Sister: So when are we going to lunch?
Senior Manager: This week is just shot.
S: You're not planning on eating lunch this week?
M: I am - but, I can't get away. I am over-booked. Back-to-back-to-back meetings and that doesn't even include the work I have to do.
S: Do you do any work?
M: All I do is work.
S: You say that, and yet, you're always in back-to-back-to-back meetings. Can't you cancel them?
M: I wish. We're supposed to be open, and give input across divisions. If I'm not there, it slows everyone else down.
S: You're doing it wrong.
M: Excuse me?
S: You're doing this whole management thing wrong. If you were talking to me like this as an employee, I'd roll my eyes and go get a smoothie.
M: That's why you don't have a corporate job, sis.
S: That's why you're so bad at yours. Seriously? Back-to-back-to-back? What does that even mean? You walk into every meeting late, unprepared, and with everyone afraid to start because they'll just have to start back over when you arrive.
M: Ha! I had a manager when I first started who would shut and lock the door one minute before the meeting. You were either in or out.
S: How did that go over?
M: I transferred to a better division. 6 months later he was fired when they found out he was sleeping with one of his direct reports.
S: They fire you for that?
M: No. They fired him because that little door-locking stunt was just one of many weird things he did to maintain control, and his division was failing.
S: It's like what Mom says - that's Business Ethics!
M: So what were you saying? You don't think I'm prepared?
S: You showed up to my birthday party 25 minutes late and with the phone in your ear. When you got off the phone, you were boring to talk to for an hour.
M: I just needed to get out of my head - and into the party.
S: Exactly. What you should have done is finished the call, got your head right, and walked into my party smiling that your baby sister was turning 30. Now - I happen to know that nothing in life with the exception of the kids, and maybe your husband, is more important than your baby sister, which means that your employees and other work manager type people aren't getting any of your attention. And that, dear sister, is because you're pretending that it doesn't bother you when you're booked back-to-back-to-back.
M: You really like saying that, don't you.
S: It's so stupid. Back-to-back is fine. When you say back-to-back-to-back, what you're really saying is "I'm so important - look at me and how busy I am!"
M: I decided I like your brother better than I like you.
S: Impossible. Seriously - you said it yourself. I have to get through these meetings and then I'll get the real work done.
M: You might be right - there's actually some studies on that.
S: Some studies - and your brilliant, beautiful, perfect sister telling you that if you're whining to me, you're whining to everyone.
M: I wish it were that simple.
S: What's the point of being the boss if you can't tell people to do their own work?
M: I'm not the boss. And even if you are the boss, that means less time. You're responsible...
S: For all the you's that are running around not getting anything done and pretending to be busy.
M: I can't do lunch this week.
S: Okay - then you should treat me like our brother and pay for my lunch even if you can't go.
M: That happened one time.
S: And that's why I'm your favorite.