Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meetings a la Catalana (Eurpoeana??)

The man has made it to Canada, his Mom has been given days to live and he and his siblings are taking it turn and turn about to sit at her bedside.  Good grief.

I was at a meeting today for the group that I am on the board of.  That sounds much more involved than it is I will admit.

Two things struck me about it as unusual.

First, there were two official starting times, and this is in the statutes.  At the time of the first one we would have been able to start if 50 percent of the membership had been present.  You can imagine how frequently that happens.  This official starting time inevitably cannot be used, so the paltry optimistic few who are there then have to sit around for a further half hour when we can start with whomever shows up.  Of course, knowing this system, no one shows up for the first time, making it absolutely inevitable that every member of the board sit around for half an hour doing nothing.  One person went and did some groceries!

Odd odd odd, why don't they just mandate a minimum quorum and call it done?

Second oddity that I have noted here repeatedly is the reading aloud of entire documents.  Legal language and all.  I know we do this at weddings, but it is worded a little different.  Today, they read aloud the entire minutes of the previous meeting, all six single-spaced pages of it.  The minutes were not made available before the meeting.

Good lord.

The notaries do the same thing, they basically get paid ridiculous sums for reading things aloud all day and then signing them.

At about page four I came to the dawning realisation that this tradition may well hark back to the era - none too long ago in some places - where there were lower literacy levels, so things had to be read aloud before they could be voted on combined with a chronic shortage of printed matter.  Running off copies for everyone to read from their seats as they wait for the meeting to begin has historically not been such an option.

Tradition hasn't moved on.  We could now send an e-copy to some of the members (it is a fairly aged group) and they could read it on their crackberries.  Give it another decade and we'll all be there.

Girls and I jinxed ourselves by cleaning out every last thing from the house with the thought that the construction guys just might start this week.  We know, of course, that having done this means that it will be at least another two weeks, no?


Beth said...

I would go out of my mind having to listen to such documents being read. Or perhaps I would develop patience and respect for tradition? Nah, the former.

So sorry about your husband’s mother.

Helen said...

So sorry about X's mother, that is really sad.

Hula Girl at Heart said...

I would go out of my everylasting mind at meetings like that.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother in law.

oreneta said...

Beth and Hula: me too, nah. It is ridiculous,

Thank you all so much for the condolences.