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Business Sense
buzzed, B&W
Bleh, so we had our monthly online meeting (my program is state wide, so we have montly chat sessions set up). I strongly dislike them. Part of it is that since VISTA is a volunteer program, people come from all kinds of backgrounds, and I feel I come from a more professional/business/engineering background than some of these people. Some of them see the chat sessions as social time. I know that chat sessions can be utilized effectively to accomplish real business if people want to.

I made the comment "I do wish Steve had left someone in charge, so we'd have had an agenda and things to discuss" - Steve being the actual project co-ordinator who wasn't able to attend becaue he's at a conference. The response to that comment was "we wouldn't have gotten anywhere anyway.. it's all good.." EXCUSE ME?!? We're supposed to all have two hours blocked off on our schedules the second Friday of the month, and you've got it blocked off, but you come in with the attitude that it's going to be a time sink? Well of course it's going to be a time sink then - if you don't think you're going to accomplish anything, the tasks aren't going to get done by themselves.

This difference in perspective was demonstrated earlier when I was delegated to be in charge of the chat session, and I sent out an agenda ahead of time, asking for suggestions/changes, tried to stay on topic and limit the sidebar conversations, and then sent out minutes. Instead, it was implied that I was a meeting Nazi (by the same person who made the above comment). I retorted that "it's meant to be a meeting . . . so it won't necessarily be exciting . . . but I would like to see more idea bouncing . . . " responses were as follows:

Person 1> meetings don't neccessarily mean boring though
Person 1> meetings should be exciting
Person 2> no ernie this is meant for a way for us to communicate and get ideas from each other
Person 1> yep...
Person 3> Amen
Person 1> so, toss out some ideas

So, in spirit, we have the same goals, but many of these people see the meetings as a social thing, more so than business. The agenda was "Introduction/Welcome to Mary, Thoughts on St. Louis, Aerospace Camp, Member/volunteer tracking, summer programming, CYE vistas, and then some other misc." The second item, Thoughts on St. Louis was meant to help us process the conference we had all just attended, but no one said anything - and then later they gripe that they weren't getting to share ideas.

Blah, maybe I really do just expect too much order and structure . . . or maybe the people I work with are just unprofessional . . . I really do lean towards the latter . . . but the first is always at the back of my mind . . .


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