Sunday, August 7, 2022

I don't do meetings, I just do doing.

Culture of Guff

Having not been in the culture of corporations or medium to large companies for several years, I'd rather forgotten meetings. 

There's a certain type of people who relish meetings. "Goody! We're going to have a meeting!" they cry.

They've been practising their delivery, their jokes (the obvious ones the rest of us think of but can't be bothered to say) which they laugh at themselves, and will drone on and on about the one thing they're interested in that's of little or no interest to the rest of us. 

In my judgmental way, I imagine such people are often pretty ineffective in the workplace, but I digress...

To the rest of us, meetings are an intrusion to an already hectic workload. At best, a necessary evil where 5-10% of the content actually applies to you. 

As you can guess, I was in a meeting the other day. I can't divulge the contents, suffice to say I was no clearer at the end than I was at the beginning.

I used to think a meeting was a sorting office, to provide clarity and strategy in order to efficiently achieve a shared goal.

What an idiot I was!

Now this may just be me being demented, or it may be that in my 20 years absence from the world of meetings, their very nature has changed to become more nuanced and holistic. Perhaps I'm not aware of the subtleties of New Meetings and this is how I fail to grasp the information subtly contained within.

It must be me, as at the end of the meeting almost everyone looked really pleased. However, we did not put a proposition down as to what we wanted to achieve, who we needed to speak to and how we were to communicate it. 

I had mistakenly thought this was the whole point.

When Martin Duncan-Jones - a very clever friend of mine - was at university he was told to not write  essays starting with an assertion, which is then backed up with facts, ending with a conclusion, but to talk about things in a 'perhaps this could be said...perhaps that could be said..." type of way. 

He produced a meandering essay he knew was absolute drivel, and they were so impressed they ended up using it as a teaching-aid.

He realised then the world had gone mad.

Hello world.

The Burden of Dementia

As a person with dementia I'm always trying to delve deep within myself to ascertain what is guiding me at any one moment. Why did I do that, why did I say that to that person, in that way, what makes me happy, what could I do now this minute, what I didn't I like about this or that.

It's all about me, with the odd realisation that I could make the others working upstairs a cup of tea or vacuum the house. 

If something's out of place or someone's left something somewhere it shouldn't be I can get really arsey about it. An obsession with order is very much an FTD trait.

As is lack of empathy.

I don't consider those closest to me a lot of the time  - the space and time they're giving me. Their patience at dealing with me while they deal with their own lives: the cost of living crisis, their own careers, their own money worries, worries about other family members and on it goes.

And for much of the time I'm quite oblivious to their needs. I've become a teenaged me who is happiest gaming or listening to music, with friends. 

I should start going swimming again.

See? No worries at all.

Then it dawns on me and I remember to consider others and that if they left something where it shouldn't be they were busy or tired and it probably doesn't bother them and after all it's not a big deal. 

But that mindset is difficult to sustain.

Dementia is a burden to everyone nearest you.

The last Bay

Back to tangibles...

Worked with Fyfe this week in Teddington. This is my penultimate job. Very simple - to take out a PVC double-glazed window and the bricks and lintel above the window and install brand new hand-carved Bath Stone features to an early 20th century semi-detached house.

Before and After...but can you tell which is which?

The PVC window was held in with just 4 galvanised screws and some mastic but it had been there 20 years or so. The lintel was odd but again like the terrible brickwork, was poorly constructed using pea shingle as aggregate so it was light enough for us to take it out quite easily.

We worked hard and effectively that week. Oddly enough my muscle memory was intact and lifting, sawing and everything else was fine. I guess walking the dogs had prevented me from atrophying too much.

The client was really happy and paid us on the day. It was a job he'd been wanting to do for a few years so it was a great relief for him to finally have it done. Lovely people - I've been lucky for the best part with clients. Only had a couple of cu....nutters.

As these things do, a sleepless Sunday/Monday night and the adrenalin keeps me going, then I crashed at the weekend. Fizzled out.

However, I hope to keep myself going  - this has galvanised me and like Baron Munchausen  I have shaken the dust and cobwebs off and am now striding around the world like a mighty Apollo...

I shall seize the moment with this new found energy and next week: garden-weeding and bramble-destruction! 

I shall use a variety of sharp objects and powered implements. 

Death to invasive flora!!!

Yes, gardening. At least I can do stuff around the house and garden. Being busy is difficult to maintain, but I should be doing odd jobs far more.

Let's see if I can keep the momentum going...

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