One of the extremely small number of silver linings that have resulted from the pandemic is that we are free from having to attend boring in-person meetings. I'm not saying that Zoom meetings are all that much better, but in case you've forgotten how irritating it is to be trapped in a conference room, here are some commonly uttered phrases that, if you're like me, will raise your hackles.
1. "Let's go around the table and introduce ourselves."
Translation: "Let's start the meeting with a series of cringe-worthy moments where people try to make themselves sound interesting or important."
2. "Let's go around the table for a status update."
Translation: "I was too lazy/stupid/drunk to create an agenda, so we're going to listen to everyone try to pump up their minimal importance by framing Brownian motion activity as if it were 'mission critical.'"
3. "Let's brainstorm some new ideas."
Translation: "Against all reason and contrary to all experience, I expect you clueless dweebs to be suddenly inspired, as if by Zeus's thunder bolts, to say something creative, interesting, or useful."
4. "We need some out-of-the-box thinking."
Translation: "Let's brainstorm some new ideas."
5. "The purpose of this presentation is to ... "
Translation: "Because I have no respect for your time whatsoever, I am now going to ask you to absorb information at the slowest possible pace, with the least possible precision, as I walk you through my clouded, phlegmatic thought process."
6. "No phones allowed in this meeting."
Translation: "I am fully aware that I am one of the most boring people on the planet and have no possibility whatsoever of competing with even the least interesting thing on your mobile device, so I'm going to force you to listen to me, come hell or flood waters."
7. "Let's stop here and reconvene next week."
Translation: "Ever heard of Sisyphus?"
8. "Do you mind if I take the last doughnut?"
Translation: "I am going to take that last doughnut but pretend that everyone else had a chance before I got my greedy little hands on it."
9. "Don't shoot the messenger."
Translation: "Prepare to die."