For those anaerobic meetings
Samuel Johnson understood that “human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed” — and he never even worked for a corporation.
It’s not just the daily routine meetings that wear at you the most, though you know perfectly well that they operate less for the conduct of business than for aimless pontificating by managers, eager sucking-up by subordinates, inane chatter about sports or television programs, and the announcement arbitrary decrees that serve mainly to get in the way of doing the work.
No, it’s the periodic grand occasions imposed on you — the annual address by the CEO, the seminar on sexual harassment in the Human Resources office — that really fray your patience.
A passage recollected from an issue of Punch from the 1980s may be helpful, a motto for difficult times, something to write down and keep handy in the desk drawer or pocket as a source of inspiration and comfort.
During Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, Punch ran a feature purporting to be Denis Thatcher’s diary — fictitious, of course. In one episode, as he walks toward Westminster Abbey for some state ceremony, he is waylaid by Princess Margaret, who drags him off to a pub, saying:
“If they imagine that we’re going to sit through three mortal hours of this jiggery-pokery without a couple of Big Ones to settle us down, they’re out of their tiny minds.”
And an update:
Many thanks to Steve (comment below) for correcting my faulty memory. The quotation is from a "Dear Bill" feature in Private Eye from 1980.