Image via Practical Folks/YouTube.
Of the many indignities people face in the office world, one of the most intolerable is the dreaded conference call. Modern technology has miraculously made it easy for 100 people to be on the same phone call at the same time, but that doesn’t mean we should ever do it. Conference calls are full of uncomfortable pauses, strange sounds that can’t be traced back to anyone, and that one guy who really loves to hear himself talk.
Case in point: Monday night, during a White House conference call about Iran, reporters overheard some rather inappropriate comments they couldn’t trace back to a specific person.
Conference calls are often tricky – with strange background noise. But tonight’s White House conference call on Iran policy was unique…— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) July 18, 2017\n
During the briefing call on Iran, you could hear an ad in the background: a man seemed to be saying “inflatable dolls” and “a lesbian.”— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) July 18, 2017\n
Shortly after that a senior administration official said he thought it was time to end the phone call on Iran policy: “Just pull the cord.”— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) July 18, 2017\n
I may never know what was really said during that call or if I heard things wrong. But I’ll certainly remember the sounds – and those words…— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) July 18, 2017\n
One brilliant person who goes by the Facebook moniker E Gilliam finally had enough of boring conference calls and decided to make a game of it. Gilliam created a bingo card of the most nauseating things commonly heard during conference calls. “Just think, tomorrow morning, millions of people will hear someone say, ‘Sorry, I was on mute’ and burst out laughing,” Gilliam wrote on Facebook. Gilliam’s bingo card is a mix of office jargon and the uncomfortable moments that happen when humans interface with basic technology. The result: a game that finally makes conference calls interesting.