Working in a corporate environment or living in a family have one thing in common – most folks think they’re more important than they actually are AND they want you to know about it. At home this can come through in the form of hysterical crying (or maybe that’s just my house . . .). At work it’s usually manifest in strongly-worded-emails. In that vein (how’s that for a bizarre phrase?!), I give you this note sent in by an alert HTF reader:
Just had to share something that cracked me up. In response to a meeting I set up at work last week, I received the following (and these are definitely not “Air Quotes” – this is verbatim):
“I'm very busy; thus I'm declining this meeting. If there are critical things being discussed that I need to be involved in, let me know and I will try to join the first 30 min. of the meeting.”
As you might guess, I had to use every ounce of my willpower to not respond. Instead, I sent it to my boss and we made up various responses over IM. My favorite was along the lines of “we all talked and agreed that in fact your involvement isn’t needed and you will add no value to this project – we’ll let you know if that changes”. Or “I’m sorry to hear you’re so busy. Maybe I can help you out with something; I really have nothing to do.”
This so reminded me of Corporate Flo I just had to share. Have you ever noticed the different types of people at work? Just to name a few: I’m So Busy I Can’t Even Say Hello guy, I’m So NOT Busy I’ll Talk Your Ear Off girl, I’m So Nosy I’ll Listen To Every Word You Say Over My Cube Wall girl, I Get Coffee Every Single Day But Refuse To Make Any guy, I Love The Sound Of My Own Voice So Much I Constantly Interrupt Anyone Else Who’s Talking girl….and on and on.
Well, my friend, you have a winner there. We can (and will) go on and on about the different types of people at work. I’m personally dealing today with the “I’m too busy sending e-mails at people to answer yours guy.” But let’s go back to your coworker who was too busy to show for the mtg. (aka Corporate Joe) Let’s break down his response and perhaps read between the lines a bit:
“I’m very busy.” = I’m so insanely important that everyone needs me or the company will self-destruct . . . today. If you’re receiving this e-mail, you’re not only not worth my time, but you’re as vital to the success of the company as the squirrels in the trees outside my office window.
“I’m declining this meeting.” = If I were to spend any time meeting with you our stock price would fall off a cliff because you can’t possibly have something important to talk to me about. You’re just someone who sets up meetings instead of working like me.
“If there are critical things being discussed that I need to be involved in” = However, I allow for the possibility that there are people who know important things that I obviously should know. Also, if this is a meeting where I will have a chance to shine and/or schmooze (technical term) I may reconsider.
“I will try to join the first 30 min. of the meeting” = you may be graced with my presence and intellect, but only on my terms and for a very limited time because, in fact, I’m a very big deal.
Probably not a lot of news there for ya, CM. But at least you get that unpleasant glimpse into the dude’s thought process. Which will hopefully make you laugh and/or roll your eyes just a bit harder next time you interact with Joe. Thanks for the note!
If you have questions/comments/observations, and I know you do, send ‘em into firstname.lastname@example.org.