Why Corporate Meetings Should Never Last Longer than One Hour

It may be obvious at this point…then again, given that my last post directly referred to my handmade Halloween costume, maybe not. I have a corporate job, in corporate America. I dress up in fancy clothes and flounce off to work every day, doing my best “knowledgeable professional” impression while chugging coffee. I put together presentations. I submit reports. I write proposals.

And I attend meetings.

Now, I understand the purpose of gathering together to discuss business-y things. Sometimes we need to brainstorm. Sometimes we need to catch everyone up on the status of a project. Sometimes we need team training.

But no meeting should last longer than one hour.

After one hour, attendees stop learning. By this point, I’m plotting my escape; I’m dreaming up daring exploits involving ninja costumes, grappling hooks, and a guest appearance by Channing Tatum dressed as Batman. (Stop judging. I need someone to distract the meeting attendees while I make my escape.)

BatMike...aka "Bruce Wang" (Kudos for this image and slick pun go to the artist: @jeremyhyler on twitter http://www.filmlifeco.com)

BatMike…aka “Bruce Wang” (Kudos for this image and slick pun go to the artist:
@jeremyhyler on twitter

In my experience, everyone participates and takes notes at first. We’re all competing to be the best at meetings. After about 60 minutes, the process devolves into higher-ups arguing about long term intentions, and minions checking Facebook on their phones. After an hour and a half, people on diets are eating the conference room candy and coffee addicts are going through withdrawal. And I’ve added a cameo from Willem Dafoe, reprising his role in Boondock Saints, to my plans.

For your escape-daydream reference,.

For your escape-daydream reference,.

Let’s not even talk about three hour meetings.

If you’re an employer, I hate to tell you this, but I’m going to anyway: You have employees just like me. So ban all meetings over an hour. We’ll be too busy to daydream about movie stars and five minute dance parties set to “99 Red Balloons” because we’ll be working during all that time once dedicated to superfluous, distracted meeting time. Also, you won’t have to refill the meeting room candy as often.

I hope this was informative. If you need me, I’ll be in the conference room. I have an all-day training meeting.

These balloons are on their way to my dance party.

These balloons are on their way to my dance party.

Life Lesson: The Rule of Halloween

Life Lesson 7,245:

If you’re a grown woman and your boss asks you what you’re going to dress up as for Halloween, do not say “a stegosaurus.” Just say “dinosaur.” Your specificity will undermine your professional adulthood.

I have a problem. It’s called “terminal honesty.” This is probably the result of being a chronic liar in the sixth grade.

Parents: “Daughter, did you do your homework?”

Me: “Yes, absolutely, loving parents. I have completely mastered long division”

Three Days Later, post parent-teacher conference

Parents: “Daughter, you have apparently not done homework for three months.”

Me: “…Oh. I thought you were talking about my homework four months ago. I did that homework. Were you talking about recent homework?”

The disappointment in my parents’ eyes eventually (it took awhile) guilt-ed the devious liar-ness out of me. And resulted in my horrendous honesty in the face of nearly everyone, including my overly normal employers.

Out at lunch yesterday, we were discussing my coworkers’ many children and Halloween. As the only employee in this group who hasn’t made any tiny people, I tried to avoid any awkward participation in this conversation. Until all eyes turned to me, anticipating my contribution of Halloween plans.

Devoid of children of my own to draw attention away from my inner child (who escapes often), I maintained my aura of expert cool by mentioning that I’m attending a party at a local art studio. (Sounds cool, right? Yeah, we’ll just skip over the fact that this is also the place where I go to watch movies like “Sharknado” and “Laser Blast.”)

“Oh?” said my boss. “What are you going to dress as? It must be a costume party.”

“Oh, I’m going as a stegosaurus. I made the costume this past weekend.” I replied.

And then, as the expressions of my boss and coworkers changed into frozen smiles, I realized something.

  1. It’s unacceptable to be a grown woman who dresses as a dinosaur for Halloween
  2. “Stegosaurus” is a really specific dinosaur for a grown woman to mention. This would only be eclipsed by something like “ankylosaurus,” but in your 20s, it is not socially normal for a non-archaeologist to differentiate dinosaurs.
  3. Adults do not make their own costumes. This implies too much dedication to dressing up.
  4. It’s always safer to say “a witch.”
One of the options that results from a Google Image Search for "Women's Stegosaurus Costume."

One of the options that results from a Google Image Search for “Women’s Stegosaurus Costume.”

Things That People Eat Concern Me

Let’s talk for a minute. Really talk. About a serious subject.

Today’s subject is the ingredient “veal cheek.”  These days, I’m finding it in all sorts of dishes in the Queen City.

Veal cheek: (vee-el che-eek)

A cut of veal derived from the face of a baby cow.

(Definition courtesy of me.)

Translation? Baby. Cow. Face.

Now, maybe there’s an excess of baby cow faces out there, or maybe this is some sort of effort to use more of the animals people eat and be less wasteful. I’m all about being more efficient and everything, but seriously.

It’s face.

This photo (sans labels) is courtesy of a blog that likes eating veal - Gratuity Not Included.

This photo (sans labels) is courtesy of a blog that likes eating veal – Gratuity Not Included.

In fairness, I’m generally against veal. I think grown cow tastes better and got to live an unchained life, hanging out with all the other happy cows I get to see in those California cheese commercials (because that’s how I learn about agriculture. Happy cow commercials.) Veal, on the other hand, remains barbaric in my mind. (Lots of people have argued about this with me, over what constitutes “veal”, as well as the term “humane,” but feel free to chime in in the comments if you feel strongly about consuming baby cow.)

So can we go back to the days of sneaking cow tongue into things? Because, well, I’d rather eat tongue than face. At least this way, I can pretend it’s tasting me while I taste it. And that’s only fair.

Or, better yet, more steak for all.

The Horrors of Blogging

Ok. Now that I posted what I actually wanted to write about today (which was obviously pie), I’m probably obligated to write the “hi world!” post that explains what I’m doing on the Internet.

(Well, probably not what I’m doing on the Internet. We’re all doing the same thing on the Internet. Looking at food on Pinterest and stalking our friends on Facebook. Ok, and a few other things, but we’re not talking about that right now.)

What right do I have to call my very first (ok, second) blog post “The Horrors of Blogging”? Who is this nobody pretending to know things about the sweet online poetry that is blog writing?! Well, that’s easy. This is my own personal blog – and I just started it, that’s true – but I do this for a living. I’m a marketer (stop judging! Stoppit right now!), and since I’m in my 20s, I do a lot with social media. Including writing tons and tons of blog posts that I will never link to, because that’s work, and this is me.

But really all the horrors started when I decided I wanted my own blog.

I’ve gotten to work on a lot of created blogs – someone else has built the back-end coding, and embedded all the cool tracking toys and the SEO kits, and made it look all pretty already. Then I write and tag and share and spread the word…without having to decide what background to choose, or every layout detail, or what hosting provider to choose. Honestly, that stuff makes my head hurt.

So my patience ran out, my impulsiveness kicked in, and now I have a blog. The look will get more love later. This blog isn’t full of useful knowledge, and probably never will be. It’s my corner of the Internet where I – a 20-something Bay Area girl who now lives in North Carolina – intend to share all the things that live in my brain. Or at least some of them. I don’t want to scar y’all for life. (Lookit how Southern I am!)


Hi, Internet.

I Think Today Should be Apple Pie Monday

Honestly. It should be a national holiday. In your face, Donut Day.

(Just kidding, Donut Day. You know I love you. You’re a totally fantastic and real holiday, and not at all something made up to promote pastry sales.)

Now, I know no one out there is silly enough to ask why, but I feel like I should justify this foray into morbid obesity.

  1. Apples are in season, so they’re extra delicious
  2. Pie
  3. Apples are a fruit, and fruit is good for you, so how bad can apple pie be, really?
  4. Pie
  5. Apple Pie Monday gives me an excuse to use all those commas that I just used in point 3.
  6. Pie
  7. Pie for breakfast makes Monday better. Don’t even try to deny it.

Unofficial point 8: Also Pie.

In completely unrelated news, does anyone happen to have any apple pie they’d like to share?