WASHINGTON, D.C. After an exhaustive peer-reviewed research project lasting the better part of a year, nanotechnologists at the National Science Institute have confirmed that nothing ever happens at business meetings, long thought to be a productive use of employees’ time.
“So the plus-size Spanx aren’t available in Dusty Rose? Bummer!”
“There had been some question in the minds of business school professors, guys who couldn’t run a lemonade stand,” said Robert Nardoff, CEO of Amalgamated Electro-Dingbats. “I think we can lay that base canard to rest alongside the notion that honesty is the best policy.”
Nanotechnology, the study of incredibly teensy-tiny things, is a science that promises to transform our lives over the coming years as sub-atomic robots download iTunes songs directly to the human brain. For now, however, nano-scientists say they are satisfied in running to ground the rumor, widely circulated in business advice columns read by insecure junior employees, that acting interested during a business meeting can help further one’s career.
“You drew that doodle . . . for me?”
“False theories distract us from more important work that drops straight to the bottom line,” said Nardoff. “Like this morning I stared out the window, and this afternoon I’m playing golf.”
Business meetings are gatherings of business men and women in a single room. Beverages are often served after participants have asked each other how the spouse is, how the kids are and how ’bout them Red Sox? Someone important arrives late, asks to be “brought up to speed,” and prior accounts of familial matters and sports talk are re-hashed. Lunch is brought in and snores are heard as meeting participants indulge in post-prandial slumber. Upon awakening everyone then breaks off half of a cookie or brownie because they claim to be “dieting” and returns to actual work.
With the addition of a speaker phone or “squawk box” productivity can be further reduced as remote participants forget to mute their phones and on-site colleagues are entertained with the sound of barking dogs, slamming screen doors and whining children. “It’s no wonder the Chinese are eating our lunch,” says Nardoff. “Although I wish they hadn’t taken that congo bar from the cookie tray.”