Board members of the Verdugo Seventh-day Adventist Church voted Tuesday on new protocol for their meetings, which includes more arguments, to ensure the meetings definitely go on for too long.
The changes come on the heels of a recent board meeting that lasted a disastrously short one hour. The unexpected ease and rapidity with which they came to agreement on agenda items left the board members in a state of confusion, with many of them remaining in their seats in stunned silence for a good 15 minutes after the meeting had officially ended. Some members suffered severe disorientation, and were later found wandering the church lobby having heated conversations with the topiaries.
"It was a mess," said board member Bob Keller. "I barely had time to start on the meal the deaconesses had prepared for us."
"It was deeply unsettling," said board secretary Ellen Gleason. "I had counted on that meeting lasting at least 3 hours. I didn't know what to do with myself after. It was too late to make plans with my friends. Read? Spend time with my family? There were too many options. I couldn't handle it. So I just went to bed early."
The new guidelines also include:
- A minimum 30 minutes of meeting time devoted to discussing details of members' kids and/or grandchildren and/or pets, or whatever combination thereof that individual members deem have "done the cutest thing";
- A minimum 15 minutes devoted to sharing feelings and airing grievances about the most recent televised sport activity and/or competitive cooking show;
- At least 10 minutes for arguments about Robert's Rules of Order, 7 minutes for slow realization time as members decide they don't really remember the rules, 3 minutes to read them out loud, another 15 minutes for arguing about minutiae;
- At least 20 minutes devoted to rehashing and arguing about contentious agenda items that have already been voted on, with said items being a minimum of at least one month old. However, suggestively divisive comments are welcome throughout the meeting.
"It feels safer to have these guidelines in place," said board chair Craig Rogers. "I just think people don't really understand an issue until they've argued about it for a good half hour. Or until they've lost their voice."