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Monday, January 10, 2011

Impactful!

I have a conference call to dial into and I’m already late. Shoot.

This is no way to start the work week.

Beep. Beep-beep-beep. Beep-beep-beep boop boop bee boop.

“…and thank you for carving out this time for this meeting. Who just joined?”

“Hey, everyone. Sorry I’m late. This is Pearl.”

“Good morning, Pearl. We were just playing a little catch-up on what we were doing before we called in, what we’ll be doing once we can get back to our jobs, and what we’ll be doing in the meantime while pretending to participate in this call. Who wants to go next?”

Dead silence.

“Anyone?”

Profound and utter silence.

“OK, I’ll go next then. This last week, I’ve been executing a number of strategic moves. I am also looking at orchestrating the need for you all to take a nose-deep dive into how well you think I’m doing and how this will affect your future here at Acme Napkins and Grommets. This will involve several hours’ worth of pre-work created by renowned thought leaders on the subject of obedience, conformity, and group-think.

Any questions?”

Dead silence.

“Excellent. So does anyone want to update us on what you’ve been working on this week?”

More silence.

“Anyone?”

“I guess I’ll go.” It is Celia, working from home out of our Boston office. “Um, this week I’ve been logging in on time but have been unavailable on e-mail, taking two-hour lunches, and leaving early for various “appointments”. I’d encourage everyone to leave messages on my voice-mail if you need me and I’ll get back to you when I can.”

“Excellent. Thank you, Celia. Did everyone catch that? Did everyone catch the apostrophes around the word “appointments”?”

Various static-y sounds of assent are heard.

“Good. Thank you. Anyone else?”

Silence.

“Please?”

“Hi, this is Mark from the Tucson office, working from home. And I just want to say what a great idea these meetings are. My multitasking during meetings is up dramatically, frankly; and I’m procrastinating well into the next fiscal year. I owe it all to this bunch.”

The ether comes alive with the sound of agreement and the working-from-home people finishing their dishes and letting their dogs in from the patio.

“It’s a great time to be alive. Anyone else?”

Silence.

“OK. That’s it then. Everyone have a – oh, one other thing. Remember when we talked about raises and how they would be limited to the monetary equivalent of a pack of smokes a week? Well you’ll find that pack of smokes in your mail slot later this week.”

Nothingness crackles across the phone lines as various people silently consider taking up smoking.

“Anything else? Everyone good?”

Silence.

“Excellent! Have a great week, everyone!”

Bee-boop!

35 comments:

De Campo said...

Just wait until they get the video conference up and running!

That dude in Tucson better multitask his ass a pair of pants.....

Oilfield Trash said...

A pack of smokes a week is better than a pink slip.

Thanks for making me laugh on this horrible Monday morning.

Simple Dude said...

At the end of the day all the teleconferencing, remote access to emails and other work functions that give us the ability to work from home are going to cause productivity to suffer.

As we're just getting settled in to work we realize that the Price is Right is on and you know.. Drew Carey isn't that bad. Ohhh... and today is the follow up to that Maury show I saw on Friday, so now we get to see the DNA results. And then there is that dude on Jeopardy who has won like 7 days in a row now, so I just want to check and see how he's doing.

I love it.

SD
http://simpledudecomplexworld.blogspot.com/

Roses said...

Oh. Dear. God.

I've just lost the will to live.

Excuse me, I need to lie down in a darkened room and cuddle some pharmaceuticals.

Bth said...

Love this. So true. If only I could work from home. Being on reception is tough. I just get to answer phones and blog all day...

haphazardlife said...

Damn woman, are you leading my life? - Jazz

lisleman said...

that brought back memories thanks
Maybe you edited the discussion because the conf calls I remember would drag on much longer.

Sarah Has Moxie said...

Holy smokes. I just read this while facilitating a conference call. I kid you not.
Shhhhhh

Love you Pearl!
Sarah

alwaysinthebackrow said...

I have a conference call coming up later this week. There will be 5 (count 'em 5!) attorneys, 2 accountants, and me on the call, all billing their time to the clients. Last meeting, nothing was accomplished, at the estimated rate of $1000.00 per hour.

Lou said...

Ugh! I hate conference calls... I have to call into one in about fifteen minutes that is approximately 99% irrelevant to me.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Conference calls are only slightly worse than actual meetings, aren't they?

Cheeseboy said...

Nothing quite makes me laugh like office awkwardness. I've never had a conference call, but I have done plenty of prank calls with awkward silence, so that is almost the same.

Kate Mohler said...

Very funny, Pearl--I love office awkwardness too! I avoid it myself by...avoiding the office! Ah, the benefits of working from home...

Vinny C said...

Ugh! I've had conference calls go just the same. Except they were in office so I had to wear pants.

Joanie said...

If I had a work from home job, I'd never get anything done.

The Lissst! said...

I can't wait to sit in your KPO meeting.
I hate conference calls.

Pat Tillett said...

I was able to do most of my job from home. I had so much trouble doing it though. Too much going on...
Computers allow people to work in a much more efficient manner, but how does it compare to how much time is spent on FB, blogging, porn, etc, while on the clock?

I don't smoke, so I'll take my raise in the form of licorice please...

Eva Gallant said...

Before I retired, I worked from home and we had a conference call every week. I was usually in my jammies, eating breakfast with the phone on mute!

Kittie Howard said...

Thanks for a good laugh (about some true stuff!)

Douglas said...

I was once admonished for not being on a conference call for a group/committee that I was not, at any time, involved with or assigned to.

Hate the things.

Not a problem anymore... I am retired.

Tom G. said...

I could never work from home. It would cut into my blog reading too much.

becca said...

great post i want to work at home

Jhon Baker said...

i would love to work from home, conference calls may be the best thing to ever happen to naked commuting. In a previous life I had to facilitate them about once a week and I always blissfully made them short - "did everyone get my e-mail with the new information?, excellent, any questions, excellent - have a great day everyone!" except I had to be at work for them according to my boss, I think he didn't want to imagine me in the buff discussing the plot out of the company - he was forever too aloof to attend a conference call or was happy enough to allow me to be that short.

Grant said...

I love telemeetings because I get to officially go on "do not disturb" status while I play spider solitaire.

who said...

ascension assented

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I worked from home for several months before I retired. My boss kept saying "We'll just have a conference call once in a while." I decided to show up at the office periodically instead. Anything but conference calls.

Gigi said...

Ugh! The dreaded conference call! The few I've been involved with have been *painful* to the point that I'd rather suffer through waterboarding. Seriously.

Lynne H. said...

Hahaha!!!

I have conference calls weekly and have done a few from the house.. I'll not say what I was or was not wearing, but doubt it would get me a raise..
You are too funny Little Lady:-)

Quay Po Cooks said...

LOL! we work from home and this sounds so familiar!

Sue said...

I can't do conference calls, I talk with my hands. They just don't understand me when I try to get my point across with my hands flailing around. I hate conference calls.

Vic said...

Sometimes, after standing in a classroom in front of surly youth, I think a conference call would be at least a nice change of pace. As long as I wasn't calling them.

Only could I make one from a carpeted cubicle? Those sound so peaceful...

That Janie Girl said...

Shit. I have one of these conference calls in the morning at 10 a.m.

I suck at them.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Pearl, you made me laugh with this one even more than usual. I especially like the line about the apostrophes around "appointments." Great post.
xoRobyn

IndigoWrath said...

You must be a satellite office of the glorious corporation I work for. I know these people.

Leah said...

How I miss those conference calls. I'm thinking of instituting such productivity markers in my own housewifely milieu just to keep me on my toes. Please put quotation marks around the phrase "keep me on my toes." And I think I have been on Facebook too much, because I was looking for the "like" button for De Campo's comment!