At a weekly meeting we had a few days ago a proposal was put forward to invite another colleague to start attending the meeting as a passive observer. In principle the proposal made a lot of sense as this colleague should be thoroughly acquainted with the things discussed at the meeting and decisions made. But in reality we would require our colleague to listen to our quarreling for two hours, without any authority to interfere, while fully expecting him to soak in all the information dispensed by the rest of us. On this grounds we rejected the proposal and tasked one of the meeting participants to update the colleague on a regular basis with outcomes of the meeting. Having passive attendees at a meeting is a clear indication that somebody is trying to cram several different meetings together in one, which is always a recipe for an unproductive meeting. Some time ago I already described status meetings turning into decision-making meetings, but also decision-making meetings with a secondary objective of dispensing a status update to a subset of attendees are no less troubling as it gives a false notion that the information was disseminated while in reality it wasn't really communicated but only shoveled on the people.