Well, I had one of the most surreal experiences of my life a few months ago. It was certainly the weirdest meetings I have ever had and I have had some weird ones. After much to do, with multiple meeting cancellations and months passing, I finally got scheduled a meeting with this gentlemen.
Now, it had been put in my diary by my PA as at set time. I squeezed in an urgent meeting just before it, where I received some shocking news. I was running late, it was raining and I ran to get there, being ten minutes late.
I waited outside, and then was rushed in to see him, being told by his assistant that I had ten minutes. Now I had not expected that, but tried to compose myself. I entered the room, immediately getting the vibe that I was not totally welcome. I was told, by the gentlemen once again that I had ten minutes. I apologized all the way, from the receptionist, to the PA, to the gentlemen for being late.
Being a little flustered, I rushed through all my stuff and was a little disjointed, he was a little hostile, telling me he did not want to be interviewed and also that he wanted specifically what I wanted, plus he then went onto say various things, including that the meeting was scheduled for a half hour earlier, which according to me it was not. Concluding with the statement that ‘I had an attitude problem’ and terminated the meeting. Getting up and walking out.
Well, I rose and left, sadly rising to the bait and saying that he had a bad attitude, as well. (Which was petty, I know but I was now shocked). From the PA collecting me from reception to being kicked out, the meeting lasted less than 7 minutes. I walked out and left the building.
Later, this gentleman emailed me, telling me he never had a meeting like it and taking great joy in pointing out that the meeting was scheduled for the time that he had stated (PA to PA communication) and that I had requested the meeting, which I had and not denied. I replied saying that I had not meant to cause offense and that it was the weirdest meeting of my career to date too.
But in my opinion, what this was really about is old vs. new media. A lumbering and successful dinosaur giant coming into contact with the younger world, this clash of old and new is only going to become more frequent. As with most people who don’t understand a changing world and what is affecting them, they lash out. In this case it was a particularly evident.
As the world changes this will happen more and more, one of the things that new media companies, moguls and individuals will come across will be the frequent blockages by these dinosaurs as their world around them crumbles.