Truth In Resumes – a Brainstorm with @MeetingBoy

All @MeetingBoy and I ever talk about is work, meeting, colleagues, and of course… meetings. But what we sometimes forget is a lot of the reasons why meetings are the way they are is all about the people in the meeting. He came up with a great idea and wanted to brainstorm with our users. Check out what he has in store for Friday…

This Friday at 2:00 PM Eastern, I’ll be hosting an online brainstorming session on called “Truth In Resumes”. You can check it out at

Truth In Resumes is my project to determine what people’s resumes would say if they really described what it is to work with them. A few examples:

  • Colicky Coworker: Smart, capable, but whines about everything. Even when he gets his way.
  • Ambitious Incompetent: Not good at anything but shifting blame and screaming. Fired from every job.
  • Sales Manager: Makes a lot of sales in a good economy, not so good now.
  • Arrogant Executive: MBA in Business Jargon from Ivy League school. “I was once a big deal.” His opinions, while irrelevant, must be heard!
  • Senior Accounts Payable Clerk: 25 years at the job and counting. Insists we do everything the same way we did in 1985. Demands everything in triplicate; complains her desk is “buried in paper”. Can’t be fired. Rude. Dream job was at DMV, settled for this.
  • Slippery Account Director: Favorite trick is to request something, receive it, ignore it, then go complain to your boss that I didn’t get it. “It’s the perfect plan because then I can blame you later when things go wrong.”
  • Unpromotable Jerk: “A lot of people don’t get along with me. I assume it is because they are intimidated by my intelligence and great ideas.”

To prepare, please nominate someone you have worked with by leaving a short description of them in the comments by Thursday morning. Leave off their real names to protect the guilty, the lazy and the bullies, and just refer to them with a descriptive name like I did.

Talk to you Friday.

– @MeetingBoy


Stop Wasting My Time! Conference Call Edition

As went pro last week, I realized we haven’t talked about those other types of meetings – the conference call. I pinged our friend @MeetingBoy on his thoughts on how to have conference calls that won’t put everyone to sleep. Plus, he gave us some of his past tweets to accompany his expertise.

I also gave some #joinmetips on how could make conference calls better. Because it can.

Stop Wasting My Time On Conference Calls!

If there’s anything less productive than a conference call, I have yet to see it. Their record for time wasting is worse than meetings. Yes, meetings. So I’ve compiled a list of things I want you to do before you schedule that next conference call.

You have to earn my attention. When you hold a meeting, you can see me and I can see you, so I have to at least pretend to pay attention or I’ll look bad, or you could make me look bad. And that’s no matter how boring you are. But on a conference call, I don’t have to pretend, so you better have something to say.

If it weren’t for conference calls, I’d never catch up on my Words With Friends games.

Send any materials ahead of time. Shouldn’t this be obvious? If you want to go over your PowerPoint, make sure you send it to me.

I don’t have your presentation in front of me, but I’ll take your word for it that it’s not as pointless as everything else you’ve ever done.

#joinmetip: You can still send your PowerPoint ahead of time – but you can also just share it during the call on

If all you’re going to do is read, just send it. I know how to read.

You made me get on the phone so you could read me your damn PowerPoint? Well, I hope you know I’m mocking you on Twitter right now.

#joinmetip: There’s no need to read your PowerPoint – everyone can see it on the screen you’re sharing!

Get to the point, and make it quick. Once you lose my attention, you aren’t getting it back.

Beginning 2nd hour of conference call. Or I’ve died and am stuck in Limbo for eternity. Someone remind me how to tell the difference.

If some of the people are in a room together, they need to remember people are on the phone. The worst conference call is when eight people are in a room and two people who are traveling have to call in. Why? Because everyone in the room forgets about the people on the phone.

Why did I call in if you won’t acknowledge me? I’m a person too!

Stop talking over each other. In a room people can see each other and they choose to interrupt each other. On a call, because of the way phones mute out the other end, people often can’t tell, and so no one hears anything.

People keep interrupting. We need a new system for who has the floor. Robert’s Rules won’t do –  we need a conch!

#joinmetip: You can also utilize the “chat” feature in so no one gets lost in the mix.

If you schedule it during lunch, people are going to eat. And that’s your fault, not theirs. Sure it would be nice if they were polite and didn’t eat on the call, but people have to eat.

Thank you for taking the conference call from the busiest deli in town.

It’s OK to multi-task; it’s not OK to make it obvious. If you don’t have a mute button on your phone, you shouldn’t be allowed on the call.

Sorry, could you repeat that? Someone was slurping soup.

Just because it’s a conference call doesn’t make it OK to hold it after hours.

Sure, a conference call at 8PM on Friday doesn’t require people to be in the office, but it’s still a crime against Weekends.

#joinmetip: Agreed – but if you have to, your meeting will go much quicker with – everyone will be on the same page – literally!

@MeetingBoy: But can’t your software just shut down at 5PM on Friday?

(That’s a “no”, by the way.)

Any other other tips for making conference calls better? Leave them in the comments.

(PS: @MeetingBoy will be at our Coffee Break tomorrow at 2pm EST – join us at to win free coffee mugs / gift certificates for your office.)


Special session with @MeetingBoy

In the office, we are constantly cracking up at @MeetingBoy’s tweets. We love his style and wit so much we are doing a special session on Tuesday, October 19 at 2:30 PM EST at where @MeetingBoy will be answering your questions about meetings, tips and whatever else you guys come up with.

What do you want to know? Email and tune in for our session on Tuesday, October 19 at 2:30 PM EST.

Feel free to also leave questions in the comments.

(@MeetingBoy will also be joining our Coffee Break on Friday at 9AM EST. Win some free coffee and mugs for your office and chat with @joinme and @MeetingBoy. Looking forward to seeing you there!)


MeetingBoy: Stop Wasting My Time!

Over the weekend, I caught up with my friend @MeetingBoy (and FYI – we are going to be collab-ing in some pretty awesome ways so stay tuned) about his favorite topic: Meetings. Check out his expert suggestions (complete with some of his Tweets) on how to make your meeting better than ever – or at least tolerable.

(I also couldn’t help but interject some #joinmetips on how could make meetings better, too. You had to see that coming, right?)

Stop Wasting My Time!

By: @MeetingBoy

I have to spend a lot of time in meetings. Last week it was over 30 hours, and many of those meetings were unnecessary or too long. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of ways to make meetings better. Oh, sure, I know nothing will come of this, but indulge me…

  • Have less of them.

I have 4 meetings today, and then later, no doubt, one with my boss about how I’m not getting anything done.

  • Have an agenda. And give it out before the meeting.

“You’re probably all wondering why I called you here today. If you figure it out, I hope you’ll let me know.”

  • Stick to your agenda. No checking your Blackberry in your own meeting.

Please tell me you did not call this meeting so you could read your email?!

  • Don’t overinvite. Yes, I just coined a new word, but everyone knew what I meant. Better to hold an impromptu meeting with a few key people on the fly than to get a roomful of people who don’t need to be there but will speak up because their egos require it.

You called 20 people to a 40-minute meeting that served no purpose, thus wasting 800 minutes, yet somehow I’m the bad guy for wasting 30 minutes on Twitter?

#joinmetip: With pro beta, people have to “knock” to be let in to your meeting – so if you don’t want them in that particular meeting, don’t let them in.

  • Show up on time. And if it’s your meeting and you’re late, you should never be allowed to hold a meeting again.

It’s a meeting, not a college party that starts at 9:00 but the cool people don’t show up until 11:30!

#joinmetip: With, the meeting doesn’t start until you start it – so, if you need a few seconds, take them. If you need a few minutes, well… like @MeetingBoy said, this ain’t no college party!

  • No meetings before 10:00, during lunch, or after 5:00. If you hold a meeting before 10:00, then people won’t be done responding to whatever drama arrived in their mailbox overnight. But maybe you’re that magical person who can get people to work hard for them even when they are resentful, distracted, hungry and cranky. Go for it!

I can’t be held responsible for what you told me before I had my coffee.

#joinmetip: If you’re holding a meeting, everyone can be paying attention AND eating. Or wearing pajamas.

  • If you must hold a meeting during the usual lunch time, pay for lunch to be brought in.

Sorry, I can’t make a meeting at noon. You’re buying lunch? Look at that– it just opened up.

  • Don’t read me your PowerPoint. I can read!

Every time you treat me like an idiot, I’m tempted to act like an idiot just to frustrate you.

  • Don’t ask for feedback and then not listen. If you can’t take criticism, especially in front of a group, then don’t open things up for feedback.

“Did I say I wanted your feedback? My mistake. I meant rubber stamp.” My job would be much easier if people could just admit this.

  • Be considerate. Everything I’m saying can be boiled down to this– think of every awful, boring, tedious, pointless, time-wasting meeting you’ve been to. Think of the times a wasteful meeting has meant you were behind and had to work late. Think about what made those meetings awful. And then make sure you’re not doing them, or then you’re the guy I’m tweeting about.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. That’s because the Romans invented the status meeting.

* An Even Better #joinmetip: @MeetingBoy is going to answer YOUR questions next Tuesday in a special @MeetingBoy session. What do you want to know? Email your questions to