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Tell us your meeting nightmare and win a Samsung Galaxy

Meetings can be painful, but herding cats down to a meeting time that fits for everyone, definitely is. We want to learn about your worst scheduling experience and therefore we’re hosting the Meeting Nightmare Contest: Tell us your worst scheduling nightmare and you might win a great Samsung Galaxy smartphone or one of the other prizes!

Send us your story until November 12th!

Update: The contest has been closed. Thanks you very much for your participation and those fantastic stories! Read here the ten final stories and who got the prices!

9 comments on “Tell us your meeting nightmare and win a Samsung Galaxy

  1. A few years ago, while working for the “World’s Largest Software Company” in Redmond, Washington, I scheduled a meeting to discuss test strategy, but had inadvertently transposed the numbers of the year. I sat in an empty conference room for a half hour fuming, and did not discover my error until I had returned to my desk. I wonder how many folks will show up for my far-in-advance scheduled meeting in 2040?

  2. Margaret Tang

    About a year ago we had a conference with about 250 people someone else was organizing the event but 1 week prior to the event this person went on leave and left me with the details to organize the day of. I saw one of the sheets had 250 lunches from the caters I called and confirmed the lunches that there will be 250 lunches coming.

    One the day I realized that there were 250 lunches ordered but only half portions we ordered (ie only half a sandwich per person). We had to rush and order 10 pizzas and we still did not have food. I have learnt to always ask about portion size.

  3. We all have had nightmares wondering if guest speakers would show up. My biggest horror was that a guest speaker DID show up, but with the WRONG presentation. Rather than speaking on healthy relationships to a group of high school students, the speaker showed up with a full presentation on STD’s with pictures that were of a very adult nature. The speaker was so embarrassed but said that she would make it work and did not want to postpone. I made the error of letting her proceed and finally I stopped the presentation because the speaker was losing it as she tried to zip through inappropriate pictures, but still too much was being shown. Mind you the topic was appropriate as even high school students need to know about STD’s, but this particular presentation was made with too many slides that ‘zoomed’ into too great a detail, if you know what I mean. Luckily we all laughed it off.

  4. Michele Bennett

    As an engineering technician, I tend to be the liazon between production managers, engineers (software, hardware, etc.), scientists, and upper level stakeholders. Trying to arrange any type of meeting with so many department heads can be a night mare and always imparitive to the progress of a project. THe project I was working on involved redesigning a major flaw in one of our most used products. I was to gather volumes of test data, monitor outcomes, adjust procedures, and then gather everyone together to discuss my findingings. This involved millions of dollars in product displacement and needed to be resolved ASAP. Youv’e heard the term “Hurry up and wait.” My part of the project, under much stress and duress from the team, was completed – however, trying to get the team under one tent took over 3 weeks. Oh, did I mention I was 4 weeks away from delivering my second child?! The day everyone finaly gathered in the clean room to review my findings, my water broke, yes, right then and there (in the clean room, no less). If I would have had DOODLE capabilities back then, I sure in the @#@#@# would have used it!

  5. Earlier today I went in to the city to meet with a felow designer. He a design stratergist, myself an industrial designer. We had arranged to meet in one of the many coffee shops, the particualr one being of a large chain has two in the city in close proximity of each other. After waiting 15 minuets, I decided to go back to the office and give up on the meeting, beliving something must have gone awry. As I stepped through the door my PA was just putting the phone down… on the line had been my collegue trying to find out where I was. It transpired that he had gone to an entierly differant but still large chain coffee house. We discovered also that we had both gone to the second coffee house whilst the other was at the first. we must have crossed paths in the high street without realising. We’ve rearranged the meeting… this time we aren’t going for coffee

  6. Anne Rogerson

    Recently I had to organise an international meeting with guests from 12 different countries. We meet twice a year and in a different country each year. This time I was organising it on home turf (Dublin) so it should have been easy. It was planned 6 months in advance so everyone had it in their diaries and had confirmed availability. With two weeks to go, everyone with flights and hotels booked, I realised I’d made a major gaff. It was a bank holiday in Ireland and the venue for the meeting plus all activities would be closed. None of the other countries had holidays the same day so no one had noticed. Aaaaaaah!

  7. Chris McNicholas

    First week in a new job is always tiring and mine was no different. On the Friday afternoon of what seemed like a very very long week, we had the annual presentation from the IT Director. I promptly fell asleep and slept through at least 20 minutes of the meeting – thankfully no one noticed and enjoyed a highly successful five years in the job, when it could have ended so badly.

  8. Virginia Kallianes

    One of my first responsibilities in a new job was to organize the logistics of a staff retreat of about 50 people. This included about 17 staff traveling to NY from international locations (Africa, India, etc.). I spent months coordinating all the arrangements with the conference center, and making travel, ground tranportation, meal and accommodations arrangements. The retreat was scheduled for April, to begin on a Tuesday. On the Friday morning before, 2 business days prior to the first day of the retreat, we woke up to news of a volcanic eruption in Iceland and by the time we got to the office we already had messages from overseas staff — some of whom had begun their travel — saying that their flights through Europe were cancelled, airports were closing, or their travel was on hold until the ash cloud from the volcano cleared. Since it looked like none of our overseas staff would be able to travel, we had to make a quick decision whether to cancel the entire retreat, which we ultimately did. I’m not sure that the conference center believed me at first when I called saying that we had to postpone the meeting because of a volcano in Iceland! We just held the retreat, 6 months later, and I had to do all the planning all over again!

  9. Thanks for all those great stories – we had an awesome time reading them! The entry period is closed by now and the judges will decide on the winning submission.

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