Here’s a list of the idiots who can turn your special project meetings into a complete waste of time.
—is the fool who misses the first two or three meetings, drops by for the fourth and has to be “brought up to speed” by dragging the entire group back over everything they’ve covered so far.
—is the little man with a little education, a lot of ego, a silly notion that the band is about to be ripped off and the absolute conviction that he is the only one smart enough to see through the ruse and rescue the community from its own stupidity. This guy is a variation of the “little guy with an attitude over big things.” He can’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag, but he’s always in there swinging.
—is the sniper with a hidden agenda. He has a secret axe to grind. He’s pissed off about something other than the business at hand, but is ready and willing to use it as an opportunity to vent his inner rage. He doesn’t understand the difference between a vigilant “watchdog,” who protects, and a rabid pitbull that attacks everything in sight.
—is the “Indian orator.” This guy fancies himself a “speaker” of extraordinary talent and clarity. He is the “voice of reason” in a roomful of madness. He’s in love with the sound of his own voice and foolishly believes everybody else feels the same way. He thinks “information sessions” were created as a forum for his own incredible oral skills and the “hard incisive questions” he cleverly probes for the truth with.
—is the guy who hasn’t got a clue about anything—and is prepared to waste an entire meeting demonstrating it. This loony is living proof that the empty can makes the most noise. His favourite pastime is buttonholing and horing to death invited guests, prattling on endlessly about his “25 years of experience” which in reality is only one year of experience repeated 25 times.
—is the band member who understands nothing but has something “funny” to say about everything. He specializes in buffoonery, trivializes everything and, failing to get “a big laugh” with asinine commentary, is no doubt prepared to start farting and tapdancing to amuse the gathering.
—is the fool who hears about a project late—after two years and a million dollars have been invested—and stupidly wonders aloud why that can’t all be scrapped in favour of his own infinitely superior “option” for accomplishing the same thing.
—is the brain-light and arrogant band member who never reads information packages, never looks at notices or bulletin boards, never even asks leadership about specific projects—but is prepared to “wing it” at great length on any subject or project, regardless of its complexity. That he is unprepared to talk intelligently about anything is obvious to everybody but him.
—is the semi-intelligent “leader” who sees what’s going on at band meetings and allows it to happen anyway. Anarchy serves his purpose and he craftily waits for a lull in the din or the end of the meeting to step in, harumph importantly for attention, then get in the last word and close down the meeting before anybody realizes what he’s done.
—is a collective. He is the Silent Majority, your basic decent, docile reasonably intelligent, long-suffering and hard-working band member who puts up with this kind of bullshit month after month, year after year…
I’ve used the generic “he” in the above descriptions, not being into he/she oddities, but I’m well aware the ladies can be just as disruptive and unproductive at meetings. Heaven help your community if all 10 characteristics are found in the same individual. Personally, I know of a few loonies who come dangerously close to it.
What can you do? Not a damn thing! It’s human nature and, short of day-dreaming of some attitude adjustments with a baseball bat, there’s little you can do. It’s an interesting thought but it wouldn’t work. If you were to get rid of all the crackpots in Indian county there wouldn’t be anyone left on the reserves. Besides, you’d be eliminating most of the people who make life interesting.
Reprinted from The First Perspective.