5. When I used to work in an office, we'd have a meeting every Monday morning.
For the most part it was a good thing. It was nice after the weekend to talk as a group about who was doing what and deadlines and such.
But one of my three bosses (yep, had three bosses like something out of Office Space) would always show up to the meeting 20 minutes late. Mind you, she somehow finagled a 9:30 starting time out of the big boss so our meetings were pushed to 9:30 instead of 9 to accommodate her diva ass. And yet she still couldn't be bothered to show up until 9:50 at the earliest.
Then she'd proceed to tell us stories about her fabulous weekend that NOBODY cared about. We just wanted to finish with our agenda and get to work, but we had to suffer through her me-me-me-monologue for another half hour.
Edited on Wed Sep-15-10 10:14 AM by blue_roses_lib
I too work at a university, so I understand meetings about meetings and all the rest of that corporate bullshit. I also understand that nothing will ever change as long as certain folks remain in a department.
But, like you say, it could be worse. I have health insurance. Pension. 13 paid holidays plus accrued sick and vacation time. Tuition Waiver. In these days, I am grateful for a job with bennies. And I'll suffer through those dumb staff meetings for a good stable job.
Aaaahh, the rarefied world of acedamia....
edited to add + a million for the fact that I don't have to dress up for work. Clean neat jeans and blouses. Life is good.
9. I went through that crap when I worked at Cisco
Sitting through PowerPoint presentation after PowerPoint presentation after PowerPoint presentation...
...for projects you knew were never gonna get off the ground.
And invariably in every meeting some topic would be discussed and some dweeb would propose that a new, regularly scheduled weekly meeting be devoted to discussing that specific topic.
The majority of meetings were about positioning and apple-polishing. I don;t know whether Cisco still shows up on the "best companies to work for" lists...I didn't understand how it did when I worked there. It was the single most political, back-stabbing company I've worked for in my life.
And yes...they had lots of meetings about meetings. Probably still do.
Been freelancing for three years and I love every minute of it--especially the lack of meetings! Okay, once in a while I have meetings with myself to discuss productivity, but it's usually over really good coffee and I never bore myself with my fascinating stories about my personal life.
I have been invited to participate in a panel discussion at our local middle school this Thursday. The theme is "storytellers", with lots of different professionals talking about their jobs and how they have to accurately relate details and tell the stories of people's lives, etc. I asked if I should bring visual aids or whatever and the coordinator said I could do whatever I wanted. I SERIOUSLY considered going in my pajamas.
17. LOL! Every kid in that class would go home and tell his or her parents "I want to
be a freelancer! They get to work in their pajamas!
It was fun to run into my old boss over the weekend and realize that she still has to commute an hour both ways, sit in 4-6 hours of meetings every day, work in the dirtiest, darkest, most depressing office you can imagine, and worry about losing HER job constantly (which she could very easily lose soon because the company is not doing well). It felt like running into someone who tormented you in high school but is now stuck in your home town with 2 divorces, bad hair, and a dead-end job. I know I shouldn't have loved it but I did.
When I left my FT job and my asshole boss (he really was a dick--tried to get me fired--long story), it was gratifying to know that a coworker/friend took every opportunity to brag about how well I was doing and how happy I was, well within earshot of the asshole former boss. I sincerely hope he was eating his heart out, considering how hellish his job is. What, schadenfreude? Who, me?
Mostly print work, but I'm trying to learn web design. So far print work is keeping me busier than I could have ever imagined though. What do you do?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure a few of my former coworkers have talked about how well I am doing in front of her. She seemed to know what I was doing. I kinda feel sorry for her. She was always sooooooo scared to rock the boat that she never went to bat for any of us, which I think lead to the demise of our department. All of us who got laid off were doing amazing work but it hardly ever saw the light of day because she would have us dumb it down before we showed the big boss. Then six months later we'd peruse Target to see what they've been purchasing (after NOT purchasing anything from us) and it was pretty obvious that our original designs would have been better received than the crap we ended up offering them. Now we're all doing quite well but if she loses her job now she'll have a terrible time finding a new one. She's older, middle-management, and hasn't done much design work in years. Not much call for middle manager creative directors in print these days.
Nice to know that design for print is still thriving!
I'm a writer and editor. Having a blast--in fact, just got "screened" by an author's agent before I'm going to be allowed to interview this hotshot guy. Innnnteresting--but much more exciting that being given crap writing assignments only to have my former boss completely rewrite them and make them worse. Funny how the people I write for now don't feel the need to edit my stuff--at all!--in comparison. Says a whole lot about my former boss...
25. Oh, I know EXACTLY what you mean. At my last job I was treated like a child who
Edited on Tue Sep-14-10 05:55 PM by grace0418
couldn't be trusted to do anything without constant supervision. I did nothing to warrant that treatment, that was just the way things were there. If I dared to ask a question about something I was reprimanded for not listening. But if I didn't go to them constantly with every little update, then I was reprimanded for not keeping them in the loop. The number of revisions I was asked to do on EVERY LITTLE project was astounding because naturally it couldn't have been possible that I might have tried a few things first and decided they didn't work. And god forbid we ever get any pats on the back for still getting everything done on time even with 25 rounds of last minute revisions. Oh heavens no.
But now as freelancer I get treated with respect, like a professional who can be trusted to get the job done. People actually listen to my opinions and value my time. I've gotten greeting cards in the mail from clients thanking me for all the work I do and telling me I'm the most responsible and talented designer they've ever had.
I wonder how it is that I managed to transform practically overnight into such a "responsible and talented" designer when just a few months earlier I couldn't be trusted to do anything right? Hmmmm, I *wonder* if bad management was actually the problem.
Well, here's to working for ourselves and finding success!
It was 4 hours of skits (role playing) and fake (but supposedly revealing!) scenarios. It all came about because in our annual staff questionaire, a number of people mentioned that meetings were out of control. Nothing has changed, but we have a few laughs now and then by using the new terminology we picked up. Our current buzzphrase is "moving the organization forward".
22. My last office job was a combination of Office Space and The Office. Sometimes
Edited on Tue Sep-14-10 05:40 PM by grace0418
the similarities were downright spooky. Especially towards the end when I had three bosses. Even after they laid off two thirds of the department (including me), there were still three bosses overseeing a grand total of 5 subordinates. That's some good business practices at work.
I ask because my daughter is in Boston after doing graphic design in NYC for 5 years. She thought it'd be easy to get another job quickly with her skills, but no luck so far. Any suggestions on the best way to get started would be greatly appreciated.
29. It is hard in a new city, however with the internet you hardly need to be physical
there any more to help a client. One of my biggest clients is in LA and I'm in Chicago. I've only met them a few times.
My first and biggest suggestion is to network with everyone she knows who's a graphic designer. Every single one of my clients was gained through networking. I told everyone I know that I was looking for work. EVERYONE. One friend who owns a store just happened to mention to his client that a friend of his is a talented graphic designer looking for freelance work, and his client just happened to be the head of the creative department at a television station. And she just happened to be looking for a print designer to help with some projects. Voila. Another friend worked for a company in LA. I was house-sitting in LA for a couple of weeks and my friend heard that one of the other departments needed some freelance help. They told me they didn't want any off-site designers but I could help out while I was in LA. I worked for a few days in their office and I guess I proved I could handle the work because within days of arriving home I was getting emails from them asking if I could do more. I've had steady work from them ever since and that was a year ago.
She should also call any freelancers she knew in New York and ask them if they have any overflow. Sometimes people get so busy they forget to ask for help. But if someone says to them "Hey, I could use some work, do you need any help?" they realize the could use some. It happened to me a lot this year. Now I have a pretty good list of go-to people who can help me when I get swamped.
With friends who are at regular jobs, ask if their company has any projects that need to be done. You can't be very picky about the work when you're a freelancer. At lot of it is crappy production. However I find that much easier to handle when I know I'm getting paid x amount per hour and I get to work at home. And once you're in with a company and they know they can trust you better work will come your way.
She should also try signing up with some agencies. They don't pay too well and I haven't had much luck with them personally but know lots of people who have. And a few people I knew have gotten long-term clients out of agency jobs (of course you're not supposed to circumnavigate the agencies but people do it all the time). I've been noticing a lot more full-time positions coming available through agencies lately, so if she'd prefer a full-time job that may be an option.
If she has any web design skills she should have no problem finding freelance work. Most of the agency jobs I've seen are for web design, or print+web.
Tell her good luck. And if you need any more info just PM me. I've been full-time freelance for just under two years and I love it. It's hard work but so much more rewarding when your hard work is for yourself and not for some clueless CEO who makes big money off of your skills and treats you like he's doing you a favor.
28. The "meeting obsession" has even infiltrated academia
As a professor, I thought my real job was teaching students, advising students, writing lesson plans, grading papers and homework, advising student groups, devising and grading tests, and doing research for publication or presentation at academic conferences.
However, we were continually being summoned for useless meetings.
As one of my colleagues remarked, "That's how administrators (of which most colleges have way too many) justify their existence."
33. Oh yeah! The meeting is totally their justification
This is to show that they are doing something. They don't actually read their emails even. I don't know how many times I've sent oout emails and reports of what is going on only to receive a completely blank stare in a meeting (that I have to travel across the city for). Then I get the pleasure of goping over everything verbally using really small words.
30. Man, that's a lot of knitting I could get done
used to piss people off by bringing my knitting to stupid meetings instead of taking notes like the "kool kidz." I figured if they were going to waste my time, I might as well do something useful & it kept me awake.
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