Wednesday 23 April 2014

Thought Picnic: Meeting Spaces

Dutch Communion
When I lived in the Netherlands, I used to think meetings were a chore, highly soporific talk shops of near inanity, I suffered.
They are a cultural thing with the purpose being consensus and the achievement being you had spoken, having made your views known regardless of whether it did anything to promote consensus.
The convenor whilst heading the meeting never made unilateral decisions; that just created resentment, some meetings achieved nothing more than the convenience of a séance.
Time for crime
Amongst us was always a contrarian with a tangential thought planted in our midst as an advocate of Lucifer to bring disarray, disorder, distraction, confusion and chaos to the proceedings, it took tact to shut them up with finality.
Back in the UK, much as there is a culture to meetings, and like the Dutch, meetings that could go on until we were found centuries hence, bones of a long lost civilisation giving archaeologist grounds for specious speculation, salvation comes with the need to attend other meetings.
I once asked why we did not have the meetings standing up, they would be done in 10 minutes flat with clear decisions made, discomfort makes for agility and alacrity.
Useless words and sentences
We mostly attend teleconferences now, this links people together from various time zones and cultures.
Whilst in the Netherlands, many speak English murdering with aplomb the rules of grammar that the cringingly loathsome becomes funny and incredulous - accents abound, here, we do converse in English with the generous abuse of spiel, -speak and jargon.
Specious space
Everything as I have recently learnt is a space, we have all sorts of spaces for ideas, objects, plans, events, people, vacuums and dare I say, idiocy, or rather sensible idiocy and tolerable stupefaction.
The space is taken up by the space of fresh manure that an observer might creditably call bullshit. There is space for fertilizer in my garden too.
Yet, for all the space that takes up space in the space the agitates the eardrums, the sound-space does suggest the medium of interaction is the English-space, only that the space for understanding the multitude of words is void of meaningfulness.
Not my kind of English
It is as tortuous as it is desperately tending to intemperance to have to live through it without becoming suicidal, but many subsumed into this space revel in saying so much to say very little. It is English reserve that prevents one from stating the obvious.
At which point you really want to ask as the essential salvation of slumber does not spare you this encounter - Is there space for a little bit of plain-speaking effective communication?
The straw man touching base with his offline priorities can only look up at that point for inspirational Blue-Sky thinking, the kind of thinking that is outside the box.
Why am I in this meeting?

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