In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
Chad Orzel has posted a wonderful list of Varieties of Bad Meetings. Having spent some time (cough) in bad meetings over the years, I have a few genres of awful to add.
The Take-the-Proxy-Issue-At-Face-Value Meeting
"Okay, so we've settled that the few cases of actually exceeding course caps were due to a system glitch, and that's been fixed. We're good?" "Grrrrr."
The Guess-What-I'm-Thinking Meeting, and its cousin, The Validate the Preordained Conclusion Meeting
"Let's hear your ideas. Well, not that one. Or that one. Or that. Hey, I've got one!"
The Jockey for Position Meeting and its cousins, The Follow the Bouncing Blame Meeting and The Look At Me! Meeting
"And my incredibly wonderful project would have worked if Steve hadn't dropped the ball."
The Let's Define Words Differently Meeting
Common floating signifiers include assessment, integrity, diversity, transparency, affirmative action, budget, and horse's ass
The Let Me Play Out Longstanding Childhood Trauma Meeting
"The Administration always liked them best."
The Meandering Discussion of a Settled Question Meeting and its cousin, The Lost Golden Age Meeting
"Ever since that reorg in '96, things just haven't been the same..."
The How Many Words I Can Fit on a PowerPoint Slide? Meeting
"You might not be able to see these from the back of the room, so I'll read them to you..."
The Bonding Exercise Meeting
"Let's start with an icebreaker!" Or, shoot me in the face. Either way is good.
The Kabuki Meeting
Everyone plays an assigned role. The hothead, the avuncular skeptic, the bitter skeptic, the idealist, the gritty realist, the crusader, the victim, etc.
The Unified Field Theory Meeting
"And that ties into...which ties into what you said before...it's all connected!"
Wise and worldly readers, what unique species of walking death have you seen?