Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Work Alone

You ever go to a meeting, and it’s a long meeting because all meetings are long – or at least longer than you’d like them to be -- and right at the end of the meeting, just when the meeting is finally about to adjourn and you’re getting all hopeful like a dog dancing around at the front door, about to go out for a walk (“The meeting is ending! Soon I will be able to leave this room!”), the person leading the meeting says, “Is there anything else? Anyone have anything to add? Questions?”

And there’s that one person who raises his hand and asks a long, involved, completely irrelevant question. Worse, the “question” isn’t even really a question at all, it’s more a thinly disguised way for the question-asker to demonstrate their superior knowledge on the subject at hand in front of the boss or otherwise show off in some way.

Or my other end-of-meeting favorite is when someone asks a question that pertains only to their unique situation, and they hold everyone else in the room hostage while the question gets answered in detail. And meanwhile everyone is sending these throbbing laser rays of hatred at the person, who is, of course, oblivious, because if they weren’t oblivious, they would have never asked their self-referential question in a group setting to begin with. And it’s all you can do to not leap across the laps of those sitting near this person and grab hold of his tie and scream in his face, “SHUT UP. DEAR GOD, WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT UP SO WE CAN ALL GET OUT OF HERE? WHAT HELL DIMENSION ARE YOU FROM EXACTLY?!! OH, WAIT. I ALREADY KNOW. CLEARLY THE ONE WHERE PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHEN TO SHUT UP AT THE END OF MEETINGS!!!!”

Well, as I say so often, maybe it’s just me.

I hate meetings. All meetings. I think this is because I’ve never been to a meeting where anything was actually accomplished. This has created a deeply held bias in me, and as you might imagine, that bias has kept me from participating in any number of activities, like the PTA. I’ve never been to a PTA meeting. I know I should go. I should. But I can’t.

It’s not that I don’t like crowds. I mean, I like parties. I’m an extrovert … or maybe an extrovert with introvertish tendencies. It’s just when it comes to getting things done, I WORK ALONE. That’s my preferred modus operandi. Large groups of people, in a room together, trying to accomplish things and come to decisions -- that makes my skin itch and my throat close up like I’m going into anaphylactic shock.

How about you all? I realize that we all write because (of course) we have stories to tell, but do you also have a personality trait, natural inclination, deep aversion of one sort or another that makes writing a logical choice for you?*

*Having a lot of time on your hands while you await a decision from your parole board would, for example, count.

** Have you seen The Incredibles or was the Mr. Incredible allusion lost on you?
***And, yes, I’m well aware that I’m probably violating some copyright law by using the picture of Mr. Incredible on my blog. I’ll be happy to take it down if I get a call from the general counsel at Pixar.