Acts of kindness in this world come too few and far between, which is why I was pleasantly taken aback by your immense generosity this afternoon. As our Zoom meeting came to a close, with the agenda points covered and attendees not knowing what else to do but fill the remaining time with side tangents, you ended the meeting two minutes early, announcing you were giving us all our time back.
First, let me just say how much I value those extra two minutes. There’s so much I could do with this newfound time, I’m almost overwhelmed at the options. It’s like I have a new lease on life! I could listen to about half a song. I could go pee—I probably need to go pee, my bladder has felt like it’s been pressing into my abdomen for the last hour of this meeting. I could briefly disappear into the abyss of my own thoughts. I could watch exactly two full-length TikToks. In fact, I may spend so much time trying to decide what to do with these newly discovered minutes that I end up getting nothing accomplished at all! Ah, the freedom of it.
Although, if I may just offer a bit of constructive criticism—a little role reversal, if you will. Where was this energy when setting up a touch-base for a touch-base? One for which I received no less than six different invites within a 10-minute span, the timing of the meeting shifting in 5-minute increments before I could begrudgingly hit “yes”? I probably spent a good one out of my two now-refunded minutes wrapping my head around, wait, what is the purpose of this meeting? and then digging through my inbox to locate the most up-to-date calendar invitation.
I won’t bother stating the obvious that this touch-base could have been an email chain, but will point out some areas in which I would have really enjoyed my time back more: the 10 minutes in the beginning of the meeting that was dedicated to small-talk (yes, I hope everyone’s doing well, I would love to hear about the trash can your dog got into some other time, preferably with alcohol involved); the 5 minutes Jennifer spent derailing the meeting to discuss her own work stress (please see a therapist); the 7.3 minutes after we all thought the meeting had successfully wrapped up, which Jennifer then spent throwing out her own ideas for the very iniatives we had just finalized (Jennifer, were you even listening?? We are past that!).
I’d be remiss to not consider the fact that your remark was simply a joke. If that’s the case, let me just say that it was the absolute funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, and your sense of humor is unparalleled. Have you ever thought of trying out for SNL? Yes, I seriously mean that! On a totally unrelated note, I’d like to chat about a raise…
But in all seriousness, two minutes are two minutes, and time is the one resource (aside from oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy) that we cannot get back once it’s been spent. So I simply have no choice but to say, from the bottom of my heart and my to-do list: thank you.
Now, I’m off to my next meeting. Crap, I really should have peed.
Forever Grateful Employee.