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Thread: Passing the time at council meetings

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Passing the time at council meetings

    Many of us are required to attend municipal council or commission meetings. What do you do to keep yourself occupied…besides of course paying close attention to each agenda item? In the past I have you figured out which of the 7 dwarves each of the council members resembles.Currently several of us have a standing bet on the time the meeting would end? Since being armed with a crackberry I find my self check Monday night football scores. How about you, what do you and your colleagues do to pass the time at council meetings?
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  2. #2
    Cyburbian craines's avatar
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    I concoct alternate realities for each of the council members............Its funny how so many times in their alter states that they meet a timely demise.
    Looking for Sanity
    In this Crazy Land Of Ours

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Besides making lists (groceries, renovations, projects), I typically sketch out my ultimate rapid transit network for the city.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Honest beans, the notion of devoting anything less than 100% of my undivided attention to what's getting said every moment at a public meeting is unthinkable to me. I tend to view them as occasions for exercising self defense. I usually don't sleep well the night before a meeting and I lay in bed mentally going over every unconsidered angle or direction I might get ambushed from. The words being on trial come to my mind.

    Maybe I'm just shell shocked from one too many insidious citizen 'remark' or board/council member 'observation' at a meeting.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Doodling is a good pasttime because from afar it looks like you're diligently taking notes.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    On occassion, I have been known to doodle caricatures of the persons of the elected body, appointed body and various citizens, depending on the meeting that I am attending
    Naturally this is done on my agenda and I make it appear like I am taking "serious" notes and maintain a somber and thoughtful expression on my countenance
    Of course what is doodled is always flattering to the person being drawn

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    I do not have to attend many...but the ones I do attend are all over the place....I have two words for you;

    BUZZWORD BINGO

    This keeps us in stiches...Just remmeber to update you list for all the new 'green' buzzwords.


    (Hey, mabye we should have a new thread so that everyone can contribute the buzzwords for making new bingo cards...)
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  8. #8
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    I listen carefully... while scanning the audience for weapons.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I write letters to my grandma.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    I listen carefully... while scanning the audience for weapons.
    So you know who is unarmed that you can roll in the parking lot?


    I doodle a lot, color in each "O" in the agenda, make lists, proofread staff reports for the next meeting (looks like I'm going over the staff reports for the current one). We have monitors toward the back of the room so people back there can see what is going on. When there is no public back there we used to put on football, but the CM nixed that. One of the department heads and I used to make jokes about the witnesses, but once they ended up in the newspaper so that's over now, too. Damn reporter was sitting right behind us.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I check out the women and mentally rank them for hotness.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Solitare on a palm pilot is a wonderful thing! As is Scrabble.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  13. #13
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    So you know who is unarmed that you can roll in the parking lot?
    Only if we're having a budget crunch...

    The staff here also knows some sign language, so we cuss out people from time to time.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  14. #14
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    here's a good bingo game to play -

    http://www.bullshitbingo.net/cards/bullshit/

    but I actually work on other stuff I didn't get done that day - what invariably happens is the Council will be discussing an item on the agenda that I am not a part of and they will find some connection in their discussion to me where they need to ask me a question and then I get busted for not paying attention to an agenda item I wasn't there for in the first place now they are on to me so they do it as a joke or they just laugh when I look up and ask for the question to be repeated

    if fellow department heads are there with their laptops too we also will email each other - while I'm talking about an agenda item I am there for, they will email me "SHUT UP" in the subject line

    if all else fails, ADIDAS!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    here's a good bingo game to play -

    http://www.bullshitbingo.net/cards/bullshit/

    but I actually work on other stuff I didn't get done that day - what invariably happens is the Council will be discussing an item on the agenda that I am not a part of and they will find some connection in their discussion to me where they need to ask me a question and then I get busted for not paying attention to an agenda item I wasn't there for in the first place now they are on to me so they do it as a joke or they just laugh when I look up and ask for the question to be repeated

    if fellow department heads are there with their laptops too we also will email each other - while I'm talking about an agenda item I am there for, they will email me "SHUT UP" in the subject line

    if all else fails, ADIDAS!
    Its not like your posting in the random thoughts thread

  16. #16
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I watch people go by and the sun set out the windows, wishing I was outside as well (this only works in the summer)
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    here's a good bingo game to play -

    http://www.bullshitbingo.net/cards/bullshit/
    Great link..... Did you notice at the top they have other cards like the marketing bingo card. I wish they had a 'Planner Lingo Bingo' card.
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Right now I don't have to attend anything other than the Planning Commission meetings, where I'm usually presenting.
    But in the past, at other jobs, I would either be working on my classwork/homework, writing personal letters, or reading something that looked official but wasn't. I wouldn't be so bold as to pull out a romance novel or something, but sometimes it could get really bad.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I doodled. I inked in the "o"s and other roundish letters and numbers in the staff reports. Unfortunately, my copy of the report, with notes, doodlings, and inkings, had to go into the official file.

  20. #20
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Inspect my eyelids for holes and pull at my crawling underwear. Sometimes I count the holes in the acoustic ceiling tiles.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  21. #21
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Flying Monkeys View post
    I do not have to attend many...but the ones I do attend are all over the place....I have two words for you;

    BUZZWORD BINGO

    This keeps us in stiches...Just remmeber to update you list for all the new 'green' buzzwords.


    (Hey, mabye we should have a new thread so that everyone can contribute the buzzwords for making new bingo cards...)
    yes, please...I love the idea.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Honest beans, the notion of devoting anything less than 100% of my undivided attention to what's getting said every moment at a public meeting is unthinkable to me. I tend to view them as occasions for exercising self defense. I usually don't sleep well the night before a meeting and I lay in bed mentally going over every unconsidered angle or direction I might get ambushed from. The words being on trial come to my mind.

    Maybe I'm just shell shocked from one too many insidious citizen 'remark' or board/council member 'observation' at a meeting.
    Good on ya! Frankly I am shocked that our esteemed contrarians cough cough cyburbians here do not exercise the same level of active listening towards a part of their jobs that help govern the teemings I expected so much more from ya'll

  23. #23
    So, does this mean I can FOIA those drawings, doodles, etc.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    I generally pay pretty close attention because I'm either presenting, or will be expected to answer the commissioners' questions at the next meeting.

    At my first county council meeting at my internship, I was shocked to see the Planning Director reading Field and Stream.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Mtn Woman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    I listen carefully... while scanning the audience for weapons.
    Working in rural areas presents its own challenges.

    Personally, as I arrive at the meeting site, I always check the gun racks to make sure they are full. An empty rack means someone brought the shotgun inside. - I kid you not!!
    Living and dreaming are two different things-but you can't do one without the other."
    -Malcolm Forbes

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