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Friday, June 28, 2013

Impactful! or Communication is the Cornerstone of Our Speaking

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


This is no way to end 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.


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, a Global Octopus Company. 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.


“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?”



“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?”


“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?”


“Excellent! Have a great weekend, everyone!”



Chantel said...

Lol, Pearl--you do make me smile so. Enjoy those smokes!

Simply Suthern said...

"Multitasking" through the meeting While working from home.


Silliyak said...

This may answer the question "How do you ork a cow?"

Jackie said...

Technology....a good thing???

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Ugh. Bad Memories. VERY Bad Memories. Thanks for the raising of them. I'll send "in cents"...

$+} YAMxx

vanilla said...

Oh, you have so made us all wish we worked for AN&G.

jabblog said...

Much, much better than face to face meetings when you have to try to look as though you give a damn . . .

Sioux said...

I don't know who experiences more joy at work--you with all the business "fun" or me with all my third grade "fun."

Maybe it would be a tie...

jenny_o said...

Gives a new depth of meaning to "phoning it in", does it not?

tiffany rose said...

Crap. Because I'm working the pointy point of the spear, I've had to level-set expectations while harvesting low-hanging fruit.

Eva Gallant said...

So glad I'm retired!

Eva Gallant said...

So glad I'm retired!

Daisy said...

I haven't been leaving comments because I'm "killing" myself (note the apostrophes)with laughter at the post and other comments. We need a "like" button or something similar.

Thanks Pearl, for bringing lots of giggles, he-haws, and belly laughs to my day

Douglas said...

You have never lived until you have experienced a conference call at 3 AM. Seriously, I have been on them. These are actual working calls where some folks are tethered to a phone line out in the field working on equipment and wishing they were asleep, people in an office (as I always was) waiting for their big moment when they push a button or read back something in blurry LEDs, while a person probably in PJs is desperately trying not to wake his significant other while hopelessly trying to coordinate everything. The best part happens just after pajama guy says "Let's break for a bit, OK?"

Kana said...

Oh dang Jenny-O, for the pun that was on everybody's minds...or at least should have been

"Predictions of the Procrastination Growth Potential are really opening up with the work-from-home and the Summer Flex Friday phenomena. It's a brave new world, gang."

joeh said...

Thank you Tiffany Rose for catching me up on the latest "Office speak" I retired after I was "ahead of the curve."

Pearl if this was not so accurate I would have laughed heartily.

Well I still laughed pretty hard.

Friko said...

You really all work as hard as that? You must be exhausted.

Joanne Noragon said...

When I left Corporate, Inc., one's secretary set up conference calls, then buzzed your office to pick up and begin. The good old days.

Pat Tillett said...

Funny one Pearl!
Depending on the conference call, I usually would check in, mute my phone and then make fun of what everyone was saying.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thank you for making me smile.....

Elephant's Child said...

How glad I am to have left conference calls behind me. I am also very, very glad that there was no such animal as video phone calls when I was forced to play. Eeeuw.

River said...

Meetings are over rated. Tell them you're unable to attend because you're too busy actually working.

Geo. said...

"...obedience, conformity, and group-think." Succinctly phrased. Can't recall if I was for or against it but went outdoors and gardened for 30 years. I admire your strength, Pearl.

the walking man said...

So for the work at home people the time and calls are a business expense and write off.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I find it literally impossible to concentrate during conference calls. I am usually caught off guard though and asked something and then I have to do some quick thiinking :-)

Anonymous said...

I used to fall asleep during those conference call meetings.