The Literal Phone Conference

Posted on February 18, 2014

The Literal Phone Conference

The Literal Phone Conference

We wanted to share a link to a video we at Aperian Global have been enjoying recently. If you click on it, you’ll see actors portray a phone meeting as if it were happening in a shared physical space. As you might imagine, hilarity ensues. For many of us, however, the problems encountered seem all too familiar, and they’re not as amusing when they happen during our own phone meetings. After passing the linked video around our global offices, we polled our colleagues to see if anyone had horror stories they wanted to share about virtual meetings. This week, we’re sharing the best they had to offer, and next week we’ll be back with a list of their best tips for making sure phone meetings (and other virtual gatherings) go smoothly.

The Best of the Worst

“I’ve been on calls when a call participant puts their line on hold and then hold music started playing, making it impossible to continue. It’s even worse when you have no idea who went on hold.” – Darcy (Singapore)

“I worry when someone is joining the call while commuting, especially when they’re driving and you actually fear for their life.” – Celeste (MA, US)

“I think the worst I’ve ever seen was during a Skype call with people in Colorado, New Mexico, and China. The man in New Mexico apparently did not realize, even though we were using video technology, that others could see that he was sitting shirtless at his desk, picking his toes with a toothpick.” – David (CO, US)

“I’ve been the person “standing in the hallway,” talking to themselves. I was once so absorbed in the point I was trying to make and saying everything I had to say, I kept chattering for several minutes until—and I’m not exaggerating—I got a text message from a call participant alerting me I had dropped off of the call.” – Barbara (CA, US)

“I have once heard the sound of a flushing toilet, but I was more disturbed because I didn’t hear the faucet running after that. And I’m guilty of one myself: At least once a day, while I’m on a team call, my dog tries to eat the UPS/USPS/FedEx guy. I have not yet found my dog’s mute button.” – Birgit (CA, US)


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