. It’s my chance to escape—sometimes with a book, but usually with a walk. It’s a chance to remind myself what it feels like to be free, and not a corporate desk jockey.

So please, no more lunchtime meetings. I really do have better things to do.

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I still have the spring in my step.)

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