Sometime back I expressed my frustration about being being excessively taxed.But to think of it...you dont pay taxes all through the year..you just realise the pain only when you are parting with dear money. So,i crib, i wine at the prospect of loosing money but not more than a month after submitting returns.
I paid returns this time but i din't do it online via taxact, a friend suggested desi accountants in US can help you save more buck by bringing lots of addendums which you dont even know. With great hope i went to this gulti tax accountant...immediately after seeing this shabbily dressed guy with a very rotound belly, i thought my odds of saving money increased significantly. I will tell u i could have hit the million that day in DEAL or NO DEAL had i participated. I was deeply contented that i have found the sage who is going to help save all my hard earned dollars.
After an hours debate..herez what i get...
Me: How about my travel expenses... I travelled to india on my expenses ..can i make any claims.
TC: You can but did you attend any training ?
TC: Then forget it you cant make claims.
Me: I am being double tax, b'cause part of my salary is paid here
TC: Oh u see your company should issues a statement to federal govt, and the saving will be only 200 bucks..i wouldn't take that effort for 200 bucks
Me: Ok how about my city council tax
TC: Oh your county they dont allow anything of that sort
Me: I have run out of any ideas do you suggest me something ?
TC: You have one option..."Marrying"
TC: If you marry your tax slab would change and you get huge deductable tax receives a huge jump...so at this rate you will get a refund of 2500 dollars. (Now i owe 1000 dollars)
Me: You know what i have a better idea.. i'll go back to INDIA.
This moron not only charged me 100 dollars but preached me stuff about civic social responsibility. If you want to save money i am not the one i can send you to a guy in india who will just about do any dirty thing to save your penny. Do you want to do this or be a good citizen ? Well needless to say i became a good citizen.
Incidentally that was not why i started writing the post... i really wanted to underlie the utility of having meetings. Let me make it clear upfront - i am not saying we shouldn't be having any meetings at all. Infact if used constructively in a very structured way it is the most effective problem solving mechanism that human kind knows. For all the pros its has i suspect there are even bigger cons. Meetings can be as simple as giving status updates, trying to solve a problem, handle a crisis ...(pls note - meeting your girlfriend is out of scope of this discussion) and the list goes on...Now a days i have seen myself participating in as many as 4 meetings per day...almost daily. You might say Voila ... Finally he has arrived.
Well a lot of us are made believe attending meeting is really important and think that we have climbed that seemingly tall corporate ladder...but sorry i beg to differ here.I have had very bitter experiences with meetings, in most meeting i am usually made the scape goat. Meetings are used as protective shield from where the managers throw garbage onto your table. I am sure many of you are cornered in meeting ala me. Well people like to have meeting, talk and assign tasks to other - unfortunately i have not reached that stage where i can do this yet. So its not really enriching an experience.
One of the most important task of a manager is delegation and the most primitive management technique is assinging tasks - It amounts to finding a scape goat and assigning him a job. Getting task assigned is not bad, but expecting the assignee to work on the issues, give you constant updates, harass him - specially in matrix organization is cardinal. Between attending 4 meetings almost all running to 1 hr each. The expectation, some times unrealistic would be to resolve issues, provide updates, send out email communications in remaining available time. Herez my list for effective meetingToo many cooks spoil the broth
Effectiveness of a meeting is determined by the number of participants, smaller the number of participants more effective the out come.Identify the right Stakeholder
Rght stakeholder really determines the end result, the participants should really be the key personnel towards resolving the issues, missing any party or adding substitutes by no measure helps the cause. I am pretty low in the org pyramid - i think too much of participation from senior management is a deterrent to the meeting. Unless a key decision involving huge approvals and risks it help have senior management. Management will be interested in things which really matters. Wind up summaries or abstract really help this cause. Right Agenda
Not all things can be discussed in a single city, have an agenda, stick to the agenda.Set realistic objectives for the meeting. Prioritize the items in your agenda... you may want to start with the most critical issue and end with the most minor issue. S Just in case you run out of time it better to miss the least critical one. Ensure that the meeting is concluded in the fixed time, even if you miss couple of items. Background\Preparation
Lack of preparation, coming to the meeting without understanding the issue really doesnt help. Its good not to attend a meeting without knowing what is expected out of you. Always expect the know be prepared for the unknown. An unprepared participant is a negative value add, he can at best help waste others time. Duration
Based on the my experience anything between 30-60mins would be ideal. Anything over an hour is long and the participants looses interest.Schedule
Anything in the first hour of the day helps. Having said that we work in flat world it would be very difficult to accomodate all the time zones. But as things evolve EST 8-10 is really good, i think we indians prefers call in the evening or later in the night. Pls avoid friday evening calls.
Good to have a windup mail, summarise the key points..nothing elaborate very crispy. Schedule follow-up meetings for pending tasks see through that these meetings are not prolonged. Those are my 2 cents amigos...any best practices you can think to make meeting less painful??