My mother is intrigued by the work I do. Partly, it is because I have never taken the time to explain exactly what the nature of my work is. It has happened quite often, that we speak at the end of the day over the phone, and she asks me how my work day was. Apart from the perfunctory chat, I may tell her that I finished some meetings and so on. During these instances, she seems amused to know about my meetings, and even exclaims, “You seem to be in meetings all the time. When do you guys actually work?” 🙂
For mom, this is a genuine sense of intrigue. She is a retired Pathologist. A significant part of her work consisted in what I remember she used to call ‘reporting’. Essentially, this meant peering into a microcope, examining blood and tissue samples, for hours on end, trying to figure out what they observe and making reports of these. A meeting, was perhaps an occasion for her. The nature of our job at EZV is fundamentally abut re-imagining education. This means we on the the other hand, have a lot of discussions. Hence, meetings are a routine part of our work.
From my limited experience which is coloured largely by conversations with friends and reading on social media, I observe that the prevailing attitude towards work in general, and meetings in particular however, seems largely negative. I am sure the readers of this blog would have come across those many jokes about meetings at the workplace. There seems to be a clear air of cynicism when it comes to work related meetings. This is not to say that I am not at all critical of these. Far from it. Indeed, I do find some meetings long winded where we end up speaking more than is required. But I take it that that may be my own view point, and several others present, especially the youngsters, may need it just to learn.
Against this backdrop, it came as a surprise when a couple of my colleagues were upset. They were requested to stay away from a meeting for certain specific reasons. Not only were they upset, but they made this quite visible. Further, they wrote to multiple of us, beseeching us to include them. What is astonishing to me, is that this meeting was planned at 8 pm, on a work day, when most of us would be expected to be tired after the completion of regular work. For me, personally, it was a lesson in enthusiasm. I could only marvel at the kind of energy and verve these people displayed. It didn’t escape my attention, however, how something as simple as a meeting was actually coveted by my colleagues.
Like my friend says, ‘meetings are good when they have substance in them’. I am grateful to EZV for making work something that I am motivated to engage in.