This is Howard C. Park's blog. Interests: live music, simulations and modeling, languages, iPod, social and business networking, systems thinking, history of science, management, BBQ, trivia, good coffee, organizational learning, traveling, personal histories.
Monday, December 20, 2004
strange tales from corporate america
If you work in Corporate America (or conduct business in many other countries for that matter), you quickly sense a "norm" or etiquette and behavior. The following are true stories -- some I have witnessed myself, others from reputable sources.
Please add your own...
1. I've heard of people "checking out" in meetings, but one meeting attender decided to make better use of her time during a facilitation I was conducting. I was writing something on the board when I heard a distinct "clip" sound of a nail clipper. Yes, one of the clients was clipping her nails. Mind you, she was being very careful to collect the clippings as to not "initrude" on others's space. She just kept on clipping until she was fininshed. What's next? A facial?
2. Meeting. Cell phone rings, person answers cell phone. He tries to be discreet and not get in the way of the meeting, so he pushes his chair back from the table. He ducks his head, as if that would make him less obtrusive to the meeting at hand. Soon, he is literally under the table conducting his cell phone conversation -- all we see is the empty chair moving and the one-sided conversation which we can still hear.
3. Working in Houston during summers is a contrast in temperature extremes as you go from the outside heat of 100 degrees to the freezing cold air-conditioned insides. Often times, the inside temperature is unbearably cold. One worker decided to "protest" against the cold by draping a blanket around herself everywhere she went in the building. Not a cardigan, sweater, college sweatshirt, or a jacket. A blanket that dragged on the ground.
4. Professional environment, project room with ~50 people. Around 4:45 PM every day, she takes out her keys and jiggle them as she says, "c'mon, five o'clock". Like the coaxing of some dice before a game of craps, we had to endure this every day.