Now...I've been watching the "Real World" on MTV since way back in the day (when they still put ugly people with career aspirations on camera! That's wacky!)...so this entire time, I've been thinking that "the real world" was a place where young twenty somethings drank a lot, lived in a house, slept in each other's beds, and agreed to have their lives taped.
...and it's mostly like that. I only occasionally break from that raucous lifestyle to spend 87% of my life in meetings.
When the Ancient Egyptians invented meetings...it was with good intentions.
King Tut: "I have invented a drink I like to call beer, let us meet to discuss it."
But then some numb nuts had to go ahead and invent papyrus...and it led to the downfall of meetings (and hence...all productive society). Paperwork...memos...'taking minutes'. Damn Egyptians. (Note: most of my knowledge of Ancient Civilizations is pulled directly from the Flintstones and old episodes of "Legends of the Hidden Temple"...therefore it is beyond contestation).
I often think that people create meetings under the best of intentions...
"Let's feed the world's hungry AND set a dress code policy!"
7 hours later, and not only have you not fed the hungry...but you haven't fed yourself...and you're getting anonymous hate mail from all your underlings who used to enjoy wearing gaucho pants to work.
Conducting a meeting...
Step 1: Thank everyone for coming. Let everyone know that their opinions are important and they are a valued part of the team. Hold hands...sing a song...etc.
Step 2: Set a loaded pistol on the table in front of you. Let it be known that since you're all friends...you really don't want to have to use it.
Step 3: Some people are pretty thick headed and won't take your first threat seriously. Come prepared! As soon as a voice of dissent arises, open your briefcase and remove a small squirt bottle filled with ice water. Then, in a low (but firm) tone, say, "No! Bad Co-worker!" and give 'em a squirt in the face. After several years of gentle conditioning, co-workers will learn their place (Extra tip: Keep a cage in the conference room to crate train any employees under 25).
Step 4: Assign items for action to anyone NOT in the room at the time of the meeting.
Step 4.5 (time permitting): Treat any gunshot/stab wounds.
Step 5: Adjourn and have margaritas!