Unless you work in a creative industry then meetings are rarely the place where motivation, inspiration and creativity meet to produce a love child so beautiful we leave in awe of our own productivity and worth. In my experience 7 out of 10 meetings could have been done in half the time and without the output of tired, lacklustre desk jockeys hoping for the end of days to arrive and end their suffering. I just had one of those meetings and it turns out the end of days has arrived, only this will end my suffering with a party, some booze and a little dancing.
I sat in a meeting on Friday afternoon, with a 3rd party we’d been dealing with for a few months. The meeting was surprisingly productive, as far as the 9th cut of the same thing can be considered productive. Then one of the guys began joking about some screw up that had apparently happened earlier in the week. He was referencing something my team had been involved in without realising it, and he began quoting some senior members of the business.
Long story short, everything he’d been told was a complete lie from start to finish. Not a misunderstanding, not frivolous gossip, just absolutely no truth to even one line of what they’d told him. I’d done my 60+ hours for the week and so I packed up my things, smiled and said, “I’m done.”
I spent the weekend with a vicious rash down one side of my face. Apparently, my body likes to externalise my inner turmoil. I danced around a dozen different ways to deal with the situation and lay awake Sunday night hoping that some divine inspiration would settle on me. It’s Monday today, the light finally shone down on the path I needed to take, and I handed in my notice.
I know it probably seems like an overreaction. I must be such a drama queen, right? My family and friends might well agree with you. But the straw that breaks the camel’s back is invariably so average and nondescript that people will look at you with mouths gaping, eyes wide, and ready to commit you to the nearest asylum.
Managing stakeholders and the associated politics has been my job for too many years to count, and I’m usually good at it (honest, it’s because I’m loveable). But after months of politics, by not so bright players, my defences were low. And whilst I can take an immense amount of crap aimed at myself, I get very defensive of my teams. I’d watched some of these people put in hundreds of unpaid hours, show unending dedication to the turn around of a struggling business in an aggressively competitive market, and here were Teflon coated suits sitting around telling lies about them for the sake of making themselves look good in the tale.
Some of you might say I should have stayed, fought harder and with some clever thinking, won over those parts of the business who weren’t ‘onboard with the new regime.’ To you I say, you’re right, now shut up and bugger off. As normally thats what I would have done. But I have no love for this work anymore and I know there’s a rainbow just outside the window, waiting for me to reach out and touch it.
The plan has been somewhat adjusted as I’m on 4 weeks’ notice. I won’t be getting to June then.