Monday, March 19, 2012

Side Effects of Being An Assistant...

First off, you all should know that I'm a horrible person. As long as we have that established, you can read on.

Because of my job, I attend a lot of meetings. I take notes. I bring coffee. I make copies. I give brilliant suggestions that make the entire room gasp in admiration and appreciation. (One of these things is not like the other...) Basically, I'm Pam from The Office, minus the whole Jim situation. Unfortunately.

Anyway, because I studied history, I'm a fantastic note taker. No joke. It's one of my superpowers. My last semester of school, I was paid to take notes in one of my classes. It was delightful. I basically got paid to go to class. But again, I digress. As I'm sitting in these meetings, (many of which are incredibly boring), I tend to people watch. I do this because I can take a minimal amount of notes and still recall most of what was said. (See? Superpower, baby!) In all of my observing, I've noticed that there are a few different kinds of meeting goers. For your express enjoyment, I will separate them into categories:

- The Bobble Head: This particular specimen is always a pleasure to observe. Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about. This is the co-worker who is constantly nodding their head along with whomever may be speaking, constantly making earnest eye contact so as to make the speaker feel validated. Now, a nod every now and again to agree with a well chosen point is always a good thing. But a Bobble Head has a tendency to nod for the entire duration of the meeting. What is actually being said is of no consequence, a Bobble Head will continue to nod even if you suggest that Martians are going to take over the company and all human jobs will be outsourced to Jupiter. Resist the urge to hold their head still for them. It could lead to some awkward water cooler conversations.

-The Paper Shuffler: The Paper Shuffler or PS has a tendency, exactly as their identifier suggests, to unnecessarily move their papers around. And around and around. It has been suggested by professionals that if you have a PS in your midst it's a-okay to skip them when giving out the meeting's hand outs. You may want to conveniently run out of meeting agendas. It'll save you the time and the sanity.

-The Note Taker:  That guy who sits in the corner, furiously scribbling down every blessed word that anyone says (particularly the boss)? At times you wonder if you see smoke rising gently from underneath the tip of his pen? To be honest, you probably can. The Note Taker will probably be able to recite entire conversations after the fact. Unfortunately for him, it has nothing to do with a superpower. Be sure to have an extra writing utensil close at hand just in case the Note Taker's stops working. You wouldn't to deal with the meltdown.

-The Daydreamer: You know that girl who stares out the window the entire meeting? What? There's no window in your conference room? Okay, fine. A Daydreamer will stare at a blank wall. They also have the tendency to make comments completely unrelated to the current topic. Every now and again, you might want to bump their arm to keep them moderately engaged.

-The Fidgeter: Meetings that contain a fidgeter are particularly difficult for me. It takes all of the very small amount of self-control that I possess not the dive across the table and yank the pen, paperclip, small piece of paper or cell phone out of a figeter's hand and throw it across the room. That wouldn't cause much of a scene would it?

and last but not least...

-The Interrupter: This particular breed of meeting goer is among the most deadly. They make it incredibly difficult to get a word in edgewise and frequently starts sentences with "I did that last week" and "I think that somebody should get on that" or "I think that sending Mallorie to England is a lovely idea" (Okay, maybe not so much that last one). Often, the Interrupter (or Humanus Interruptus) will do their best to change the entire topic of discussion, bringing everything back to their "accomplishments" or "contributions". You may want to grab the Fidgeter's pencil and shove it in their eye. Do NOT resist this temptation. It will be for the good and  betterment of all.


4 comments:

Liz said...

I think I might be a hybrid of some of these... Haha! I so will look for these tomorrow in my morning meeting. :)

Erin Marie said...

HA love it! I'm TOTALLY a head bobber.... ugghh.. Gotta fix that.

PS I mentioned you over at my blog today! :D

Amy said...

lol I love you.

Also, I think if note-taking were an olympic sport you might be the only one capable of snatching the gold from me. But maybe you'd be DQ'd since you were a professional..... :D

Diana said...

Dear Mal, I love you. You are a fantastic writer and incredibly funny. I wish we still had that weird psychology class together just so we could chat. You are wonderful. The end.

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