Monday, March 2, 2009

The weird world of meetings

I have a love/hate relationship with meetings. On the plus side, they provide a nice field trip out of the office, or at the very least my cubicle. They use up time in my day. Sometimes they are even interesting.

Last week I had two very nice meetings related to our Healthy Start program. First, I met a great graphic designer who had wonderful ideas for publishing our client photo project. Then, I got to take notes on a whiteboard during the general meeting, which is more fun than sitting awkwardly. It's always interesting to observe the motley crew of nurses and administrators and clients and stray SLU students writing papers about us for class. There is also free food and cute babies to pass around.

Afterwards, I screwed up my courage and told two of our client photographers that I loved their work. One was receptive to my compliments, the other shy. Again, I was reminded of how I need to get over myself and reach out to people. I doubt either client was skeptical of my social work credentials or suspicious of me as a middle-class white girl.

On the other hand, most other meetings leave me feeling very confused and useless. Good thing Intern #4 comes along so I am not the only newbie. Today's public health coalition meeting was good for people watching but bad for understanding what was going on. When I start to blank out, I'm always glad that I'm not in that Mel Gibson movie where he can read women's thoughts. What would happen if I had a visual thought bubble that revealed my musing about groceries, Facebook, and the weekend?

Intern #4 and I did get our share of the conversation eventually. We also realized that everyone else wasn't having profound thoughts either. We were asked if we were clinic auditors, and later someone thought we were the Dept of Health high school interns. Do we really look too young to have college degrees? We don't carry American Eagle totes like the real teen interns, and I'd like to think we act professionally. Weird.

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