Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

I Hate Writing Minutes

I hate writing minutes. I wonder why hasn’t anyone yet invented an automatic minute taker. It doesn’t help when people in the meeting talk nonsense 90% of the time, jump back and forth between multiple topics, and some people speak for the sake of being heard.

Sometimes it takes hours to write the minutes. They should have called it Hours. And, how often do minutes actually get read?

The best meetings are those that I chair. For one, I will not be writing the minutes. 🙂 Secondly, I get to cut people off if I don’t want to hear about something anymore. Thirdly, if it is my pet topic, I get to beat it to death. Finally, I get to decide when the meeting ends… in case I have to rush off for some other appointment, particularly if it is a personal errand. Oh I’m sure there are many more reasons. 🙂

In the recent 2 years, I’ve been involved in several projects that have the feature of a “weekly progress meeting”. The frustrating thing about these meetings is that there are multiple parties, and all the parties love to argue with each other. Sometimes arguments start for simply no other reason than that they want to start one.

There is this A&A (i.e. renovations) progress meeting that I attended at one time. The meeting tended to last about 2 to 2.5 hours. It isn’t one of the worse meeetings; but the 2.5 hours was spent with a lot of bickering. One day, the Architect VP came down to chair the meeting. This guy was superb. He scolds and scolds, and he talks a lot of nonsense. He repeats himself over and over again, and he doesn’t give anyone else a chance to talk. Anything you throw at him, he throws it back to you. Why is he superb? Because, inspite of all that he does, he finishes his meeting in 1.5 hours. Why? He talks his nonsense so super fast. No one has time to retort or to argue. I like that. 🙂

Sorry I’m just frustrated tonight writing minutes. And, horrified at the number of things I have to clear up by tomorrow, because of the next reason. And, that next reason is that I have 3 boring weeks of ICT starting next Monday. 🙁 One of the most stressful thing about ICT is that everything stops moving. How to spend 3 hours on a coffee break when the canteen is only 3 minutes walk away.

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