Physical Education

If you ever hear me say, “Oh man, I can hardly wait to get to that meeting” in tones that do not drip with irony, then it means that I have finally snapped and it would probably be a good idea to back away slowly.

This morning’s meeting was a real showstopper. I’m sure that the quantity of hot air generated by this particular project team has contributed more to global warming than the Industrial Revolution. I found myself surrounded by buzzword-wielding idiots who all seemed to be genuinely convinced that a communal exchange of bullshit constitutes actual work – as opposed to another depressingly pointless three-hour step closer to the grave. This motivated me to put together the following proof, which is a variation on the well-known the less you know, the more you earn theorem:

In Physics, power is defined as the rate of doing work, or:

Power = Work / time

If you assume that meetings can be equated with work – i.e:

Meetings = Work,

then:

Power = Meetings / time

However, since meetings can be theoretically reduced to minutes, which are units of time, then this implies that:

Power = time / time

This reduces to

Power = 1

and unless you’re Bryce Courtenay, this is clearly garbage. Therefore meetings are not work. QED.

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23 thoughts on “Physical Education

  1. Too deep for a Saturday morning but I think, through the misty fog of half-sleep, that you have been very clever with that.

    Would you like to balance my chequebook next?

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  2. Mmmmm… I agree totally.

    However,a nice green challenge to you as an engineer in these days of panic about Climate Change / Global Warming.

    Design a process which will channel all the hot air into a central heating / water heating / electricity generating resource so that you can close down a quarter of your power stations. We can rename Parliament Koeberg II and the ANC HQ as ANCYLBCE (bullshit creates energy) in honour of that long-winded and supremely annoying ANCYL spokesperson whose name escapes me at the moment.

    Your meetings then become worthwhile and you, dear sir, as the inventor and saviour of the world, will not have to attend them.

    I expect to be paid as the ideas man, so that I too, no longer have to attend any meetings (except with my bowing and scraping Bank Manager).

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  3. I sometimes wonder what people did before business analysts and project managers existed. If more resources were thrown at workers rather than planners, some projects might actually be completed.

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  4. I feel your pain!

    I had to attend a logistics meeting for a company that want a massive VoIP callcenter set up in 3 weeks. They thought it necessary to invite everyone from the floor-planners, aircon ‘people’ (what do you call them?), Internet providers and hardware suppliers.

    All in all, there were approximately 25 people there. It’s such a complete waste of time having to ‘wait your turn’ through hours upon hours of conversation unrelated to the motivation for your attendance.

    I’ve devised a cunning method to deal with such boredom during these meetings. You will need:

    1 x laptop computer with bluetooth capabilities,
    1 x GPRS/EDGE/3G/HSDPA enabled cell phone with Bluetooth switched on, and
    1 x attentive look.

    Here’s the tricky part: You’ve got to act like you’re taking notes and you’re really into the meeting, when in fact all you’re doing is wasting time on Instant Messaging, Blogs or whatever you so desire.

    It works like a charm 😉

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  5. Uummm, you lost me at “however…” I never was very good at anything that involves “therefore’s”, ” = ” and “theoroms”. And I haven’t had my coffe yet – so I will have to come back to this later. Shall we have a meeting at say about 2:00 to discuss this?

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  6. angel: It’ll have to be a pretty big T-shirt.

    homo escapeons: Anyone with a marginally functional brain ought to know.

    anne: Relatively speaking, of course.

    wendz: Okay. Send me all your money and I’ll see what I can do.

    inyoka: I’ll let you know as soon as I have a working prototype. Hey – we might even be able to usher in a new era of travel by airship. We can call the service Banana Republic Airways.

    luke: Ah, so you have been keeping up.

    triggermap: We can but dream of that Utopian Ideal.

    granny wrangler: Still, I suppose it could be worse. At least I don’t have to feed chickens 😉

    kevin: About all I can manage at the moment is 1 x attentive look – at a stretch.

    spookieTW: Sorry, I can’t make 2 p.m. There’s a clash with my meeting to discuss what to do about the meeting that clashes with the meeting to reschedule another meeting.

    katie possum: Yeah, I put the “me” in “lame” 😀

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  7. Kyk meetings are the biggest load of shite, like, ever.

    More worthwhile things to do other than meetings:
    1) Suck shit through a straw
    2) Masturbate
    3) Stare at the ceiling
    4) Watch paint dry – and time it.
    5) Phone 1023 and see how long you can stay on hold.

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  8. Ah, the power of deductive reasoning! I can sense a Ph.D in there, albeit it that it relies heavily on the premise that meetings = work and not just hot air.
    I love meetings. Ha ha. It is a unique opportunity to sit back and relax and watch the other kids play.

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  9. Meetings? Um, yeah. Who could pass up wasting a chunk of time where, at some point, you mistakenly believe that a higher up member of your ‘team’ is actually considering your ideas. Nah, I just prefer to contemplate sexual fantasies during meetings; in that sense, there is some power there! 😉

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  10. *giggle*

    I love meetings exactly because they aren’t work. They are time to ramble on about crap and then stare out the window and make notes for the next blog.

    I do however resent them when I have actual work to do, which I suspect might be your point.

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  11. peas: I wonder how many of those can be done at the same time? A boredom pentathlon, if you like.

    chitty: You’re just trying to wind me up, aren’t you?

    the tart: Depends which Jack we’re talking about – Mr Off, or Mr Shit 😉

    livewire: I don’t have sexual fantasies any more. My ex got them in the divorce settlement.

    dolce: I have a point? You’re so sweet!

    katt: Just ignore everything the little blue pixies tell you and you’ll be fine. I promise.

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