Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meeting Protocol

I’ve got a bone to pick today.
I get a call (or more often, an email) from someone asking me to meet with them.  The caller usually falls into one of four categories:
  1. Someone I know well.
  2. Someone I know, but not well.
  3. Someone referred by someone I know.
  4. Someone I don’t know and has not been referred by someone I know.
Now, if you know me, you know that I love to meet and talk to people.  Especially because these types of meetings are usually about giving advice – my favorite kind of meeting – I am always happy to set aside 30 minutes to do this.
Here’s the chicken bone stuck in my teeth (sorry for the visual):  Finding a date and time to meet drives me crazy!  Absolutely crazy.  The reason?  Because “Someone” needs to set and finalize the meeting – not me.
Here’s what happens:
Someone leaves me a voice mail or email:  “I’d like to meet with you.”
Me:  “Great.  Happy to do it.  When/where do you want to get together?”
Someone:  “Let me know what works for you.”
This pisses me off.  Someone is the one who wants/needs to meet with me.  Someone needs to offer up some meeting dates and times.
Me:  “OK, how about Friday at noon or Monday at 3:00, here at my office?”
Someone:  “Those don’t work for me.  And where is your office?”
My address is at the bottom of every email I send out.
Me:  “Why don’t you give me some that work for you then?”
Someone:  “Oh no, you’re so much busier than I am – you tell me when you have time.”
And the cycle continues.
Meeting protocol (at least in my tiny mind) says that whoever wants me to do them a favor (via a meeting) needs to start the day and time discussion and set the place (usually the place needs to be my office at Community Partners of Dallas and you need to figure out where it is and how long it will take you to get there, dammit).  I want you to give me some dates and times you can meet and then it is easy for me to look at my calendar and see which one works.
Yum.  That chicken was delicious.

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