Meetings, meetings, meetings

“Meetings: where people take minutes and lose hours.” — author unknown

OK, so today is my new day to meet with my supervisor, which was established at my request so that I wouldn’t have to wait around, waiting for her prior meeting to finish. Of course, at 10 a.m., I was ready to get it overwith, but she had people in her office. I left a snarky message for her to please correct me if I got the time wrong. She got back at 10:40 a.m. to inform me that I should KNOW to just knock on her door and tell her I’m there and ready (note that I work three doors down from her — it’s not like I make a special trip to the end of the earth for this misery).

In any event, we met. And I have to meet with her and Cruise Director later today. She wants us to face off (I’m not kidding) about our frustrations with each other. What’s weird is that my job has been going rather well lately. I really don’t have any complaints. The few issues I’ve had, well, I’ve told her about, but since she can’t make a decision, she takes them to Cruise Director and usually loses a few vital pieces along the way, because he apparently doesn’t get what she’s talking about (her words, not his).

She was really provoking me today to come up with a bitch list, and I said look, any problems I’ve had, well, I’ve identified and solved them. Or I’ve got a plan in motion to solve them. Further, I told her, my dealings with Cruise Director have uncovered three truths: I tell him that I had a problem and I solved it; I tell him that I have a problem and here’s how I plan to solve it and I need his blessing; or I tell him that I have a problem and I need some guidance on how to solve it effectively. I told her that I have no intention about going to him and whining, nor do I feel the need to come up with things to whine about.

The thing is, he’s very direct. Don’t waste his time with whining. Our members, governance and other miscellaneous leaders are permanent thorns in his side. He hears pissing and moaning every minute that he is working. And he turns off when one of us sees fit to whine — he really does tune out and (appears to) pray for death when you go in there, rambling and expecting him to make the decision for you. And that’s the thing with my supervisor — she doesn’t make decisions. And what I refrained from saying out loud is that, with every problem I’ve had (with readers, software, hardware, colleagues, etc.), I’ve fixed it myself. And, of course, there are some ongoing personality clashes, but those were happening long before I took this job and they will continue long after I’m gone.

Anyway, she seemed really pissed that I didn’t have an agenda. I said, look, I’m not trying to be combative, but I really do have to say that I am appreciative of my employer for approving some major expenses that I need to make to upgrade my equipment. I am pleased that, when leaders start fighting among each other and I get caught in the middle, Cruise Director jumps in and is usually quick to support me and to minimize the bullshit that distracts us all from doing our jobs.

In any event, I know I’m going to go in there this afternoon and feel stupid. I mean, Cruise Director hates meetings (especially time-wasters) as much as I do, but my supervisor is gleefully rubbing her hands together and beaming because she’s gotten the superpowers in a room together. All I know is that I need to get through this without saying anything negative (that will cost me my credibility). Maybe if she weren’t in the meeting, I could say that my No. 1 obstacle, sadly, might just be the supervisor herself.

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