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January 30, 2014

Coffee Snorters, "What Fresh Hell..." Edition

Because she works remotely about half the time, the Editorial Staff spend a lot of time in conference calls. We can report that this is spot on:

Stay tune: more random and completely pointless time wasters to come.

Posted by Cassandra at January 30, 2014 07:00 AM

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Boy, and here I thought that in person conference meetings were boring!

Posted by: Rex at January 30, 2014 10:51 AM

They are. But I think conference calls may be worse, although it's hard to imagine how that's even possible!

The ones I love are the ones where (and this has been a big trend lately) half the people show up late/leave early/come completely unprepared to a meeting that's supposed to be a working session or at which major decisions are supposed to be made (and this was announced in advance). Now I understand all those references to "read aheads" the Spousal Unit used to throw out.

Great idea in theory. I wonder how many people actually do read ahead, though?

Posted by: Cassandra at January 30, 2014 10:56 AM

My guess would be one in ten -- about the same percentage of students who do the reading before class, and thus carry the whole conversation with the professor/teacher.

People don't change much.

Posted by: Grim at January 30, 2014 11:47 AM

I so do not miss the office work environment.
I'm happy to just shovel the additional six inches of snow we got last night and any more that comes in the next few days.

Posted by: DL Sly at January 30, 2014 12:05 PM

Conf calls can work just fine, depending on issue/topic, and the type of meeting*, but they are waay tougher to manage than in person meetings.

They do require better meeting leadership skills, and the active preparation / participation of those involved. They also require real discipline, either by individuals or by time keeper / location leader to stay focused on topic and ensure correct individuals are allotted proper time.

*Common meeting types:
- present info simultaneously
- Q&A
- introduce a problem / issue
- (periodic) update on a current problem / issue
- problem solving session (problematic for a large conf call)
- decision making (whether by vote of participants / leaders, or by an individual in charge

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at January 30, 2014 01:50 PM

I am on at least one conference call a week, and that video was a hoot. So typical.

Barking dogs, echos on the line, "does every here have a Mac?".Yesterday I was on a call with my cell, because our landline (VOIP) phones were out because someone had hacked into them. Conference calls on a Cellphone are even more phun.

That was some good stuff.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 30, 2014 02:08 PM

I'm on at least one a day and usually several, Don :)

Global con calls are the most fun - people are arguing over the dial-in, recording the call, and VoIP/headsets. Add in poor sound quality, insane time zone differences (who among us doesn't love con calls at 10 pm or 4 am) and multiple non-English speakers, several of whom (despite excellent English grammar) have strong accents, and... wallah!

You've got fun!

Posted by: Cassandra at January 30, 2014 03:17 PM

"Stay tune: more random and completely pointless time wasters to come."

Was that supposed to be today...orrrr just sometime in the *near* future?
Inquiring minds and all, yanno....

Posted by: Evil Twin at January 30, 2014 09:59 PM

Sorry. Very busy day at work yesterday. I didn't even get a lunch break.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 31, 2014 07:55 AM

We used to have a daily conf call with each of our power plant project construction sites in China; Dalian & Dandong. We scheduled it around 7 PM Eastern time, so it could be early in their morning.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at February 2, 2014 10:41 PM