fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Conference Rooms

While sitting in a meeting yesterday in which 18 people were collectively rewriting a document that had been entirely rewritten on Friday and using terms like "in negotiation space," I found myself thinking about the naming of conference rooms. This is not, perhaps, as poetic a subject as the naming of cats, but it's better than arguing about the implications of the word "your." (I do not make these things up.)

My company's east coast offices have rather bland conference room names. Lots of them just have numbers. At our Washington headquarters, the two conference rooms are the Executive Conference Room and the Pittman Conference Room. I have no idea who the Pittman in question was (nor do I know who the Campbell was that they named the conference center at one of our other East Coast facilities after), but he got the room with the good view which doesn't seem quite fair to executives.

The Pentagon just uses room numbers, too, as does the building I primarily work in. However, it is not uncommon to refer to certain conference rooms by ownership. I once went to a meeting in the SecDef's conference room, for example. (Nice room, but you have to keep people from congregating outside and talking loudly before and after the meeting since the Secretary's office is right across the hall.)

I'm going to a meeting today at an organization with the rare trait of having conference room names that are somewhat relevant to their mission. A space-related group does well to name their conference rooms after Von Braun, Goddard, Einstein, etc.

I suppose the fairly common practice of hotel conference centers using names with some reference to local geography is also pretty reasonable. Sometimes it's the names of cities within the state or counties or rivers. Some cities force dishonesty, of course, since nobody would ever name the conference rooms in a Parisian hotel after the most common local traits. But it amuses me to think about going to a conference where one session would be in the Arrogance room and another in the Sneering at Americans room and so on.

The meeting yesterday was in the warlike Apache room. I know they also have a Cherokee room, but I'm not sure what other Indian tribes they've chosen. Listening to people spend 10 minutes arguing over whether to say "system" or "assets" made me wonder if the nature of the meeting might have been different had we been in, say, the Iroquois room instead. But, no, the drive for consensus was a lot of what was creating the massive time sink.

By the way, we did eventually (after an hour and a half) get to the actual subject of the meeting, which then took about 15 minutes.
Tags: work

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