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Old 04-22-2004, 05:41 PM   #1
Martigan
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Default Boss Mad At Me

My boss is mad at me.

I had a meeting today that I was supposed to be leading. It started out well, but then some old lady who is in charge of the contract started off on some tangent. I interrupted and suggested we stay on course with the context of the meeting. She continued talking with other people in the meeting about the other subject. My boss comes in to give me a report, and the lady drags him into the conversation...he sits down. After a few minutes I jump in and have to say "ah..ahh...ah..ahh..." to stop everybody from talking and to get their attention. I then say, "This subject must be taken up in another meeting. We need to focus on the main subject of this meeting." Before I could finish, that lady continues to talk about her subject. It's now 3:40...I look at my watch and just let them talk. At 3:45 I walk out of the room and sit at my desk.

Five minutes later, one of the guys in the meeting calls me and says," hey man, are you coming back to the meeting?" I replied, "If you guys are done talking, and are ready to continue with the subject of the meeting, I'll come back up." He said they were ready.

At the end of the time we had left, that lady never went on another tangent...but we did run out of time and got booted from the meeting room. We have to finish the meeting tomorrow morning, which sucks.

My boss called me into his office and told me never to do that again...and he didn't mean "leave a meeting"...he said I left him hanging, and in an awkward position. I told him it wasn't my purpose to leave him hanging, but to make a statement to this group that there was a purpose to this very important meeting...and we couldn't afford to talk about crap that had nothing to do with it.

I'm mad...my boss is mad...that old lady is probably mad.

I could care less! I'm sick and tired of pussyfooting around appeasing folks and respecting their positions, even if they are complete morons.
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Old 04-22-2004, 06:11 PM   #2
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You should have just talked over her. It would have made her feel like an ass an at least you could have finished on time.

Or..next meeting wear a tie that says STFU.
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Old 04-22-2004, 06:55 PM   #3
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I think the appropriate course of action should be:
Originally Posted by What Martigan should have said
That's a great idea old lady. Let's talk about that offline.

Sorry to hear that your boss is angry.
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Old 04-22-2004, 10:01 PM   #4
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you'd love it in the army, here is hopping you are one of the first ones to be drafted.
/sarcasm OFF
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Old 04-22-2004, 11:57 PM   #5
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The only thing I would have done different was stay in the meeting room, staring at the lady like she had a booger hanging out of her nose. Eventually every one else in the room would start staring at her and it would make her uncomfortable.

Then I would have started making subtle swipes at my nose with my sleeve. Her nostrils would start flaring as she tried to feel without her hands if there was indeed a booger on her nose.

You cant expect to check for boogers and be the center of attention at the same time. They are polar opposites on the attention scale.

By the time you started talking again she would be greatful that every one was looking at you instead of her.

Or

As a parent you probably have noticed that the louder you talk to a kid, the less they hear. It works for adults too.
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Old 04-23-2004, 01:57 AM   #6
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It's an awkward situation and one I've been in myself. There is no subtle way of dealing with it but you lost when you walked out of the meeting.

I had a meeting derailed about 3 months ago by a very eager young gentleman who despite me pulling the meeting back on track continued to talk with 3 other members of staff about his idea.

After you've done that once their is no turning back. You simply stand up, place both hands on the table and say

"Excuse me. Whilst I appreciate that what you have to say is a worthy subject, what I don't appreciate is you continuing your discussion in my meeting. Now, if we can move on to ....."

If it is your job to chair the meeting, it is your meeting, it goes where you want it to and no place else. And you have to be firm since I guarantee you will find your next meeting doubly hard for this.

My advice is to speak to your boss. Before he speaks for the first time you need to get these points in, in this order.

You need his advice
Your sorry for leaving him in an awkward situation but
You were leading the meeting and the old lady was being counter productive.
You should have handled it better
Can he explain what you should have done.

At that point you've bowed to his superior knowledge, massaged his ego, given your valid excuse whilst accepting responsibility for your own part, and finally put him in the situation where he absoloutley must look at it from your point of view.

Perhaps then he'll a) understand that the situation was very difficult, or b) told you how to deal with it next time and appreciated you coming to him for help.
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:14 AM   #7
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That's a great idea old lady. Let's talk about that offline.
Well, I did interrup the interruption a few times. I did say that it was a good idea, but needed to be the subject of another meeting. Because we didn't finish the meeting yesterday, we're running the risk of being late with thie project. I told her this...she is the main project manager for this deal.

The thing she was asking for was a change in procedure, which had really nothing to do with our meeting. The meeting itself was a one-hour manual QA of some results on paper before we ship a bunch of test books to schools. The material is due in-site next Friday, but still has to be prepared and picked in the warehouse...and this meeting is a requirement before that is done.

If the material is late, our company is charged $5000/day. I was pressing her that the subject of the meeting was much more important than the issue that she was discussing. We could have finished the meeting yesterday, but we didn't.

My walking out was mainly to make a statement. I came back, but only when they were ready to talk about the subject of the meeting.

BTW, this lady has a reputation for off-the-wall requets that are time-wasting and make no sense. This wasn't the first time she has taken over a meeting I was in with something like this.
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Old 04-23-2004, 06:57 AM   #8
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THE greatest OBSTACLE to Profit and Progress?

THE MEETING!!!!
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:35 AM   #9
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You should have stayed in the meeting and sent her to her desk. You were leading the meeting and therefor if she doesn't want to attend the discussion you are holding she can leave.
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Old 04-23-2004, 09:42 AM   #10
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I had that happen in a meeting before - its amazing how "accidently" spilling a glass of water on somone will shut them up and get them out of the room.
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Old 04-23-2004, 10:04 AM   #11
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You should have stayed in the meeting and sent her to her desk. You were leading the meeting and therefor if she doesn't want to attend the discussion you are holding she can leave.
She is my direct report withing the company's matrix for that project, but not my resource manager. I can't just send her to her desk.
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Old 04-23-2004, 10:32 AM   #12
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She is my direct report withing the company's matrix for that project, but not my resource manager. I can't just send her to her desk.
Why not? How much good did she do you while you were at your desk?

She probably wouldn't have gone anyway, she would have either been insulted and lashed back or she would have got the point.
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