Think, people! How can we make our meetings even less productive?

August 14th, 2015 · 39 comments

Says Lem in Queensland, Australia: “Everyone at my local council always says they’re super busy. I figure it’s because they’re ‘busy’ creating extra signs to put up around the office.”

Do you intend using this room? Have you correctly made a booking? Do you intend to correct your oversight by booking the room? Have you successfully booked the room? Will your meeting be productive?

related: More passive-aggressive flowcharts

FILED UNDER: Australia · flow chart · office


39 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Tesselara

    Oh, man…that “will your meeting be productive?” box is out of flow, and REALLY bothering me.

    Aug 14, 2015 at 9:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Lita bang

      It’s bothering me too. Why. Why. Does no one know how to make a flow chart? WHY?

      Aug 14, 2015 at 2:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   o.g.

      Also, “do you intend using this room” makes no grammatical sense. Perhaps, “do you intend to use this room” is… the intent.

      Aug 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   Doug

      I sat here for three full minutes trying to figure out how the “productive” box flowed. Bah, amateurs.

      Aug 15, 2015 at 6:41 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.4   Tesselara

      Me too, Doug! I kept thinking, “no way that this box was inserted because of a terrible kind of careless whimsy…I’m going to keep looking for the connection. THERE MUST BE ONE……”

      Aug 17, 2015 at 10:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.5   Poltergeist

      They were going to arrange a meeting to discuss how to make proper flow chart, but the damn meeting room was already booked. That’s why Steve from Accounting took it upon himself to type up this beauty while he sat on the toilet after his lunch break.

      Aug 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.6   Smackee

      I assume that the ‘out of flow’ box is actually meant to be an alternative path – i.e. being productive trumps all booking/non-booking requirements. Team Productive are telling Team Bureaucracy to take a hike.

      Sep 5, 2015 at 2:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   Tesselara

    Seriously–this sign needs another sign that says, “Do you know how to make a flowchart correctly?” “yes” -> “Please Proceed (but apply knowledge wisely)” “No”->”GO AWAY”

    Aug 14, 2015 at 9:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   kermit

      Randall Monroe of XKCD fame already has covered this flow chart tutorial: http://xkcd.com/518/

      Aug 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #3   HyXINH

    But the sign to the right fully explains it all!

    Aug 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Lita bang

      But that means it’s not useless! Oh no! We’ve created a sign paradox!

      Aug 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   Skullclutter

    Other than the box-out-of-flow, the bad grammar in the top of the flowchart is bugging me. “Intend Using”? Argh. Especially since the correct “intend to” is used in the flowchart itself.

    Par for the course for passive-agressive notes, though.

    Aug 14, 2015 at 3:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Althea

      “Intend using” isn’t incorrect, though; it’s just not American.

      Aug 19, 2015 at 10:29 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.2   valarie

      I’m hearing that in a Sam the Eagle voice.

      Aug 22, 2015 at 8:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   Haterade

    They misappropriate nouns, and we fall back. They assimilate countless thinking minds, and we fall back. And now they describe part of a cubicle farm as a “room”.

    Not again. Not this time. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!

    Aug 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #6   phoenix

    Also, why does it go “have you successfully booked this room” – no- “have you currently made a booking” ??

    Aug 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Lita bang

      Booking the room is a level 5 quest with a 25% chance of failure, clearly.

      Aug 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.2   Tesselara

      FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT BOOK A ROOM USING THE INCORRECT PEN COLOR.

      Aug 17, 2015 at 10:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.3   pooham

      Yes, this is bothering me too.

      Aug 17, 2015 at 2:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.4   Shubha

      Yes this is the one that bothered me the most too!!! Unless basically the room is *always* bookable (i.e. it’s never full) I guess you’re stuck in an infinite loop until you can book the room or something.

      Aug 20, 2015 at 10:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.5   FeRD bang

      I think the real question is, why doesn’t “Have you currently made a booking?” also go through “Have you successfully booked the room?”, on the Yes branch. Why does making a booking give you a pass against having to succeed at it, unless you initially overlooked that requirement? So. Confusing!

      Aug 20, 2015 at 11:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   Jami

    After years of going to meetings I think “productive meeting” is an oxymoron. It’s always the same damn crap rehashed for the millionth time and it does no good.

    Aug 17, 2015 at 12:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Haterade

      “Meeting: n. A group of people who talk about getting work done in order to diffuse any sense of individual responsibility for not getting work done.”

      Aug 17, 2015 at 5:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   The Elf

      Oh no! We didn’t properly book the room! I guess we’ll just have to cancel the meeting….. isn’t that a shame. Oh well, let’s get some real work done.

      Aug 18, 2015 at 10:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   The Beast Among Us

      I seldom attend meetings because I’m usually too busy working to attend them.

      Aug 20, 2015 at 11:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   Jami

      We’re having a meeting today.

      Now granted, we have three new people who don’t know all our little ins and outs. But this is going to end up as the usual thing – rehash of what everyone else already knows. One coworker taking an hour over one question simply because she doesn’t like the answer.

      We’d be more productive teaching the three new people on the job than having a meeting. However, meetings are required by HQ.

      Aug 20, 2015 at 12:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.5   The Elf

      “…. required by HQ”. THERE is your problem.

      Aug 20, 2015 at 1:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.6   Jami

      It was just about as productive as I thought.

      The coworker who tries to draw out one thing for an hour tried again today and even interrupted me when I was trying to make a point and I asked her to allow me to finish. My manager and my supervisor almost got into a fight because the manager wanted the supervisor to write down something we already have instructions for.

      But there was food including brie which is my favorite cheese.

      Aug 21, 2015 at 1:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.7   The Elf

      Oh, so dinner and a show?

      Aug 21, 2015 at 7:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.8   Jami

      More like lunch and a show, but yes.

      Thank God for the other coworker who cut the one who stretches out a single question for an hour off.

      Aug 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.9   The Beast Among Us

      There must be one of those in every office. Sometimes there are two. I want to punch them. I don’t do it, but I want to.

      Aug 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Brad

    Signage like this makes me glad I don’t have to work in an office anymore. We have a toolbox meeting every morning, where we do the Safety Dance(because we want to) and outline the work for the day. Then we go to work. For the whole day, interrupted only at lunchtime.

    Aug 18, 2015 at 8:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   Brian

    Flow chart’s are supposed to flow.

    Aug 20, 2015 at 9:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Lita bang

      Flow chart’s what are supposed to flow?

      Aug 20, 2015 at 1:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.2   The Elf

      I’m going to go with “blood”.

      Aug 20, 2015 at 1:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #9.3   Haterade

      ^/^^ <3

      Aug 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   MBee

    The problem is real! I recently booked a room incorrectly and was told I would need to move my meeting by someone who took the spot.

    When I looked for an alternate location, I saw that the second meeting was not booked correctly either.

    So, after determining the problem – I booked a meeting that said ‘IGNORE ME’ and used it to illustrate what would happen if was done correctly.

    There was a great loss of productive time due to this error. Learn to do it right and then spread the word so you don’t lose time like I did.

    MBee

    Aug 20, 2015 at 9:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   Old Uncle Toe

    Horrific flowchart notwithstanding, I liked the subtle joke on the other sign, using a pair of redundant words to describe a pair of useless and redundant signs. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Aug 20, 2015 at 11:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   FeRD bang

    See, this is one of the problems with buying an office poster/large-format printer. People start to feel like, since they’ve got it, they have to find reasons to use it.

    …Sorry, that should be “reasons”, not reasons.

    Aug 20, 2015 at 11:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up