James Proclaims (4)


I’m in a meeting as I write this. It is, as most meetings are these days, a ‘virtual’ meeting. I’m currently using Zoom. I have also used Teams quite a lot. I don’t like either very much.

I’ve never written a blog post in a meeting before, however, as there are 42 people in this meeting and no-one can see or hear me, due to the fact that my camera and microphone are switched off,  I thought it would be a better way of spending the time, rather than actually listening.

I’ve also ‘left’ the meeting to make multiple hot beverages, while still, as far as anyone knew, remaining ‘in the room’.

The meeting has been going on for 45 minutes and is showing no signs of ending any time soon, certainly not within the advertised time span. Hardly any of the agenda items pertain to me. In fact none of them directly pertain to me, but there were a couple of bits that were vaguely useful for me to know about in an abstract way. Those agenda items have long since passed. However, in that respect, this is no different to how these meetings tend to work in ‘real life’.

I can’t write a blog post in the real meetings though.

But I can in this.

I’ve certainly found writing it more diverting than listening to the various people who have been permitted to have their microphones on during the meeting.

Except for the bit when one of the more senior members of staff was struggling with a poor internet connection and sounded a bit like a broken robot. Mainly because people were telling him they couldn’t hear him properly but he also couldn’t hear them so he kept going on and on and people were clearly getting quite vexed by the whole thing.

I enjoy the vexation of others as long as the source of their vexation is not vexing to me. Which this wasn’t.

But in general I do find meetings to be vexing, and virtual meetings are possibly more vexatious than real life meetings.

Some virtual meetings require me to be an active and engaged participant. They are the worst.

This one didn’t though, so I can hardly be blamed for not giving it my full attention.


33 thoughts on “Zooming Away To Another Meeting

  1. You should probably keep a weather eye on the proceedings, however.
    “And Mr. Proclaims, what do you think?”
    “I think it’s a splendid idea and we should start immediately.”
    “Well, you’ll start closing your department by phone this afternoon, then.”
    “Wait. What?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was in a two hour Zoom meeting yesterday and kept my camera and mike off for most of it, which is much better than being in a live meeting where you have to look slightly alive. I always make sure I turn my mike on once in a while and laugh at something or comment so that people know I’m attending instead of gardening or surfing the internet, which of course, I NEVER do;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Once recently (pre lockdown) I put down my headphones, popped to the supermarket to get some lunch, came back and resumed the meeting and nobody ever knew I was gone. I dread the times when you’re she’d a question though and you realise that you haven’t been listening at all. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair the question thing happens to me in ‘real life meetings’, when I’ve been in the room the whole time. Still kudos to you on the supermarket trip. I’ll admit to leaving the room during a virtual meeting, but I’ve never left the building…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 45 minutes? That’s nothing. My husband is a Fed. They have zoom meetings every Thursday that last hours…. and they accomplish absolutely nothing except seeing what everyone’s home office looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have literally sat in meetings during which we review the objectives of the last meeting, realise no-one has achieved any of their targets and then reset the same objectives again in the ridiculous hope that one day someone might actually do something…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to attend a virtual team meeting every week. It’s a complete waste of time — an hour to confirm that everything is the same this week ads it was last week — but I wouldn’t want to risk wondering off for a drink because there is always the chance that someone might ask me a question.

    So I sit there, muted and half listening, while I point my browser at chess.com for the best part of an hour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I pick and choose the meetings when I need to pay attention. But when there are over ten people I always think it’s a box-ticking exercise and the organisers just want us to listen and not to participate at all. I’m sure they don’t really care if we’re there at all. They just like us to sign in so they can cross our names off the list…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have attended plenty of meetings where someone just sits in front of us (or shares their screen these days) and reads off a series of PowerPoint slides. And mostly we spend an hour being told what could have been said in a five minute email.

        The problem I have is that I’m the technical guy. So if someone does ask a question or people start discussing an actual issue there is always a risk that someone will turn around and ask me if their idea is possible.

        Liked by 1 person

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