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Do not disturb : I am scheduling a meeting

Humor , technology , wonder why - 5 comments

If there is one thing that Darwin’s theory of evolution cannot explain, it would be “why humans evolved to schedule meetings?” I am no qualified biologist. Heck I don’t even know a mulberry from blue-berry. But I have spent exactly 3.1415 hours yesterday alone scheduling exactly 1 meeting. This my dear reader, qualifies me to comment on an all important activity that takes up 33% of all managers in the world, namely: scheduling meetings. Of the remaining 33% is spent in meetings and another 33% is spent sharing meeting notes leaving an incredible 14% of time to actually work. But I digress, so going back to the scheduling meetings..

According to someone on the internet the top 3 unsolvable problems in computer science are:

  1. Scheduling a meeting with “n” parties by finding any free time (t1) such that
    • at t1 all the parties are free
    • t1 is less than future time (t2) before which the meeting must happen
    • and the total time taken to schedule the meeting (tx) is such that now() + tx is less than t1
  2. Finding out exactly how to use lotus notes before it kills you
  3. Proving that number of lines of code in windows xp is less than number of times it crashes

So it is no surprise I alt+tabbed 39203920 times between invitee’s calendar windows before finding out that they all are simultaneously free on 31st April at 11:30 AM. I could find out real square root of imaginary numbers before the meeting happens. But then, I ask, “why scheduling meetings is such difficult task?”

How software like lotus notes lets us schedule meetings:

How software should have scheduled meetings:

Instead of solving this seemingly simple problem of finding available time slots for having a meeting the office productivity software development teams across the world are solving imaginary problems like “display meaningless images while typing passwords to distract password stealers” or “finding annoying stationary formats and making them default mail formats” and such like.

Ok, I must stop my ranting now as I need to rush for another meeting. God bless!


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My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

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5 Responses to “Do not disturb : I am scheduling a meeting”

  1. Bhars says:

    Thankfully microsoft outlook does that automatically!

  2. Chandoo says:

    @Bhars ... alas.. so many companies around world seems be in the tight grip of notes.. no idea which aspect of notes is a selling point...:)

  3. John says:

    Lotus Notes has long been capable of doing this.
    You just need to schedule a meeting for a group & you can use the scheduler to look across all of those diaries for available slots.

    What version are you using ?


  4. Chandoo says:

    @John .. Wow, you are right 🙂
    This indeed is available, I guess this wastes my post. Thanks for pointing out. Welcome to PHD - hope you liked my little site 🙂

  5. John says:

    Thanks for the welcome ! This is a most excellent site - keep up the good work !


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