Monday, 12 April 2010

My first meeting

It was very quiet at work last week. No students. So I set about working with the other technicians to start a scheduled maintenance service for the equipment. Alas, no welding! But I was invited to my first ever meeting with the lecturers - I think the Professor must like me.

When I worked for the Japanese car company, I attended many meetings, usually with funny names like Kan Ban, or Kaizen, or Poke Yoke. But they were very orderly and not like this one! The meeting was to decide how to mark students' work, and first of all everyone was late, and fussed about with their skinny lattes. I just had a bottle of water - that's all we were allowed at the car company. And then everybody started talking at once!

There were eight people there so that was a lot of babble, with people interrupting each other all the time. But nobody seemed to take any notice of other people's point, and after nearly thirty minutes we had got nowhere. I felt that I wanted to speak, so I waited and waited with my hand held up; eventually the Professor noticed me.

"Did you want to say something, Alice?"
"Yes Professor. Where are the cards?"
"The cards, Alice?"
"Where I work before, in meetings we all had a yellow card and a red card. Holding up a yellow card meant that you had a point to make - and the chair would take note and ask you when the speaker had finished. But a red card meant you had a very important point to make that contradicted what the speaker was saying. Then the chair would let you interrupt."
"Well Alice, that's very interesting. We've never tried that here; perhaps we should."

I saw all the clever lecturers staring at me. Then a man I call Daft Dave looked at me at said "Simples, eh?" and made a silly squeaking noise. Silly man; I was born in Lithuania. I am not a Russian meerkat. But I notice that everybody stopped interrupting each other afterwards!


  1. Do you work at a Greek University?

  2. Isn't there an old Lithuanian saying about teachers?

  3. Not Greek Nikos - but they use funny Greek-like words. They talked for an hour on 'Pedagogy' (?? what is it??).

  4. Alice

    I checked it out for you - it seems to be a place in Poland.