Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Awkward Conference Calls

I work in an industry where conference calls are as frequent as Lindsay Lohan's arrests. After a particularly horrible seven person call today, I decided that the only way to shake the lingering awkwardness, was to write about these phone faux pas.

Dead Silence. 
My call today got off to a rocky start. The first group of us to dial in sat in complete silence for about 8 minutes waiting for the final caller. I think we all knew that small talk would prove a worse alternative, so there was an unspoken decision (clearly) for total quiet. After a few minutes, someone had the heart to at least say, "I'm sure we're all multitasking here...". If by multitasking you mean, debating whether or not to poke my eyes out, then yes.

Awkward Small Talk
A little welcome banter is a nice way to kick off a conference call. 30 seconds is ample time to chit chat it up about the weather and your respective cities. Once you've established that "Topeka is beautiful this time of year", you should hope that all parties are present so you can get down to business.

Small Talk Gone Wrong
Don't get too personal with co-workers during the welcome banter. If it seems questionable, don't ask.
You: "Jim, how's your wife doing?"
Jim: "I'm not sure, why don't you ask her personal trainer, Kip."
You: "Oh, great ... so anyways, I think we need a new strategy for our web initiative."

Very Bad Moments with VIPS
There's also nothing worse than you and a major VIP being the first two callers on the line. Your voice automatically becomes more high pitched than usual, and you can't stop yourself from making ridiculously bad jokes. Before you know it, you're channeling Paul Rudd's character from I Love You, Man and calling the VIP, "Jobin".

I could really go on forever ... what are some of your most awkward conference call moments?

1 comment:

  1. How about when someone puts the entire call on hold and their company's awkward slow jams hold music comes on!