Rob Madeo’s Business Tip #52

When attending a small meeting — let’s say in a conference room — it’s considered good business etiquette to introduce yourself to people. At my workplace that’s rarely done. Instead, folks tend to completely ignore those they don’t know — and seem surprised and startled by introductions.

One day, I arrived at a meeting and another early bird was busily doing a crossword puzzle. I introduced myself (yes, she appeared surprised and startled) and went about preparing for my presentation. She looked up at one point and said those at the table, “NY Giants founder and longtime owner Tim…. four letters.”

“Mara,” says I.

This would be a good time to tell you that I am impressed with people who do crossword puzzles. OK, maybe not the TV Guide crossword puzzle, but most crossword puzzles.

Anyway, as the meeting started, she continued working intently on the crossword. And as I gave my presentation she didn’t look up once, instead focused on her task. At the end of the meeting? Still doing the puzzle.

It’s possible that she just didn’t find the meeting interesting — many meetings are not. Or it could be that she’s sharp enough to concentrate on two completely different things at once. But there’s a third possibility: she just doesn’t understand how to behave at work.

No skin off my teeth. You want to listen, listen. You want to do puzzles, have at it. Just remember, the only thing worse than not having the answers is not having a clue.

6 thoughts on “Rob Madeo’s Business Tip #52

  1. She was the temporary receptionist hired for the day and she found the empty conference room to be a good place to take her break. That’s why she looked surprised when you introduced yourself. Silly.

    1. Jerry, I applaud you for extending her the benefit of the doubt. We’re all too quick to throw people under the bus these days. That said, I will not reveal Ms. Crossword’s position or professional training, which would suggest she ought to know better.

  2. she should least have had the decency to leave the room when a meeting started. This is so typical of the younger generation now – they believe they are entitled to do what they want as they have been raised in the schools to believe they can do no wrong. You having a meeting when they want to use the room as a break? Why should they have to leave? They were there first and they have a “right” to be there.

    Favorite story about these idiots: a friend was an asst manager at a mall jewelry store. The young girl working there said “I want to take my vacation the week before Christmas.”
    “Are you nuts? That’s our busiest time, and nobody gets any days off then.”
    “I have a RIGHT to a vacation – if you don’t give it to me I’ll go to the District Manager”.
    She did and guess what his response was – “you’re fired”.

    1. Right you are Bonz, but in this case the middle aged woman was actually invited to the meeting — and as I alluded to earlier, she was a rather well placed employee with a professional degree.

      That’s amazing about the jewelry store. Clueless.

    1. Ha!

      Hey, you know what? I could be taking this thing completely the wrong way. Maybe she’s absolutely disgusted by her job and all the people around her and she’s finally just said, “Oh, f*** this place. I don’t care any more, so I’m going to do whatever the hell I want.”

      In that case, she’s a hero.

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