Over at BNET this week, I followed up on last week’s musings on 22 Things To Do During That Boring Conference Call with two related posts: 19 Things To Do During That Boring Meeting, and Work From Home? What You Can Do During That Boring Conference Call.
This theme of posts has been a bit more popular than I wish it was. It seems that many organizations persist in organizing calls that didn’t need to happen, and in scheduling meetings with all hands even though all hands are not required. It’s so short-sighted from a management perspective, because if your employees are sitting, bored, in a meeting, pondering questions like what they’d do if they won the lottery, they are not executing against organizational goals. And isn’t that what you hired them to do?
One suggestion for something to do during a boring conference call (suggested by multiple folks) is to knit or sew. This could, in theory, be the perfect thing to do during a boring meeting as well, with your hands occupied, and you still listening. But as with sewing at church, it’s generally frowned upon. And I think you’d have to be incredibly comfortable with your career trajectory (or male) to open the can of worms associated with knitting or sewing in a professional environment.
But I was reminded last night of just how zen sewing can be when I found myself undertaking a DIY home project. Home ownership is one giant black hole of time. My bedroom curtains are just one small detail of all this, but it was a detail coming after a day of waiting for the Verizon guy to come rehook our phones, which weren’t working because they’re wired through the alarm system for some reason, and the alarm system broke. I had a carpentry team over taking measurements for the book cases, and we’re trying to get a plumber to fix a toilet and possibly the water heater and… mixed in all this, my new drapes are 96 inches, but the existing curtain rods are hung at around 92 inches. I could have taken them to a tailor. But I said the hell with it, got out my sewing needle and thread and started hemming them myself.
It’s already taken me 90 minutes to do two 50 inch panels by hand. No doubt the other panels will take close to 45 minutes each too. Clearly, a professional tailor could do this much faster (not to mention the shop would own a sewing machine). I’m definitely not saving money by doing it myself, when you consider the cost of time. But there was nothing in the house I felt like reading, so there I was, zoning out with my needle and thread, contemplating whether I could make my own throw pillows as well.