I attended a telecommunication company's Annual General Meeting recently. It was the first ever AGM for a public listed company I have attended. I wanted to see and feel how it was like. There was a bumper to bumper crawl to the hotel where the meeting was to be held. Coupled with the school holidays, traffic was bad.
Being a telco company, the door gift was a RM20 prepaid top up. Haiz...I thought they would be more generous than that. A voucher for the new iPhone would have been better. The meeting started promptly and the CEO gave an insight on the Company performance and all the jazz of how good this Company is. From time to time he actually had to make an effort to say " Your Company....." This is his first AGM. I think he must have got so used to saying the Company to everyone thus far. As usual he and later the Chairman was telling shareholders how many no. 1s and milestone this Company has achieved. I thought the Americans are more suave in this area.
Question and answer sessions followed. I learnt something from this Meeting. You better have your grounds covered less you will be shot.
The shareholders were waiting and even though the pot shots were mild , the Chair was getting a little agitated towards the end. The session was suppose to be on the financial reports only but after a few questions, the floor was taken over by some disgruntled shareholders who were their customers.
The shareholders were not happy with their share price which was a laggard. Despite so many no 1s, how come the share price is nothing close to even no 2 or no 3? Some others complaint on the drop calls while others lamented how they have had to put up with the bad internet connections. The standard and neutral answers of "We will look into the matter" and "We will ensure that the company is run well and continues to pay good dividends" were the order of the day.
Some silly remarks and questions were posed. One person asked whether there will be food left after the Meeting now that they were already serving the food while the Meeting was still going on. Others asked if food will be served. Another spoke in Cantonese and Mandarin. He wants to see the fairer gender sitting on the Board by the next AGM. I thought the Meeting was getting draggy and decided to leave. Well. Actually I saw a hunk leaving and I thought I should to. I went to the rest room to ease myself and he too was there.
The were already many people outside. One round of the food had finished. The seconds were being replenished. Meanwhile what I witnessed was completely unbelievable and totally embarrassing. Some were piling two to three plates at a go. One was piling two plates at one go and at the same time picking up food with his hand and putting it into his mouth. Many others came with bags and literally scooped the food up to take home! I was really taken aback.
The Meeting was adjourned. I went in and talked to the Operations Head on some issues. I came out had some finger food and another cuppa before leaving