The Lore of the Staff Meeting

Published 1:10 pm Saturday, September 22, 2018

Cup Half Full

by Michael Cole

Working from home, you quickly realize that there are pros and cons. The pros being a lot more freedom to interact with your dogs; being able to decide when or if you wear pants to work. And all sorts of goodies like the freedom to sip coffee while blaring Foo Fighters on the computer as loud as you want.

The downside is spending time with your dogs and of course an absence of another human contact.

After a few months of it lately I had actually gotten to the point that I was missing staff meetings.

It only goes to show you how bad my cabin fever had gotten. I was one step away from howling at the moon at nights.

I cannot begin to wonder why I wanted missed staff meetings.

At all of my past jobs, I did whatever it took to get out of them. I signed in and then went to the “bathroom” for the meeting. Or I just sat in the back and tried to look as if I was paying attention when in reality I was trying my hand at Angry Birds or Suduko on my phone.

I even went as far as to text other teachers and staff in the meetings.

When I left education to run for office, the staff meeting was even worse for the   reason is that the volunteers and staff would talk about me like I wasn’t there “Michael will look so much better if he wears a blue tie instead of a red one,” or, “Michael should not be drinking so much coffee at events.”

“Michael should not question the parentage of the constituent that gave him a stupid remark.”

I am a person that believes in economy of time. If you can convey the information to me in a few words, an email, or a phone call, I would rather that. To me, I have always felt that time is the one thing that we can never get back or a refund for wasting it.

But I do understand the reasoning behind it.

My best guess is it is to torture employees, hand out donuts and pastries that a diabetic should not have, and offer us coffee in sip sized styrofoam cups.

I had a coworker that would show up for the faculty meetings, and if there were not donuts or the donuts were not to his liking, he would loudly announce that he had a kid coming in to test and had to go.

I envied his guts.

After all, I went to the trouble of losing a leg to avoid staff meetings. They never tell the one-legged man that has a classroom on the other side of the campus he has to go to meetings.

But either way, back to my fond nostalgia for a staff meeting.

I decided this morning to hold one. So after my wife left for work, I assembled cookies and found a spot in the living room to hold my meeting.

So cookies in hand I looked out at four sets of eyes on me as I slowly opened up the folder I had placed my handwritten agenda.

“First on the list is bathroom breaks.” I began, “we are taking far too many of them in the evenings. One walk before dinner, one a half hour after, and one before bed is plenty.”

At this point, I think I lost my bigger dog, Bernie, since he loves walks. I saw his eyes kinda gloss over. He grabbed a dog cookie and walked over to the corner to chew on it.

Of course, my three other dogs just stared at him and then the cookies.

After all, the command to take a cookie had not been given.

So my older dog, Jada, gets up, she grabs a cookie and leaves for parts unknown.

That left my crazy dog, Roswell, and my criminal, Bill.

Roswell would sit and stare at a person as long as they were talking, but Bill was different.

He was my boy, my four-legged ride or die.

He would have my back.

He was asleep.

Well, so much for man’s best friend.

So I called the staff meeting over and gave Roswell his cookie.

I felt that the expert handling of my staff was just one more validation of why I was in management in my home business.

At least till my wife gets home.

Michael Cole writes several political and lifestyle blogs for national and international outlets. You can reach him at