Thursday, November 18, 2010

Committee Meeting Minutes

I'm on the Approval Committee for Happenings. We get proposals to make X or Y happen, and we either approve them (usuall) or send them back for clarification, explanation, or reworking, or, almost never, reject them.

So, I'm in a meeting, and we've been asked to approve a happening. We got information about the happening last week, and generally are asked to look at that, and forward any questions, so if there are things the requestor can respond to in the meeting, s/he'll come to respond or explain. And if not, these happenings being mostly small and routine, we'll do our business without them.

And we're in this meeting, and we approve several happenings. We come to the last happening, which requires its own approval, and someone motions to approve, and someone else seconds. Now is discussion time. So, Harry from a department not unrelated to this happening says, "I think it's a problem with this and that aspect of the happening." This is appropriate. Harry explains the problem he has for several minutes, so that we all have a basic understanding of the problem. And then he stops.

So I ask, "Do you want to send the proposal back to the requestors so they can respond, and perhaps reconsider what you're seeing as a problem?"

And Harry says, "No, I don't care. I just wanted to make sure that everyone realized..." and goes on for several minutes reiterating at the same level as before (that is, without adding new information or summarizing what he'd already said) the problem he had.

So here's the thing, you've told us once. If it's important to you, then we should send it back for rethinking. If not, then you don't have to retell us the same thing again. And again, because he did.

We approved the happening, and then miscellaneously agreed not to meet next week, and adjourned. At which time another member said that we should send a note to the requestors asking for an explanation of why they wanted this particular thing in the happening we approved.

And again, Harry started in with how it wasn't important but... at which point, I left (because the meeting had been adjourned). As I was leaving, I overheard Harry say that he was going to go ask the requestors why they'd done the request as they had.

I really, really wish Harry would have done that before we met, or asked the chair to ask (as we usually do), rather than waiting to bring up and drop and bring up and drop the issue in the meeting.

I won't get those minutes back.

1 comment:

  1. Are you sure Harry isn't in my unit? He's the one who says this is a good idea except that all these things are bad ideas.

    He also always add that I need to give him money because whatever. It's all about him.