"This should be a short meeting"
the Project Manager opened the same way
every single meeting he called.
He takes attendance even though
it's automatically recorded
and then says "I'll just go through the task list."
Twenty-three participants in seven cities
and three time zones, all with headsets on mute
except for one anonymous attendee
whose breathing sounds like Darth Vader.
On the shared screen is a spreadsheet
with hundreds of lines - one for every perceived possible problem
almost all of which are
the Project Manager's responsibility.
He reads each entry
commenting on what he thinks about it,
maybe adding an inconsequential note,
and then moving on to the next.
No one else speaks.
I should be listening
just on the odd chance he asks a question
(though I suppose I could claim I was on mute)
but my mind wanders.
In the late 1800s urban planners
wanted to make small round cities with
greenspaces at the center - Garden Cities.
They remind me of the metropolises
in old sci-fi novels,
and I wonder if the idea could be used
for random cities in games.
I Google it and try to pull up a link
only to be defeated by the corporate firewall.
Then suddenly "Ok, that should be it for this week,"
and the meeting is over.
Like a stone skipping over a lake, it disturbed the surface
but didn't really change anything.