Sometimes I feel like Dilbert and wonder what planet I work on. For the record, like most productive adults, I hate meaningless meetings which simply waste time. I'm the Director of my Center (and the entire staff), meaning I either have to cancel my programs or move them to another building in order to attend this stuff. Seems counterproductive to invite seniors to come have fun, then turn around and tell them to stay home. Sigh.
Okay, so last week's CPR training wasn't meaningless. Our employer paid for the course, which is about $100. But irritation raised it's ugly head as my co-workers complained about paying $5 for the certification card. I hope no one ever needs them for CPR assistance, they may charge to get their $5 back. And I still suspect at least one of them will ask for the the number to call 9-1-1. (If you don't live around here, that's the American emergency phone number).
The next day was a Staff Meeting. (I had so many groups scheduled I left them alone in the building, advising them to just behave until I got back...which is frowned upon, but I can't be everywhere.) Anyway, several months ago a co-worker didn't pay attention at a Staff meeting. This evolved into a He Said/She Said encounter with the Supervisor concerning what actually occurred. This, in turn, resulted in my being asked to take notes... I really hate all that scribbling. We turn in weekly reports of our activities so all that "reporting" has already been noted. Going around the table to repeat it verbally is what I call the "Brag-fest", to see who claims to do more work than the rest. Unfortunately, Minute taking has become mandatory for me. Yet rather than focusing their attention, my co-workers have become more mentally scattered. They gossip. Daydream. Text. Only my Supervisor and Dept. Head receive a copy of the Minutes. They'd probably share if they knew how much time I spent taking phone calls from co-workers a week later who want to verify a date/event because, "I know you pay attention." Should I be concerned that my notes are now considered what "really happened"?
And what is my reward for paying attention and keeping all the dates straight? I get to go to ANOTHER meeting. Most of our Centers are in rural areas, with Community Meetings of the neighbors, most on a monthly basis. Those groups have complained that the Center Directors are running out the door as soon as they enter. They want us to stay.
I don't have one of those groups. I have a Neighborhood Watch group which meets 3 times a year, tonight being the first of the year. Yep, you guessed it. Because my co-workers don't/can't/won't do their job, I've had another duty added to mine. I get to stay after work tonight and sit in on the Neighborhood Watch meeting. I called their Leader so she won't think I'm spying on them. Her reply? "I'm so sorry you have to stay after work!"
Somehow, that made it all better.
So on days when I feel like ol' Dilbert, I will remember that sometimes you just have to turn an annoyance on it's head and go with the flow.