Meetings in the Madhouse

Meetings usually began with the participants arriving in dribs and drabs, forming into little chuckling cliques, and sizing up the odd unfamiliar face. Most of the meetings in this hospital Trust involved a hard core of meeting ‘addicts’ who loved the whole scene of professional role play, ego exhibition, and paper progress, alongside a smaller group of staff who had generally been volunteered by their managers and always looked painfully bored or mystified. At great expense, a special meeting room complex had been built on the hospital site as a sort of gold-painted temple for wafflers, but this didn’t stop the meetings invading clinical areas as well. Indeed, local mansions were also hired for special ‘away days’ and ‘team building’, so that staff could play games, join ‘workshops’ and indulge in all sorts of weird mystical cult types of bonding (i.e. loathing each other on sight and then pretending they didn’t). The cost to the taxpayer was again astronomical, with an average £12 – £15 an hour being paid to each member of the 10-20 strong group for anything up to seven hours of complete bull, God knows how many times a year, plus the cost of hiring venues or building purpose-made facilities.
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