Saturday, November 21, 2009

A pre-kickoff meeting?

WTF? That pretty much sums up a business meeting I sat in a few months back from the most dysfunctional corporate entity east of the Mississippi (name withheld simply because they've suffered enough).

This project meeting was originally billed as a "pre-kickoff" meeting, complete with typo-filled agenda and ill-prepared attendees clearly unaware of the actual meeting purpose. It featured an ex-ad agency project manager, a VP of marketing (and sales – evidently the best kind of VP), another project manager in love with the sound of his own voice, an outside consultant unable to articulate her project role, a third project manager intent on smiling through it all (probably watching porn on his laptop), the President of our firm and... me. Throw in an 8th member of the "strategic team" three states west who joined via conference call (and said ... absolutely nothing) and we essentially defined a world-class, A-list, C-level, D-student, category 6, code red, moronathon-of-the-third-kind.

Noticeably absent from the meeting? Anyone remotely possessing decision-making authority from the client side. Oh, damn the details...

There's no such thing as a pre-kick off for, well, anything. You either start something or you don't. You don't pre-start it... Nitpicking? Absolutely. Yet, after 112 minutes, 16 seconds of awkward introductions, ass kissing, blame assignment, risk management delegation, and business-speaking hell had ended, all I really wanted was a shower. And a name change.

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