Meeting Mess

Our software development manager scheduled a daily meeting with our customer to support the new system startup. I dialed in when the meeting was supposed to start. All I heard from the phone system was that “the host has not yet arrived”. Then I got disconnected. Another developer asked me if we were having the meeting. I said I was going to try dialing in again. When I did call back, I got the same response.

Now the manager who scheduled this meeting is notorious for scheduling conference calls, deciding to cancel the conference call, and either never tell us or let us know well after the fact. So I did not think twice about giving up on this latest conference call after he did not start the meeting and I got disconnected.

This resulted in emails and phone calls from the manager to be. He told me he expected that I participate in the meeting daily. And he made it sound like I was at fault here. That made me very salty. So I called him up and said I did participate by calling in, but he did not start the meeting. He said he started the meeting but it started late. I told him that he could have helped by starting the meeting promptly. I also told him that he had a pattern of canceling meetings without informing anybody.

After talking with this manager some more, I found out what the real issue was. The customer asked a lot of hard questions that nobody knew the answers to. And I am a guy who would have been able to answer those questions. So I told the manager that in the future, if his meetings did not start on time, or I got disconnected, I would call him directly on his cell phone for guidance. He tried to tell me that I could check with somebody else, but I was not having any of it.

There are probably a couple lessons to be learned from this situation. The one I am taking away with me is that if you are slacking on a regular basis, you are going to lose some respect and it will bite you in the end. This guy did not do a good job with his meetings and he now has some pain he needs to deal with. That is all fine by me. But if his past performance makes him turn on me, then I am not going to back down whether he is a manager or a vice president or even god. I can do that because I am the man with the knowledge after all.

Ok. My rant is over with. Peace out.