So this week, there was a big three hour off site meeting for everyone who works for my company. There are thousands of employees in the area, so meetings with everyone tend to be rather enormous.
The CEO flew out to give what I'll term his "ra-ra" speech. Nothing of substance is said. We're growing, we want the stock price to go up. There may be things unsaid or implied - but it would take way too much analysis and brain power for me to concentrate on them. And in the end, it probably wouldn't help me either way if I could decode what he says.
I was told the meeting was mandatory. Yes, I doomed myself politically by even asking. I'm already working overtime - and since our deadline doesn't move - if I went to this meeting, I would pretty much have to make up the time.
I was not looking forward to it, yet I was resigned. Fortunately, I was saved by my new team lead, who also knew I was dreading having to go. (Keeping my opinions to myself is not one of my strong points). At the last minute she stopped by and said that she realized our project was behind and we could stay. A part of me (in the ensuing quiet three hours) realized that it would have been nice to get out of the office, but I did get a lot done. (So I can actually write tonight instead of attempting to work).
My old boss (it's a long story) who is still somehow part of my reporting/management structure (but I'm not exactly sure how) stopped by around 15 minutes before the off site meeting was going to start. I had overheard her in another cube talking with some of the other team members who weren't going. I had hoped I had dodged that bullet.
She said "Oh, you're not going too"?? I tried to look crestfallen and resolute, and mention that I had planned on going but decided to stay and work after all.
She said "We all have to make hard choices".
I tried not to laugh out loud.