30 September 2007

I think I miss going to meetings

The beginning of this article by Rod Liddle in The Spectator (18 August 2007), which I picked up from a corner market near the Hendon Central tube station in London, made me surprisingly nostalgic for those 7:30 a.m. and those 1.00 and 4:00 p.m. meetings we used to have back at the YMCA. I remembered the Association's own belt-tightening and selective ban on box breakfasts and meat platters for most of its meetings. Yet, while we saw fewer and fewer granola cookies in meetings, we indeed heard more and more outside consultants.

"A short while after becoming director-general of the BBC, Greg Dyke gathered a whole bunch of staff together at some warehouse near the City Airport to thrash things out and to deliver unto them his vision for the corporation. There was an air of trepidation among those gathered; Greg had very recently flexed his muscles at Television Centre by banning biscuits. These biscuits were the sort you have at meetings and which, incidentally, I have never seen anywhere except in meetings - three or four different kinds of biscuit waiting balefully on a white plate alongside a screw-top jar of stewed, rubbery coffee, telling you that you were in for an hour or two's concerted misery, probably with a PowerPoint presentation on an overhead projector and maybe even a professional facilitator."