Monday, September 29, 2008
Can I leave the meeting now...?
In my little company we regularly hold a manager's meeting on Monday mornings first thing to check on activities last week and upcoming activities for the week. It's not a really heavy meeting and each department head goes through anything that other people should/need to be aware of. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a boring affair since it usually is pretty useful, but it hardly is an action packed meeting as far as corporate meetings go.
Since some of the relevant people are based outside the Tokyo office the meeting is partly conducted through a phone conference system with people calling in when they are not in the Tokyo office.
Directly after the meeting is also a very good time to bring up smaller things that you need to discuss with a smaller number of the team and this meeting I had just such a thing. So we finish up the official meeting and I mention that I would like to discuss another issue with a few of the other managers, one whom is participating through the telecon. So we think that this is clarified, the people not included hang up and I bring up the topic I had in my lap. I start laying out the issue at hand and pretty quickly I realize that a huge misscommunication has occured due to the sales division director's incompetence and that his mistake might cost the company a significant amount of money unless we can salvage and repair the errors he just had made.
Mr. Shachou throws a fit (which is actually not like him) during which the sales director looks like he's swallowed a turd and I'm torn between whether to laugh or cry at the fuck-up that has been done and which I had been an involuntary accomplice of... Mr. Shachou is throwing his fit and everyone is more or less uncomfortable with the whole situation.
After a while there is a brief pause and a voice is heard from the telecon system, one of the local sales reps that participated in the preceeding meeting apparently had missed that he didn't need to participate in this meeting and feebly calls out "oh guys, is it ok if leave the meeting now...?".
He was allowed to leave the meeting but I had to stay, but at least I got some pleasure out of the fact that the sales director had been directly called on his incompetence...