Cup Cakes and Punch
Cliff: Ralph, Cliff here.
Ralph: Say, can I call you back in a few minutes? I’m going into a meeting and I really don’t want to be a good mood.
Cliff (chuckling a little): Yeah, Ralph, that will be fine.
A few things needed to be cleared up. The minor one was the fact that over the last few months many meetings had turned into social events. Things like discussing weekend events, catching up the kids and spouses, etc. Well, in my world (limited as it is) meetings are not social events. I walked in, laid my notebook down, and said, “In the interest of time I am going to assume you all had a good evening, so far your today is going okay, and the very fact you’re here indicates you found the building all right. The meeting room has been reserved for an hour and a half but this meeting will only last fifteen minutes.”
When I looked up several people were grinning but all the social butterflies looked like I had just licked the frosting off the cup cakes. The minor point was made.
The major one was not as easy. When I was done addressing it, I closed by saying, “I’m not going to open it up for discussion because there is nothing to discuss.” Now, glancing around the table everyone looked as if they caught me peeing in the punch bowl.
Walking outside alone, I knew I was being spoken of with great fondness back in the meeting room. Not everything in life is a popularity contest.
But, I also realized how good the sunshine felt and, laughing to myself, how I needed to put Cliff on speed dial.