Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Scratching someone's back

scratchingyourback

Still from the glass window...a woman selling cigarettes and candies scratching, err...her back?

Now you know why I prefer sitting (and eating) by the window. I get to see the 'real' slice of life.

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I attended a meeting at the Asian Institute of Management a few hours ago. I sat between the President/CEO of some company and the Associate Director of some known institution. Somewhere inside the room is another woman in a somewhat senior-level position who is the sister of the Chancellor of a well known university and the daughter of a well known scientist. I figured that most of her relatives are well known people, except her. Well, I don't know her. She just came from America, she exclaimed (don't see the connection with the meeting but she mentioned it twice).

I was the only junior-looking staff inside that cold, silent room. Since I was the youngest there, and seemingly "a nobody" when it comes to position, the Asso Dir asked me if I could take the minutes of the meeting. I didn't say anything. Not meaning to be rude I guess. I was told to attend the meeting for a write-up not to be a tape recorder. I've encountered people like her in this field, so many times that I've learned the basic of looking cool even when you're mad. No, I wasn't mad, I was furious. Not because she's asking me to take the minutes but simply because she assumed I was the least of the group. Well, truly, I don't have a title before and after my name so I guess she was right.

My point is...conceptions, assumptions, and misconceptions.

If you're a junior staff sitting amidst a group of senior staff (age- and position- wise), you're likely to be the "ham of the sandwhich". Not that they mean it. But since most junior staff are often tag-a-longs during meetings, most people would take you as the "one who takes notes" of who will then turn it into a report for the boss. Oh well.

Anyway, the Associate Director saw my crooked smile so she sent in her secretary to take the minutes. End of story.

3 comments:

pieterbie said...

Taking meeting minutes is an important task, it can be very strategic.
You know that I am "A boss", middle management in a large company. I often decide to take the meeting minutes myself. Why? Hell, if I write the meeting minutes, I decide what is in them, I decide what orientation I give to the meeting minutes.
So I would tend not to agree with you that the junior should always write the minutes. The person who makes the minutes has an advantage, had the edge.

The musem of fine arts in Brussels, bundles ancient art and modern art. The Fall of Icarus by Belgian painter Breugel is one if the most famous works.

rayts said...

taking the minutes of the meeting is an important task. i agree. i also agree that it's very strategic. there's no contention to that. it wasn't even an issue to begin with. my issue is misconceptions and assumptions. the assumptions of that ONE "boss" to delagate a ceratin task to me when in fact, she doesn't even know me. she just assumed that I SHOULD take the minutes simply because i was the youngest in the group and i reckoned, she must have assumed that since i was the youngest, i have the least position or title. i know, you know what i am trying to drive at here. it was never the issue of taking the minutes per se because i would do that in a heartbeat. and like anything else, it is a very important task as i have been doing that for eternity (for the articles i write).

i do take notes religiously (when i am in a meeting) but it's for myself so i would know what to do next time and what happened. but getting the minutes for someone, who wasn't even my boss (and who just assumed i should take it), is a different thing.

and yes, i do know that you're THE boss Peter ;-)

So I would tend not to agree with you that the junior should always write the minutes.

---> this was my exact sentiment Peter. But in our case, this is what the BOSSES here think...that junior staff should get the minutes of the meeting.

tutubi said...

minuteman?

you're all strangers so asking you take the minutes is a no no

good thing they sensed it

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