Sunday, December 18, 2005


Today I distinguished myself by being two hours and fifty minutes late for a three hour meeting. This was not intentional. I left in time to get there one hour late (which WAS intentional), then got hungry on the way so stopped to have something to eat, and then got interested in the book I was reading and didn't notice the time, and then missed a connection, and then... well, let's just say that the meeting didn't seem important enough for me to actually hurry, and by not hurrying I managed to get there in time to catch the last ten minutes.

I opened the meeting room door to the sound of uproar. Some sort of argument, I mean discussion - yes, that's it, DISCUSSION - was happening, and everybody was looking the other way, so I whipped off my coat and mentally rehearsed the words I had prepared for anybody who asked:

"I just went to the toilet. Did I miss anything?"

Nobody asked, however. I sat down for a moment at a table with a bunch of other people (one colleague knew I'd be late, because I told her yesterday so she had expected it and didn't say anything) and then almost immediately stood up again and wandered casually over to the table that had the information handouts and took one of everything. I stopped to chat with a few people along the way, at different tables.

All the information we need is in the handouts. We don't NEED the meeting. They could send it all via email. The boss likes to lecture us, however. Also, he likes us to attend his meetings. It makes him think we are good, dedicated teachers, and it makes him feel important.

Eventually the discussion ended (when the boss took the mike and SHOUTED AT EVERYBODY TO SHUT UP OR HE WOULD PLAY HIS MOUTH ORGAN and everybody screamed NO! NO! and he played his mouth organ anyway and deafened us with feedback). He said the meeting only had ten minutes to run, we had to finish up soon, and did anybody have any questions. Somebody did. While she was asking her question I used half my brain to listen and the other half to quickly peruse the mountain of paper I'd just picked up. Then I asked an intelligent question, and it was answered, and my mission was accomplished. I had established that I was at the meeting. I was there. I asked an intelligent question. Brownie points to me. HA.

As we were packing up to leave the meeting room one of the teachers stopped me and pulled me aside.

"I'm impressed. I've been watching you, and learning."

"What?" I asked innocently.

"Your timing!" he said. " IMPECCABLE. Now I know how I'm going to do this meeting NEXT year."

I just hope not TOO many people noticed. I don't think the boss would be too happy to lecture an empty room for two hours and fifty minutes and then have seventy-odd teachers suddenly turn up ten minutes before the end.


RachelNZ said...

I was catching up on your latest news and couldn't help noticing that yesterday you were saying how difficult it was getting up early...yet today you have another it that you haven't gone to bed? (I write this at 9am NZ time Sunday 18 December)

RachelNZ said...

....and below the comment I have just posted it says I AM confused

Badaunt said...

I wrote the first one at 1.12am on Saturday December 17th (and yes, I hadn't gone to bed yet despite being up at 5, I mean 6 on Friday morning). This one was written at 3.26 am on Sunday morning (and yes, I hadn't gone to bed yet) - we went out after the meeting (which was Saturday afternoon) and I got home late and then lost track of the time, somehow... And now it is about 11.30 on Sunday morning and I just got up!

Clear as mud?

Cheryl said...

I'm impressed too :-)

kenju said...

Perhaps if all the teachers did that, the boss would become aware of how un-important the meeting really is.

The Village Idiot said...

I've found that if I doze during the meetings, the shouty parts can be helpful and exciting. I would be afraid to be that late because I might miss the part where they say what a good job I do despite my brainlessness, which, believe it or not, has actually been said at staff meetings.

the idiot