“Um” Tally

We had a meeting at work. Those words alone make me sleepy and what kind of meeting it was hasn’t even been defined yet.

For me, I’ve gotten used to our half hour early morning meeting we have everyday. But the one kind of meeting I will never get used to is the hour long company wide speaker phone meetings we have.

Company wide might not be right. It was just North America. Over 200 people were listening. You would think that this would be a productive well thought out meeting. But they aren’t.

First of all, they are useless. They tell us to be safe and then take months to fix things and months to give us permission to stop unsafe procedures. Pointless.

Secondly, they suck at talking. For real. They are the worst speakers on the planet. If this job has taught me one thing it’s how to stay awake when surrounded by the most boring people on the planet talking in a monotone voice about the most boring things in the world.

This is how I stayed awake.

I kept a tally of how many times the speakers used the word “Um.”

I’ll save you some time and just tell you it’s 276 times. In one hour. Keeping this tally is the only thing that kept me awake.

And it didn’t work towards the end. Can you see that big ink dot between 267 and 268? That’s the dot that forms when you keep the tip of your pen on the paper for two long. It happened because I fell asleep.

Do you see that weird discoloration under the tally on the right side of the notebook? That’s from the pastries that we got to eat during the meeting. No doubt they were meant to keep us awake. It was hard to grab a doughnut and do the tally because the “Um’s” were too close together. I’d go to reach for one and they would say “Um.” I’d try again and they would “Um” again. It would happen like five times in a row. I must have looked crazy reaching for a doughnut and then going back empty handed to mark the notebook again and again and again.

Also, the one guy dropped several double “Um’s.” It was like he was starting and ending his sentences with “Um.”

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