I was stuck with my France-based colleagues in a god-awful boring horrible useless netmeeting with people across the Atlantic at the end of our work day here today.

It's probably because I was (am) so desperately tired from sleeping so poorly for so many nights in succession that I've lost track of how many, but I was very wicked. After setting the stage for an emergency escape by saying that there were thunderstorms in the area (true, but my characterizing them as "severe" was a bit hyperbolic, I'll admit), I went ahead and found a youtube video of a thunderstorm and jacked up my laptop speaker to the max after quietly sampling where the best crash-and-boom was. (Thank God for mute buttons on our phone consoles, given the French-side reactions to these antics.)

The overseas colleagues were convinced. The next step was to have been playing another youtube clip that I'd found, this time of a fire alarm (which would be attributed to a short circuit caused by a lightning strike, and not to an actual fire), at which point we could all have excused ourselves because we would ostensibly have to leave the building. Safety first!

I regret that I didn't have the nerve to go ahead and click on play. As it turned out, we were already slated to give up 90 irreplaceable minutes of our lives for this wretched meeting, and yet even that was not long enough to wring out every last bit of pointlessness. Even occasionally interjecting myself into the conversation (to the amusement of one or both colleagues), just to make those in North America think that we were fully engaged instead of dying to be done with the whole business, did not really mitigate the boredom at all.

How I loathe useless meetings. Meetings generally, for that matter. Argh.

The end.

25 June addendum: Perhaps my unprofessional conduct did not go unnoticed after all: first email told the three of us that we would no longer have to attend these meetings; but the terse second (in response to my asking if the meeting convener wanted us to instead submit bi-weekly reports) seemed to make it clear that the convener was offended. Convener did not provide any opening for an apology, however, so I am waiting for one of my colleagues to make contact before I, abashed and a bit ashamed, try to make amends.