Some time ago, the group I was a member of was looking for a conference room in which to hold their weekly team status meeting. The group leader went to the so you want to book a conference room for your weekly meeting internal Web site and, hey wow, there was a slot available in one of the fancy conference rooms for Tuesdays at ten in the morning.

Not all conference rooms are created equal. Most of them are pretty utilitarian in nature with a central table, standard-issue chairs, a speaker phone, a whiteboard against one wall, all the stuff you need for a meeting but nothing particularly noteworthy. But in this particular building were three "fancy" conference rooms right off the lobby with warm wood panelling, a giant flat-screen monitor against one wall, floor-to-ceiling windows on another wall up against the neatly manicured lawn. (I bet these conference rooms were created specifically to impress visitors.) Naturally, these "fancy" conference rooms are snapped up first, and when you try to book a meeting, you nearly always have only the boring rooms to choose from.

"Awesome, we got one of the fancy conference rooms," we thought to ourselves, and we congratulated ourselves on our good fortune.

And then we held our first meeting in the conference room.

The meeting went well at first, but after a few minutes, the roar of landscaping equipment made conversation difficult.

Remember that neatly manicured lawn right outside the window? That lawn doesn't trim itself by magic. It requires a landscaping department to keep the lawn looking neat and green and in good health. And they do that work on—you guessed it—Tuesdays at ten in the morning.

It wasn't long before we moved our meeting to one of the boring conference rooms.