A collection of essays, outdoor adventure stories, ruminations, wordplay, parental angst, and blatant omphaloskepsis, generated in all seasons and for many reasons at 64.8 degrees north latitude

Friday, March 19, 2021

The eleven types of Zoom meetings

1.           Zoom meeting that could have been an email.

2.           Zoom meeting that could have been an email, except that let’s face it no one would have answered the email, or even read past the first bullet point, let alone clicked on the link to the Google Doc that needs editing by the group, so fine, let’s do this in real time.  That’s not awkward at all.

3.           Zoom meeting that is not actually a Zoom meeting because someone works for the National Academy of Making Things Impossible.  Okay, fine, we’re using the different software you recommended.  No one understands the software, except for Tiffany, who is unable to download the software because she’s hotspotting from her minivan.  Despite the software change, Nigel is still stuck behind a firewall. 

4.           My kids’ Zoom chemistry class.  Involves rummaging in the cupboards for baking soda and fielding sudden urgent questions about electron orbitals.  Invariably occurs simultaneously with #5.

5.           Zoom meeting that requires laser-like focus and Herculean organizational skills lest I look like an idiot in front of my most influential colleagues and/or people who can fire me.

6.           Meeting that is really a presentation.  I am not touching that unmute button, ever.  My camera is off.  Of course I’m here.  Why would you question whether I’m here during your monologue?  Totally here.

7.           Meeting that is really a phone call.  I don’t need to look at anything or anyone, and I’m very sure that no one needs to look at me.  I am entirely cogent, fully contributing, and no one needs to know that I’m taking a walk with my ear buds and phone.  What do you mean, is that the sound of a backhoe?

8.           Meeting in which I can openly admit that I’m taking a walk, because you’ve all been working with me for a decade and you haven’t managed to get rid of me yet.  Yeah.  Totally a backhoe.

9.           My kids’ Zoom gym class.  Noisy.  Makes the house vibrate.  Smells like teenagers, even though 28 of the 30 students are not physically present.  Conducted with cameras and microphones off, entirely on the honor system.  Causes me to vacillate between pride over my children’s obvious honor, and the desire for less honorable children.

10.         Zoom meeting that could have been a semaphore message from a remote windswept hilltop.

11.         Zoom meeting during which I’m writing this list of types of Zoom meetings.