(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


what is it with Americans and meetings? Meetings seem to be a part of every aspect of lifestyle here. No matter where I go, it seems I encounter a meeting.

In corporate business life, your day is consumed by meetings. Teleconference. Video conference. Conference room meetings. Group think. Decision by meeting. Don't even get me started on the PowerPoint factor. I've done this myself in the business world. In prior corporate life, daily meetings were sponsored at every level of every department.

I go to Starbucks and inevitably encounter meetings. Starbucks' employees participating in meetings. Business people conducting meetings.

I step into the grocery store early in the morning and peppered throughout are people cheering each other on in mini-store rallies.

We try and spice up our meetings by conducting them in surprise locations. I've seen them at the zoo. the park. the movies.

Meetings spawn committees. And the need for sub-meetings. and groups. or what about all of the online sites for people to meet outside of work.

There are civic meetings. and hobbyist meetings. school meetings. travel meetings. meetings to plan meetings (for real, happens A LOT).

Oh. and what about religions? talk about a lot of meetings. many of them required in order to meet muster. There are sites for religions and groups to meet online. and don't get me started about the exes.

You know. the Ex-members. Of religions. Of companies. Of organizations. They all submit to this need to meet.

Hell, even our songs mention encourage the concept of meetings, elseways why do we hum the chorus *got a meetin' in the ladies room*?

Did you know there was a website devoted to coordinated meetings? Meet-Up is just propagating meetings like rabbits breed kits.

I'm going to have my meet-dar on in France to see if this phenomenon has spread. and how far.


Samantha said...

There are tons of meet-up groups in France - I've actually found it a really good way to meet people!

Je ne regrette rien said...

Sam-yes in fact the last time I spent a month in Paris I went to one of those expat meet-ups. Found out about in in FUSAC. It was in the Marais...a potluck, and not bad. Mostly informal. But it was still a meeting. *smile*

Randal Graves said...

This post reinforces my unbreakable gladness of not having a private sector job. Yeesh!

Utah Savage said...

The only meeting I want is the one where you come to meet me in Marseille to pick me up when my ship sails in.

La Framéricaine said...

No can meet!

Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-YEESH?! I love Yeesh! *note to self for future commentation* and yes, be grateful. lucky dog.

U.S.-from your lips ...

LF-moi aussi!

Samantha said...

I actually disagree that they are meetings - there's no agenda, no speeches made, no saying it's from X to X time. It's a meet-up, a get-together, a way to meet new people!

Je ne regrette rien said...

Sam-okay, okay. French expat meet-ups are not meetings, they are get-togethers. I concede! But I must tell you that the one that I went to had a get-together conductor who had prepared a timeline (x time to x time, icebreaker; y time to y time, refreshments; z time to z time; slides, etc.). And the get-together participants adhered to it! You are also right, it was a fun way to meet new people.

(I'm just teasin' ya a little. Not ALL meetings are led by Satan. I understand.)

wcs said...

I gave up meetings when I stopped working. Yipeeeee! I spent way too much time in meetings, and your post made me smile, especially about committees, groups, etc.

I once belonged to a group called The Ad-hoc Subcommittee on Multi-modal Priority Setting. Ugh!