Don’t Reclaim Meetings

I’m deeply skeptical of meetings. Ten years in higher ed will do this to you. I spent much of the last four years intentionally removing myself from the meeting culture that everywhere pervades. The thing that drove me craziest about meetings was the twisted logic that by simply being there you’re working. It was like Woody Allen’s quote “Showing up is 80 percent of life” immortalized through institutional cultures. Now my reaction may be a bit extreme, but that’s probably because in higher ed the extra bonus of meetings being conducted as pseudo-seminars is particularly painful. My approach is simpler: regularly share what you’re working on through your blog and we can meet in the comments. While I recognize that isn’t always feasible or even appropriate (and no one comments anymore), I can still dream, right?

Screenshot 2015-12-04 16.59.26

Reclaim Hosting’s first all-hands meeting

Anyway, today Reclaim Hosting had it’s first official all-hands meeting after two and a half years as a company. We held out pretty long, I’m proud of us. And as much as I kid on Twitter, this isn’t the beginning of the end. Rather, it is the beginning of the beginning. Joe McMahon called for the meeting given he thought it would be nice to convene regularly at some point during the week. And meetings are definitely better when you’re not forcing them down people’s throat. Hell, it was fun to catch up with everyone for an hour to learn tricks in CPanel, sharing about various projects, reminiscing about how awesome Fall has been, and project what’s to come. I could get used to it once a week, but I’ll just say now, for the record, we must be vigilant.


Meeting creep is akin to The Blob‘s (1958) plotline. It starts out as an innocent kiss at Lover’s Lane and quickly ends up eating you alive…

YVn84A6Ultimately resulting in an Air Force air-lift to the Arctic for who knows what’s next 🙂

You’ve been warned Reclaim, and this ain’t no juvenile delinquent scare tactic either, this comes from a hardened veteran whose very being is evidence of the deleterious effects of meeting culture in the workplace. AVENGE ME!


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8 Responses to Don’t Reclaim Meetings

  1. Tom says:

    Any Red Dawn reference deserves a comment even though commenting is dead.

  2. Maha Bali says:

    I totally think ppl should share stuff online asynchronously (gdoc or email or blog does not matter) and meet that way. Meeting f2f is for hugs and meals 🙂 and meeting on hangouts is mainly for the social aspect tho mental can be good, too 🙂
    I do think Google got the number right w max 10 ppl in a room. In real life, i still don’t know why anyone would hold a meeting w more than 10 ppl!

    • Reverend says:


      Yeah, I love the social aspect of the online meetings, and i do them fairly regularly. It the idea of it being expected and being confused for some kind of irrefutable necessity for work culture that I think started to ignore me at UMW. This post is pretty tongue and cheek, but I always felt I’d know a lot more about what you are doing any given week if you blogged your process rather than a 5 minute, extemporaneous recap—but that might just be me 🙂

  3. Eric Likness says:

    I like the “dutch angles” of Mr. McMahon’s webcam. Very 1960s era ABC version of Batman.

  4. I told you that Kate Phillips, co-writer of The Blob (and my former screenwriting teacher) used to complain that no one took her up on that last line of The Blob “Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold.” She thought for sure when global warming became apparent in the 1980s that that would be the obvious sequel — all the monsters in the Arctic are thawing out.

    Fortitude kind of did that plot, in a weird minimal way. Have you seen Fortitude? (You must see Fortitude. Perfect Arctic Horror Noir. See it now).

    She also said all the talk about the blob being teenage libido was bullshit. She said the question was how you get two people no one will believe out in the woods. To anyone with half a brain, she said, the answer was obvious.

    Oh and she got completely ripped off. She was supposed to get $150 and 10 percent of the gross, but when the film became a hit they never paid her the points.

    Oh, yeah, meetings suck, also.

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