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Most of your meetings for work are probably obscenely painful experiences, particularly for those of you who detest your colleagues and especially for the lucky few who’ve been banned from fucking around on your Blackberry while people are talking. All that’s left to do is zone out, or sigh audibly while presentations are being made, and if everyone is taking a page from your playabook, not a lot is getting done. So! A few companies have come up with some ways for making these sessions more productive, and less wastes of your time. Some of them suck, like have people write down ideas on Post-its and then announcing them anonymously so no one is scared to come up with what might be perceived as a dumb suggestion, or asking employees to take crayons and draw their contributions, and then getting pissed when a go-getter comes back with illustrations of the boss and some barnyard animals. Others, while due for some tweaking, aren’t half bad:

Dixon Schwabl Advertising Inc., in Rochester, N.Y., tries to lower the inhibitions of its 82 employees by arming them with water guns, which workers are instructed to bring to all meetings. Anyone who passes a negative comment at the meeting is bound to get wet.


An (essential) outlaw on negative comments seems somewhat counterproductive (sometimes people need to be told they’re stupid, okay?), but introducing water guns in the conference room? What’s not love? But we need to think bigger. For instance, dunk tanks. That would a fun little element, wouldn’t it? Like, whoever comes up with the best idea for the meeting gets to select whichever colleague he wants to see up there, and everyone gets to take a hit, or, whoever had the best idea that day gets to have everyone line up and take a shot at sinking them all. Whatever, details have yet to be hammered out. And obviously we need more. A certain leader in the hedge fund industry recently introduced tasers at morning meetings, and I can’t say we don’t like that. Also: charades (“Five words. First word, salutation.” “Sir”? “No.” “Mr”? “No.” “Miss“? “Yes.” “Fifth word, noun, plural.” “Balls”? “No.” “Trades”? “No.” “Models”? “No.” “Stilettos”? “Yes!” “Miss, where are your stilettos“? “Yes!!!”). And cattle prods. You’ve got to have cattle prods. What else?
Boring Meetings? Get Out The Water Guns [WSJ via Heidi Moore]

55 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (55)

  1. Posted by NakedShort | January 7, 2010 at 7:12 AM

    "Anyone who passes a negative comment at the meeting is bound to get wet."
    Also works for junior female associates during meetings at Meredith Whitney's shop

  2. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    I think you all know what I'd like to introduce to our morning meetings.
    -PJ

  3. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    Cattle Prods. There has to be a place in meetings for Cattle prods.

  4. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    PPT Mad Libs?
    Interpretive dance?
    Charades?

  5. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    They use urine at Deutsche to accomplish the same ends…

  6. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    white tshirts and waterguns at all meetings… welp, I'm sold

  7. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    There's no group of two or more people that can't be made more fun by the inclusion of ball gags and latex.

  8. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    a meaningful meeting= soaking females with male urine in the morning meetings

  9. Posted by Anal_yst | January 7, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    yes, because this would fly anywhere other than a "creative" firm…

  10. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    "Papershow, which is made by Canson Inc. and retails for about $200, works like a digital whiteboard with a special interactive pen."
    Presented without comment.

  11. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    vending machine challenge.

  12. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    What does it say that the only person with a white shirt in that pic is a dude? And an ugly dude at that. Would have been much better if the blonde next to him wore white and was being hosed down.
    That's right. I said "hosed down."

  13. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:24 AM

    I'd shoot those chicks with my super soaker

  14. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    celebrity guest appearances by bess levin

  15. Posted by wcburrs87 | January 7, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    NakedShort – brilliant. On another level from most on here.

  16. Posted by CoveredLong | January 7, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    @Anal_yst – Agreed with your use of 'creative'…often times 'creative' people are either the self-appointed type who are actually quite uncreative or they spend so much time 'ideating' BS ideas, they forget to actually create.
    Creatine on the other hand, is very(muscle) creative.

  17. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    @ 15 = closeted gay

  18. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:32 AM

    Down a shot of tequila every time someone uses an acronym.

  19. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:34 AM

    @5, piss off!

  20. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:34 AM

    new and inventive use of whiteboard markers!!
    -co-signed,
    Ping Jiang and Keith Moss

  21. Posted by Sluggard Haste | January 7, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    Ummgh, how do you keep the TPS reports from getting wet?
    Lumbergh

  22. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    White board markers!!!! Yeah, I know you already have those, but sometimes it is less about the props and more about how you use them.
    — Guess Who?
    Who wants to be my little Tong-ster?

  23. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:37 AM

    Hey Sarah, you hear this? No more looking at your blackberry during important client meetings…where you are the lead presenter. I am bringing my water soaker and your Hermes scarf is going to be the only thing dry when I am done. Nips on the 52nd floor on Madison. Oh, I can't wait. JFS.

  24. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:39 AM

    @27 maybe a little too insidery?

  25. Posted by highlyconfident | January 7, 2010 at 7:46 AM

    We generally just throw feces at negative commenters.
    -Wachovia Powerballer

  26. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:54 AM

    They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
    Fuel burning fast on an empty tank,
    Wreckless and wild they pour thru the turns…

  27. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 7:55 AM

    I'd seriously cut a bitch if someone shot a water gun at me in a meeting

  28. Posted by Anal_yst | January 7, 2010 at 8:00 AM

    @ Coveredlong
    We're just jealous we don't get paid to sit around "ideating" all day, soaking unsuspecting colleagues in vodka tonic (or whatever your cocktail of choice), shot out of awesome adult toys like http://www.hasbro.com/shop/details.cfm?guid=93264

  29. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    @15 – piss off and die, please.

  30. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    Oh How Clever these marketing people are so FUN and silly !!!!!!!

  31. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    @22, amazing. Add to it a list of words/phrases that can't be said. like a giant game of Taboo.
    I'll start: reinvent the wheel, ideate, leverage [when not referring to debt or capital structure]
    Also, add bonus points for anyone who can get an OOO-style hooker analogy. In which case you can 'reinvent the wheel', if you know what I mean.

  32. Posted by Becky Boot Fan | January 7, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    Now, dicks have drive and clarity of vision, but they are not clever. They smell pussy and they want a piece of the action. And you thought you smelled some good old pussy, and have brought your two little mincey faggot balls along for a good old time. But you've got your parties muddled up. There's no pussy here, just a dose that'll make you wish you were born a woman. Like a prick, you are having second thoughts. You are shrinking, and your two little balls are shrinking with you. And the fact that you've got "SUPER SOAKER" written down the side of your guns….and the fact that I've got DESERT EAGLE .50 written down the side of mine…should precipitate your balls into shrinking, along with your presence. Now…fuck off.

  33. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:07 AM

    Guy at the head of the table looks like he's about to cut a fart.

  34. Posted by merkin capital partn | January 7, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    TEC-9 works best for negative comments.
    /dylan klebold.

  35. Posted by american bandersnatc | January 7, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    Water guns! You have got to be freaking kidding me! No wonder the Chinese are ripping our balls off and using them as bearings in the washing machines they sell back to our laid off factory workers.

  36. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    @30-
    He's going the distance.
    He's going for speed.
    She's all alone, all alone in her time of need.

  37. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    Can't wait to see the HR policy on the proper use of Super Soakers.

  38. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    @36 – Vinny Jones is the best.

  39. Posted by Effective Date | January 7, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    @BBF/36 – awesome

  40. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Hookers + blow.

  41. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    Pound your secretary in her ass while she takes notes on the meeting?

  42. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    41 I got a copy the minute management found out I had filled mine with jizz.
    Socially inept IT Guy.

  43. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    @45 small point but that sounds more like a training/demo than a meeting, no?

  44. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    @47 – I suppose. Maybe its better suited for phone conferences.

  45. Posted by Lowly Assistant | January 7, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    38 – wow

  46. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    I would rather wet all the females with oil or personal lubricant to eliminate all traces during medical examination.

  47. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    "Maybe we should scale back a bit on investing in these synthetic CDOs, I mean, do we really understan… *gasp* HEY! *sputter* Fuck you guys, I'm going to change shirts."

  48. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    @51 v good

  49. Posted by MikeTyson | January 7, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Watersports are fun.
    – P. Jiang

  50. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    @51 too soon?

  51. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Whoever has the best idea gets a Moustache Ride!!

  52. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    @analyst- no one asked for your ‘dose of reality’ contribution.

  53. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    @5, piss off!

  54. Posted by guest | January 7, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    @5, piss off!

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