Tech & Work

Don't roll your eyes at me, mister!

At a town counsel meeting in Illinois, an attendee was asked to leave due to her sighing and eye-rolling. This opens up a whole new world for me.

You want to know what makes a blogger who writes about career issues happy? It's when someone tells her about a story like this:

Darlene Heslop, a 47-year-old registered nurse, was attending a meeting of the Elmhurst, Illinois Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Service Committee, when she was asked to leave due to "excessive yawning, sighing out loud, and ‘rolling her eyes.'" Apparently she had issues with one of the topics up for discussion.

Alderman Stephen Hipskind, chairman of the committee and the guy who asked her to leave was then faced with criticisms of violating the First Amendment from other members of the committee, who voted to overturn the chairman's actions. After the vote, two committee members then left, and the meeting was adjourned for a lack of quorum.

Children! Don't make me separate you!

Okay, look, no one likes a smart aleck who sits in a room and makes faces during a meeting. Particularly if those same people will not voice their opinions out loud if you ask them. But in this case, I believe Ms. Heslop would have been more than happy to talk about why she was reacting negatively to the proceedings. She just happened to be very immature in her behavior.

But it just cracks me up that the best way Hipskind could think to deal with this was to have her removed. Did anyone perhaps think of taking the issue offline? Maybe Hipskind and Heslop could have gone to lunch to discuss their differences and talk about what might be more appropriate behavior in a formal setting.

I wasn't aware one could take punitive action against aggravating and immature behavior. This information has set me free! It has inspired me to transform my own meetings by adding warning clauses. And here they are:

  • No bobble-head-like compulsive nodding (or any brown-nosing activity for that matter) when the manager is talking.
  • Beverage containers cannot be larger than the smallest meeting attendee.
  • Any input from attendees must be succinct and directly related to the subject at hand. Those who digress will be stoned and then forcibly removed.
  • Business clichés are banned. Anyone using a sports metaphor for a server-related topic will be publicly shunned and then thrown through a window, not necessarily in that order.

And don't even get me started on eye-rolling.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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