Meetings. Got to have 'em. Hate 'em. Especially those scheduled to last more than 2 hours.
The best meetings have 5 or fewer very busy, very efficient people. Those meetings last about 10 minutes because a) these people are busy and b) these people are efficient.
And then there are the other meetings. Loooooong meetings. Meetings with too many people. Meetings that include a variety of meeting-breeds. Here are a few types I've encountered recently:
The Conversation Hog - No matter the agenda topic, the CH cannot resist sharing his "expertise." Constantly. Because this person's opinion is so valuable (er, in his own opinion), the CH must spread the brilliance. Constantly. Neverendingly. Did I mention constantly?
The Repeater - Believing that the group didn't hear her the first (and second and third . . .) time around, the Repeater says the same thing over and over and over.
The Naysayer - Can't be done. Nope. Not that way. Not with those people. Not there. Not at that time. Won't work. Never.
Mr/Ms Off-Topic - Forget the agenda or tasks at hand, O-T shoots off into another sphere of interest and meanders in space, sucking up valuable meeting time.
The Silent Type - Whether they can't get a word in edgewise (thanks to any/all of the above types) or they really have nothing to contribute (so why are they here?), the silent types are just that. Shhhh. (They often call the facilitator later to say all they wished they'd said at the actual meeting. Sigh.)
The Patronizing Bastard/Bitch - "Poor little meeting attendees. I know you see yourselves as having insight, leadership ability, experience, etc., but trust me. I'm the one with the all the knowledge and class here." (Add head-pat or two for people around the table.)
Left-Behinder - "I'm sorry, where are we? What are we doing? We've already discussed that? Where was I?"
Dr. Sidebar - Must have a running conversation, complete with sarcastic remarks, with the person next to him, even if that person is trying to pay attention to the actual meeting. The Conversation Hog often turns into Dr. Sidebar if the group has managed to put a halt to the hog.
Professor Huff-and-Puff - Sits through the meeting sighing heavily, shaking her head, rolling eyes, tapping pencil. When asked to comment or join in the conversation, PH&P sighs and shakes head. Huff!
Often times, these types combine to produce a really painful (for the rest of the group) meeting attendee. For example, the Off-Topic-Naysayer-Repeater-Patronizing Bitch. I know that's just bringing tears to your eyes, dear readers. Sorry. And pity the poor busy/efficient types when thrown into a room any of these folks!
I'm sure there are a lot more "breeds" we can add to the field guide. Go ahead - pile on!