Anonymous 5m 691 #conferencecall
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Make Sure You Are Dressed During Your Conference Call
My company deals with timely press releases and we are one of the largest news organizations on the web. We deal with pharmaceutical companies, law firms, superbowl, car dealerships, car manufacturers, and everything you can think of that we do and put it in front of the eyes of journalists and others. Most of our jobs at the company are not hard, but they are tedious, and our turnover rate can be high, as in our industry, with deadlines and accuracy, mistakes are not allowed very often.
You get to have a few per month, but it is expected that with experience on the job, this number dwindles to nearly zero. Not to get into it, but people get just a few chances, a few mistakes, and beyond that, our industry just has no room for it. You could say the job of media is fast-paced, high stress. Most of our jobs are at the office now, but once upon a time, we were all working from home, happily, carefree, because our jobs warranted mostly just needing to be in front of a computer for several hours a day answering phone calls or emails and making sure customers were getting the best service.
Since our corporation expands nationwide and we have several offices throughout the United States, we tend to still have meetings, which throws schedules off. A meeting in New York that is at 10 AM means that anyone answering in California woke up early at 7 AM for the meeting, so they are not expected to head into the office until their official shift. We have meetings at home and call in using Zoom.us or Join.me. For most meetings, they are voice calls, but occasionally, we do have presentations on screen, and even sometimes we have video sharing, where we can all see each other. It is expected that if you are on video, you are to conduct yourself professionally, even if you just woke up. It is not expected that you would be in a suit at 7 AM in the morning, but business-casually dressed as if you were at work.
One day, we had a call early in the morning. Everyone hops on the call. We’re all discussing pretty important business — revenue growth for the fiscal year, future of the company, relevant and irrelevant products, advertising and marketing, etc. The CEO, the top bosses, the supervisors, the managers, and the employees – many people were on this conference call. This meeting required everyone be seen, so our video sharing sessions were turned on and we could all see each other. The main headquarters office had the conference room filled with people, so we could see them all, but and there were just a few other, including me, who were in other parts of the country and had to call in for the meeting. I happened to be in my home office. You could tell there were a few other people, some on their couches, another in the kitchen, another outside in their backyard, but there was one person who seemed to be lying in bed, a regular employee, who had just called in, must have not realized it was a video sharing, which was turned on automatically. He was lying in bed, half naked. We assumed he would get dressed and be more appropriate on the call. Everyone ignored it for a few minutes when all of a sudden he starts to pick his nose.
Finally, someone mentioned that his video sharing was on and that he should probably get dressed and call the meeting back. I do not work in the office where he works. He lives a few states away from me so I do not have any direct responsibility for him. I am pretty sure that he was spoken to but not fired. However, my warning to anyone out there is this: Before you call into a conference meeting, especially when video sharing is involved, especially when there are CEOs and “higher up” bosses involved, make sure you are properly dressed and ready for the meeting.