I had been writing on serious stuff lately. Guns, revolutions, Fauré, explosions, or poetry and heartaches. Rejoice dear reader, for I will indulge in a lighter subject today, on fintech for a bit of fun, as always, and more precisely, on an everyday life black hole, a trap you cannot avoid if you work in French fintech:
The 2 PM meeting.
2 PM meetings in fintech are a rite of passage into professional adulthood. A universal norm, a rule to abide by. An inevitable plague. More. A law of nature. Like the 2nd law of thermodynamics or Newton’s universal gravitation. The entropy of a system always increases. Apples always fall to the ground. Meetings always fall on 2 PM. The ones you cannot avoid anyway.
Here’s how the typical scenario unfolds. You are just back from lunch. All your resources – blood, energy, brain capacity – have been diverted to the central reactor – that’s your stomach – to avoid a core meltdown – that’s a steak-frites or a couple of ham and cheese sandwiches, unless it is chicken curry in which case you are in real trouble. You are not yourself anymore and your higher cognitive functions amount to idle. Everything else is in use by higher priority processes in your body. You spot an illusive lifeboat: a much needed caffeine dose you try to grab on your way to the meeting room in auto pilot mode. Trying to cross the Pacific on a raft.
The meeting starts. If luck is on your side, you will see it through without anyone soliciting your input. You might even get away with a quick nap, or a power nap to stay in the corporate lexical field. You try to convince yourself that fortune favors the bold, and you might be close to succeeding but the thing is, the bold is not you right now.
At this stage, odds are against you and the best you can hope for is a boss or colleagues who have been there before, or with a solid sense of humor perhaps, or past heroic feats to your credit which plead for mercy on your behalf.
Minutes slowly go by, and then you start counting the seconds. Still, you fight to keep your eyes open, to no avail…
… because everything has an end thank God, even 2 PM meetings in French fintech companies.
Let the board sound