Thursday, August 12, 2010
Has anyone in the history of time thought to themselves, "Self? You are not spending enough of your day sitting around a conference table and being bored."
I doubt it. An unpleasant fraction of my working day is taken up by bureaucratic meetings (it sounds redundant, I know, but bear with me) - stockroom committee meetings, lab safety meetings, etc - the type of meetings where no one participant's presence is really that important. These meetings are the killer - they take a lot of time and don't really impact my lab output in a positive way. The person running the meeting also tends to believe that this meeting is the most important thing ever, and we need to keep on discussing whatever the topic is until we have exhausted our vocal chords.
Another big chunk of time is spent at science-related meetings: these meetings are the ones where data is presented, discussed, and decisions about next steps are made. I have three of these meetings today, on the three major projects I'm working on. I spent a reasonable part of last night composing artfully crafted powerpoint decks for these meetings, and making sure I know what points I want to reinforce during the meeting itself.
DrDGT asked what these meetings I have today were about. I present my results, I said, and the assembled group of people give their input, and then we decide what things should be done next.
"So," he said, "It's like a committee meeting, then?"
It appears that it is! How exciting - I don't even have to go to grad school to get the awesome committee meeting experience.
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