Tripp Crosby – Conference Call in Real Life

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An evening pause: I thank God every day that I don’t work in the corporate world!

Hat tip Mike Nelson.


  • Agent of Chaos

    It’s all a matter of perspective.
    Most of these meeting take place as virtual meetings and frequently no one is really in a conference room anymore.

    So, on one occasion I farted – a very loud, deliberate, and defiant action . The meeting dissolved into chaos and laughter. (It was a rather stupid meeting about nothing really – no great loss.)

    We were subsequently reminded how to mute our phones – if needed.

    A childish action, perhaps, but a little comic relief is not such a bad thing.

  • Edward


    I spent a lot of time in these types of meetings. In my case I was requesting permission to request permission to make a change that was mandated by organizational procedures.

    (Yes. I had to get permission from a “gatekeeper” in order to request permission from my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss — I’m not making this up — to incorporate a mandatory-to-incorporate redline change into an uprev, and an uprev was necessary because the very expensive, complex, and difficult-to-use design-management software was unable to handle Change Orders. Go figure, because Change Orders are a basic concept in design management.

    (And yes. I then had to get 32 additional electronic signatures, mostly serial — although six of them were mine — in order to get the uprev released, and since it was an uprev and not a Change Order, everyone had to review and buy off on the entire procedure/document — sometimes 400 pages long — which meant that even more changes would crop up. But no, I did not need permission to make those additional changes, even though the original permission that I got was to make only the original changes.

    (And yes, sometimes I had to do all this in a single week, because the uprev was needed for use on the weekend, after the redline had been created the previous weekend, and the crew that released documentation left for the week at 1:30 on Fridays. The company documentation for this release process stated that we should expect the process to take five weeks, not one week, and to plan accordingly.)

    It is reminders like these that make me glad that I am no longer working 70-hour weeks for a whacked-out, completely bureaucratic company, but they also remind me that I can work miracles.

    Robert, it was a late night, during that job, that I heard you on John Batchelor and checked out your site. The Evening Pause was a major draw for me, as it was nice to have a pause at 6 PM, the middle of a long day. Thank you for that.

  • wayne

    Edward– interesting stuff!

    Office Space – Did You Get the Memo?

  • Maurice

    To quote a character from Event Horizon: hell is just a word. Reality, is much, much worse.

    TCONs have a special etiquette that revolves around making sure you always know whom is on. *# is your friend (number of people on), and MUTE is the default (remain in eye contact with that red light at all times).

    The worst ones are where the organizer is a taskmaster that every 5 seconds asks for an opinion from you, the unsuspecting tag along attendee. The best one is where you can just let it play in the background while you do real work.
    The latest trend is to automatically turn the camera on and conduct the conference call from an app. Black electrical tape fixed that quickly :)

    Yes, meetings are mostly futile exercises in one-upmanship; arrive late and leave early the best antidote ;)

  • Cotour


    I now better understand you, those bastards brain washed you !

    I am surprised you can function at all. :)

  • Edward

    “I am surprised you can function at all. :)”

    The miracle work should have been why I identify as a major deity, but I identified as such in my teen years. Perhaps being able to function well is yet another miracle of mine, but we major deities adapt quickly.

    And yes, I have been in conferences in which I was the only person in the conference room, eyes darting between the screen and the mute light, since people would pop in, every once in a while, assuming that I was goofing off. On the other hand, perhaps every conference is actually goofing off in an official capacity, since the recap email basically could have taken the place of each meeting.


  • PeterF

    I never had to suffer through conference calls. My experience was with in-person time wasters. (Usually as a subject matter expert). I solved the problem by being verbose about minutia. Eventually, I was no longer invited to attend meetings (that were more often than not held during my time off). My opinion was still sought in real-time and sometimes I would get a call but more often than not I would get an E-mail that I could reply to in less than five minutes.

    The good old days


  • Localfluff

    One could make much more fun of that kind concept today with all the social media. But it is easier in hindsight when it has gotten old, than while you’re right in the middle of it happening. In spite of the drawbacks, it’s still better than the alternative.

  • eddie willers

    Sounds like Richard Hoagland’s radio show.

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