what is "in the fishbowl"?

oprah

Senior Member
English/US
Recently, a colleague asked me what it means when someone tells you that "the meeting is in the fishbowl." My guess is that the topics of discussion is now being closely watched by everyone. Does anyone know for sure what this means?

Oprah
 
  • pyan

    Senior Member
    English, UK, London
    Recently, a colleague asked me what it means when someone tells you that "the meeting is in the fishbowl." My guess is that the topics of discussion is now being closely watched by everyone. Does anyone know for sure what this means?

    Oprah
    I haven't heard "in a fishbowl" used exactly like this, as if the impersonal topics were being observed closely, but have heard something quite similar.

    I have heard it as "feeling as if I'm/we're in a fishbowl" when you feel watched all the time, either physically watched as when the tourists pog through our windows in summer, or every action being checked at work. It is an unpleasant feeling which could be applied to the people at a meeting.

    I hope this is of some use.
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    My workplace has "fishbowls." They are small meeting rooms with glass walls/doors, so that people who are walking by can easily see who is in the room. My dormitory at university also had some rooms like this.

    Elisabetta
     

    evilregis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    My workplace has "fishbowls." They are small meeting rooms with glass walls/doors, so that people who are walking by can easily see who is in the room. My dormitory at university also had some rooms like this.

    Elisabetta
    That is exactly what it is in this context. I've worked in several places that had "fishbowls" that were referred to as such.
     

    nay92

    Member
    English, England
    I havent heard of the phrase in the fishbowl but i'm sure it means that it is sorted or clarified. Correct me if i'm wrong!
     

    stranger in your midst

    Senior Member
    English / Scotland
    My workplace has "fishbowls." They are small meeting rooms with glass walls/doors, so that people who are walking by can easily see who is in the room. My dormitory at university also had some rooms like this.

    Elisabetta
    I agree. It usually refers to a glass meeting room within a larger office. However, the expression also refers to a feeling of being watched or under scrutiny (hence why such rooms usually have pull down blinds or shutters).

    I suppose the expression could also be used abstractly.
     
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