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(NPR)   Has the end come for the conference call?   (npr.org) divider line 125
    More: Scary  
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11980 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jun 2014 at 1:52 AM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-04 12:36:13 PM  
I used to have a monthly conference call. The service was awful. The first 10 minutes of every call was:

"Ok, we're going to get.."

"John.....has just joined the call"

"Ok, let's get..."

"Bob......has just joined the call"

"Alright everyone..."

"Jenny.....has just joined the call"

This continues for a few minutes.

Then: "Ok, can we take roll call?"

Me: Faceplam
 
2014-06-04 12:39:16 PM  

pjkraatz: mikefinch: Nope -- once a month I sit there on the phone marvelling at how more than half of my co-workers managed to dress and feed themselves up to this point.

\We should post the numbers and times for our calls and just crash them all for each other...

I have to do roughly 5 calls a DAY like this (minimum). I was hoping TFA would give me a sign that the end is nigh but no, only the sweet release of death will free me from this hell. The stories, though...oh man, I've heard it all.

I may steal that idea for a call or two on 4/1/15. Could I press on a few dozen Farkers to perhaps bomb a call? Might be worth a beer at a San Diego County Fark party. And a recording. Gotta have the recording.

The lulz. Do it for them.

/PM me if interested


I half wrote a bit about doing this, starting my own website GoToOtherPeoplesMeeting.com   and just try to annoy everyone at the meeting..."can you repeat that"  - drawing a penis on the graph being displayed, or being that person who keeps asking inane questions at the end of the meeting when everyone is trying to leave, or just long phrases of business jargon "can this be vertically integrated with our product line to have a organic infrastructure to connect to the cloud for more synergism and green energy consumption, or will this require a restructuring of our platform to a new paradigm while maintaining customer stability in the online market, without having to overhaul our competitive space with inter connectivity and raise our Weinburg score?"
 
2014-06-04 12:51:44 PM  

ChewbaccaJones: I could easily telecommute to work...yet I drive my ass in EVERY DAY because of antiquated notions of "We have always done it this way, so we will keep on doing it this way."


I have absolutely no reason ever to have to drive to the office.  My job is entirely computer based, and with the VPN, there is no need to physically be there - ever.  However, "client wants to see butts in the chairs", so...
 
2014-06-04 01:01:06 PM  

abhorrent1: HawgWild: Oh, man, I hope so. I HATE conference calls!

I prefer them over face-to-face meetings. At then least I can mute them and do other things when the call inevitably goes off the rails. STAY ON TOPIC YOU ASSHOLES!


THIS!
 
2014-06-04 02:01:57 PM  
mikefinch:

\We should post the numbers and times for our calls and just crash them all for each other...


If this ever happened, I'd like thinking it would go down in internet history as one of the best group pranks ever orchestrated.
 
2014-06-04 02:34:43 PM  
Can whoever is typing in this thread mute your line please!
 
2014-06-04 02:55:07 PM  

lordargent: Can whoever is typing in this thread mute your line please!


We laugh, but one of the guys I conf call with every week constantly types his notes as we talk, and he uses one of those IBM-style keyboards with audible click.

His mic picks up every farking keystroke...
 
2014-06-04 03:33:06 PM  
Conference calls are great when you really don't have to participate much.

1. Shut office door

2. Put phone on mute

3. Do the Conference Call Dance

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-06-04 03:38:50 PM  

mike_d85: The author is right. Every time you get into a conference call you miss out on quality FACETIME. It's like a horrible trap you can't eSKYPE from. Each time I get told to GOTOaMEETING I think "man, someone should invent some kind of conference system using video!"


My boss tried iGoFaceSkyping and it was a disaster.
 
2014-06-04 03:41:36 PM  
Ha! Want real joy?  Co-ordinate a multi-country call.

Challenge: Caribbean countries.

Call Time +10 minutes.. "We're just waiting on Jamaica to join....."
Jamaica finally joins.
"'allo, sorry we are late."
Voice in my head: "No, you farking aren't sorry...."

Also, the first 10 minutes can be people from the countries saying hi to each other.  No so bad I guess, but not overly efficient.
 
2014-06-04 03:48:15 PM  

KidneyStone: When I'm on a huge conference call I have a really bad habit of getting bored and relieving the boredom by crinkling cellophane into the mouthpiece. But only when people speak.

My record is getting one manager hang up and call back three times to 'reset' his connection.


K -- i cant do the conference number thing cause its the government but i AM going to do this...
 
2014-06-04 03:51:14 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Every day, at 6:30 a.m., I join a conference call with colleagues on the East Coast. I call an 800 number, then enter a six-digit conference room number, then a PIN. And despite the group remaining largely unchanged, once a week, something goes wrong. When I conference with outsiders, there's a problem every other call. There's the "oops I got the wrong dial-in" problem. There's the "PIN is too long to remember" problem. There's the "is so-and-so on the line?" problem. And the "someone hasn't muted the line and is a mouth breather" problem.

It's possible that you and the people you work with are halfwits.


It scares me how many places I've gone into who are seeking technology solutions for the problem of having employees who literally would not be able to manage a cash register at McDonalds.  I understand it's usually the friendly guy everyone likes, but there is something to be said for not placing people with extreme subpar intelligence levels in positions that require intelligence (however you would like to define intelligence).
 
2014-06-04 03:57:22 PM  

ObscureNameHere: Ha! Want real joy?  Co-ordinate a multi-country call.

Challenge: Caribbean countries.

Call Time +10 minutes.. "We're just waiting on Jamaica to join....."
Jamaica finally joins.
"'allo, sorry we are late."
Voice in my head: "No, you farking aren't sorry...."

Also, the first 10 minutes can be people from the countries saying hi to each other.  No so bad I guess, but not overly efficient.


Do you have the ability to be relatively draconian about it?  I used to block anyone from joining after the call started, unless they'd specifically notified ahead of time they were encountering an issue.  It was pretty interesting how many people who "always had computer problems" before an 8 AM meeting magically started showing up on time with no problems  when the minutes listed "not present" next to their names.

Far as the intros, yeah, just no damned way to avoid it, especially on multi-national calls.  The worst one I've been in the last year was where a new President asked one representative from each company to introduce their company so he could get to know them better, at which point they unmuted everyone.  There were over 100 companies on the call.  'course, it ended up being funny enough that it was worth it -- one of the participants thought they were muted and was cackling in a southern drawl about, "these motherfarking asshole people, don't know shiat about business, some (homosexual slur) with an MBA thinks he's gonna teach us something."   And then one of the Spanish affiliates asking, in possibly the most hilariously sly pretending to not understand English attempt ever, if "Someone could please translate that comment" despite the fact he speaks English better than I do.  I still wish I had recorded it to put online.  Though I would have lost my job.  :/
 
2014-06-04 04:05:47 PM  

FitzShivering: ObscureNameHere: Ha! Want real joy?  Co-ordinate a multi-country call.

Challenge: Caribbean countries.

Call Time +10 minutes.. "We're just waiting on Jamaica to join....."
Jamaica finally joins.
"'allo, sorry we are late."
Voice in my head: "No, you farking aren't sorry...."

Also, the first 10 minutes can be people from the countries saying hi to each other.  No so bad I guess, but not overly efficient.

Do you have the ability to be relatively draconian about it?  I used to block anyone from joining after the call started, unless they'd specifically notified ahead of time they were encountering an issue.  It was pretty interesting how many people who "always had computer problems" before an 8 AM meeting magically started showing up on time with no problems  when the minutes listed "not present" next to their names.

Far as the intros, yeah, just no damned way to avoid it, especially on multi-national calls.  The worst one I've been in the last year was where a new President asked one representative from each company to introduce their company so he could get to know them better, at which point they unmuted everyone.  There were over 100 companies on the call.  'course, it ended up being funny enough that it was worth it -- one of the participants thought they were muted and was cackling in a southern drawl about, "these motherfarking asshole people, don't know shiat about business, some (homosexual slur) with an MBA thinks he's gonna teach us something."   And then one of the Spanish affiliates asking, in possibly the most hilariously sly pretending to not understand English attempt ever, if "Someone could please translate that comment" despite the fact he speaks English better than I do.  I still wish I had recorded it to put online.  Though I would have lost my job.  :/


Nope, can't block anyone.  Not a sophisticated systems.  Besides, if you 'blocked' everyone from the Caribbean for being late for call....well,... you wouldn't get any calls at all. Let's just chalk it up to 'cultural allowances'.
Sort of like when someone in Puerto Rico (or really, any country for which you are 'head office' to them) says there is 'no problem' and 'everything is good', what they are really saying is "Of we got lots of effing problems, but we are telling the head office dink what we think he wants to hear so he will go away and leave us alone.'
 
2014-06-04 04:16:54 PM  

xkillyourfacex: mike_d85: The author is right. Every time you get into a conference call you miss out on quality FACETIME. It's like a horrible trap you can't eSKYPE from. Each time I get told to GOTOaMEETING I think "man, someone should invent some kind of conference system using video!"

My boss tried iGoFaceSkyping and it was a disaster.


One of the people here tried a video conference and it wouldnt work, later they found out it was because he didnt have a web cam. He thought it would just work through the monitor.
 
2014-06-04 04:36:31 PM  
I love a good conference call over VOIP when LOUD HOWARD decides to go on speakerphone loud enough to be heard two counties over.
 
2014-06-04 04:50:54 PM  
Unfortunately, no. Lots of conference calls here, usually conducted on motherfarking speakerphone. At high volume. With the office door open.
 
2014-06-04 05:53:05 PM  
I destroyed a conference call once. Had my phone on mute so my typing wouldn't bother the conference. Then I got a very important call and took it. The phone nicely turned off mute and atarted playing obnoxious hold music to the conference. I thought it was funny because the IT guys who set up the phones screwed up the settings. They lock us out of having any control of the technology we use then they can be blamed when it fails.
 
2014-06-04 06:45:40 PM  

groppet: xkillyourfacex: mike_d85: The author is right. Every time you get into a conference call you miss out on quality FACETIME. It's like a horrible trap you can't eSKYPE from. Each time I get told to GOTOaMEETING I think "man, someone should invent some kind of conference system using video!"

My boss tried iGoFaceSkyping and it was a disaster.

One of the people here tried a video conference and it wouldnt work, later they found out it was because he didnt have a web cam. He thought it would just work through the monitor.


Before I worked in IT, I would have said that was made up.  Now, I call that Friday.
 
2014-06-04 08:32:00 PM  
Just like the pc and the laptop. You hardly ever see those in offices anymore.
 
2014-06-04 08:37:14 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Every day, at 6:30 a.m., I join a conference call with colleagues on the East Coast. I call an 800 number, then enter a six-digit conference room number, then a PIN. And despite the group remaining largely unchanged, once a week, something goes wrong. When I conference with outsiders, there's a problem every other call. There's the "oops I got the wrong dial-in" problem. There's the "PIN is too long to remember" problem. There's the "is so-and-so on the line?" problem. And the "someone hasn't muted the line and is a mouth breather" problem.

It's possible that you and the people you work with are halfwits.


THIS. I telecommute, and we execute daily calls without any problems. Outside of the usual pre-agenda "watercooler talk" everything stays on track, and our meetings get done quickly, or are on long enough for us to work together to resolves issues one or more team member might be having.

Of course, we are a group of engineers. I can't speak for the people in sales or the company execs.
 
2014-06-04 08:42:31 PM  

Smelly Pirate Hooker: Unfortunately, no. Lots of conference calls here, usually conducted on motherfarking speakerphone. At high volume. With the office door open.


When I still worked in an office, we had an office administrator who would listen to all of her multitudes of voice mails on her speaker phone. How wonderful it was to hear Mr. So-and-so's issues with getting his medical test results (true story)... and calling to verify that his HIV meds would be covered under our health insurance plan. There were many other calls that related to matters that should have been kept private, yet she would never stop listening to them on speaker, in her cube - one of those low-cut cubes - that pretty much half the people on the floor could overhear, whether they wanted to or not.

If I had been her manager, I'd have fired her on the spot the first time she did that.
 
2014-06-05 04:39:20 AM  

SpacemanSpoof: About a year or so ago, my company replaced all of its phones with Cisco "softphones"


Never install software from a hardware manufacturer. It's always a bad time.

/ And I write software for a hardware manufacturer
 
2014-06-05 07:27:27 AM  

ObscureNameHere: Ha! Want real joy?  Co-ordinate a multi-country call.

Challenge: Caribbean countries.

Call Time +10 minutes.. "We're just waiting on Jamaica to join....."
Jamaica finally joins.
"'allo, sorry we are late."
Voice in my head: "No, you farking aren't sorry...."

Also, the first 10 minutes can be people from the countries saying hi to each other.  No so bad I guess, but not overly efficient.


At least Jamaica shows up eventually. I can't get Brazil to call in at all. "Sorry, I was someplace with bad Internet access." Now I'm sure there's plenty of those in Brazil, but we've had this scheduled for several weeks. Were you kidnapped, or do you not have a good reason for not showing up?
 
2014-06-05 10:06:02 AM  

verbaltoxin: Considering multimillion dollar businesses still use fax machines, I'm gonna mark that as "no."


As someone who had to fix the business fax last night because it wasn't working and I was the nearest "IT guy" within 60 minutes I got dragged into it, even though I try and explain that I am a software engineer, not a 1970s tech repair man.

We do use gotomeeting and lync for conferencing nowadays however, and it means I can do everything on my laptop, regardless of where I am. It makes it nice when you are taking an early Friday and someone sets a late meeting at 5pm.
 
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