March 23, 2005

Big Arm Woman's Helpful Meeting Tips

Part One in a Series:

If you must preface your comments with disclaimers such as "Please don't think I'm being an asshole for mentioning this," odds are you shouldn't be mentioning this.

Addendum - If you're the head honcho in charge and you feel compelled to use such disclaimers in a large meeting, the above rule still applies. In fact, the above rule becomes even more important.

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Posted by Big Arm Woman at March 23, 2005 01:52 PM

BAW, please tell us that this really didn't happen in a meeting you attended. The first thing one learns in public speaking is to *NEVER* begin with an apology of any kind. (Oh, and when I went to school, a prohibition against scatological language before a sober audience was unnecessary - nobody ever thought of trying it.)

Posted by: snopercod at March 23, 2005 04:49 PM

Alas, poor snopercod, it happened today at a two-hour marathon meeting, and to top it off, the "asshole-itude" in question was directed at a colleague and implicated my entire department. Ahh, irresponsible blindsiding--in academia, it's what's for breakfast!

AND, if you knew exactly how high up this higher-up is, you'd be afraid. Very afraid.

Posted by: BAW at March 23, 2005 05:03 PM

wow. Another thing to add to my running list of "phrases you really don't want to hear" (which is currently topped by "Don't get mad at me, but.." which all but ENSURES I will get mad at the person. And seconded by "I don't want you to get offended but..." which generally ensures that the person is about to say something that is, in fact, highly offensive to me.)

Ditto to snopercod on the "not using scatological language" thing. When did it become okay to cuss and use "potty words" in front of a mixed audience, containing people who might be older (and from a stricter background) than you, more delicate of sensibilities than you, etc., etc.?

I have a colleague who has been known to tell his classes that their test grades or papers are "sh*tty." I can't imagine saying that, even when I might think something similar...

Posted by: ricki at March 24, 2005 08:54 AM