To answer everyone's question, there is no other VP of IT. There are VPs of other departments, but I am not aware of any other Senior VPs.
Also, Arturo works in another state (still in the U.S.), so he doesn't really have much pull here other than calling last-minute, waste-of-time conference calls with no agenda so that people in his office can ask questions we've already answered in the previous four meetings, or in the documentation they specifically requested but didn't read.
Since I don't work for him, and since we were previously a pretty independent, meeting-averse culture, and because I'm contractually guaranteed a rather large bonus if I am let go before a certain date (or if I continue in my current job until that date), I have been pushing back with decreasing tact. Observe one such e-mail conversation on a Thursday, when I had worked late on weekdays and over the prior weekend to meet one of their deadlines:
@Arturo, Senior VP of IT, in a meeting request e-mail sent 39 minutes prior to the requested meeting time said:
Antoine Accountant has a couple of follow up questions
If these questions could be asked outside a meeting, please do. We're pretty busy trying to get the rest of the [deadline-specific] items ready, and I have to take off early today anyway.
Antoine, could you tell us what your questions are?
@Arturo, Senior VP of IT said:
Corgimonster, please take 5 minutes to join us on the call. Thanks
(Note: no conference call with these people has taken less than half an hour, and they typically run longer than scheduled.)
Please take 5 minutes (or less) to give us an agenda. I don't want to be on a call where I'm asked questions that I'm going to need to look up anyway. It will be a much more efficient use of our time if we know what will be discussed.
@My actual, in-house boss who is also sick of these people said:
Please accept invitation. I understand your point, but let's accommodate. Thanks.
I did get some questions from Antoine, and I answered them basically by pointing to where I had already answered them. Then we had the pointless, half-hour-long call anyway so they could ask "follow-up" questions that we had already answered. Or, at one point, there was silence because they were "thinking" about the answers.