Claire Suddath has a funny column at Business Week on how to cope with boredom at long management meetings. Among the best coping strategies listed, she provides this story from Marcy, a former employee of the federal government:
“The M&M game is designed for a large-scale, all-hands-on-deck type
meeting where you’re not expected to participate,” she explains. She and
her friend would each get a packet of peanut M&M’s and then sit on
opposite ends of the conference room, but within eye contact of each
other. “We’d pick a set of buzzwords ahead of time—like
‘mission-driven,’ ‘nonproliferation,’ ‘efficiency,’ or ‘the
president’—and then whenever one was used, we’d eat an M&M. If you
finished your bag of M&M’s, you won.” This, my friends, is the
American government in action.
I think that I'll try this strategy with a few colleagues here at the university. I'm sure that we can come up with some terrific academic buzzwords to fuel our M&M appetites!