Today at work a meeting was announced for 11:45, but, thanks to a stop at the restroom, I was almost late. Walking toward the door to the meeting room (aka “the break room”) at 11:45, I heard that Chuck, the speaker, had already started. I briefly thought, “Should I just skip it?” But I pushed ahead.
On the way in, I passed a guy on his way out. Before I could make it through the crowd at the door to go stand at the back of the room, I heard Chuck say, “Anne! Would you come and stand beside me, please?”
Sigh. Never ignore your Inner Voice when she tells you to skip a meeting.
I was told later that right before I’d entered, Chuck had asked for “five outgoing people” to volunteer. I’m sure people then thought, “And he picked Anne?!” In the absence of outgoing volunteers, I guess Chuck opted to make an example of the late newbie.
So, Chuck picked three other people, and we stood aside while he explained the reason for the meeting: he’s tired of all the rumors he’s been hearing about the fate of our company. The rumors have got to stop, they’re out of control, blah, blah, blah. To make his point, he told the other three to step outside while the fifth volunteer (the guy I’d passed on the way in) came back in. Chuck explained that #5 had just spent time carefully reading a story; #5 would tell me the story from memory, and I in turn would repeat it to the next volunteer.
Great, I thought. We’re playing the rumor game. The one I played years ago at a fifth-grade sleepover.
Surprisingly, I didn’t feel myself red-faced embarrassed during any of this. Did I mention that this was in a room full of about fifty people? Yes, very surprising indeed! I simply listened to the guy’s story, repeated it badly to the next guy, and watched Chuck stand there so pleased with himself that his real-life example was working the way it was supposed to.
Anyway, the topic of rumors always reminds me of one of my favorite email exchanges with my boyfriend:
Him: “… That’s how rumors get started, you know.”
Me: “I thought they were started by the jealous people…?”