It’s all about boundaries, and that extends to the ways I connect with my co-workers, too. A running gag in the #chit-chat channel is people showing off their morning outfits. One guy sent a photo of himself wearing a robe and holding a coffee mug. A supervisor, joking about…
The Only Black Guy In the Office
I would much rather see this than to have to sit through someone’s bad music performance. True story. Those spam YouTube music account users now have a place to go — all their co-workers, friends, and random virtual meetings. I put my computer on mute and walked away until one was done. It would’ve been enjoyable for me if I liked the song, the singing or even the way the instruments sounded, but it was a triple “no.” I know this because I unmuted my laptop twice to see if I was wrong. Nope! Lovely/friendly person, but I could do without the song(s). The longer people are at home, the more they’ll want to share their talents. I just want to focus on the point of the call and go back into my “regular” world. (Side note: If I loved the song, singing and instrument, everything I just said above should be immediately ignored.)
I love virtual meetings when they are productive. I had an amazing time sitting in on a two-hour storytelling session that I used to host. Loved every millisecond of it because the host muted all background noise and only unmuted the person telling the story. Even if it wasn’t a story I wanted to hear, it was nice to be able to focus on the point of the call and not have people trail off.
But my favorite part of virtual meetings is I can walk clear across the room to do other stuff. No one knows I’m mopping my kitchen or doing squats or balancing my checkbook because I almost always choose “audio only.” And I can mute and unmute as needed. In person, it’s a full-time job not to hide the painful look of boredom on my face for meetings that had no reason to be called in the first place. I don’t work in Corporate America anymore (and never ever plan to go back), but I’m hoping that CA meetings are more focused now instead of everyone getting together to go in a circle and tell one thing they’re grateful for. I had one boss who did that. The groan fell out of my mouth so fast that I couldn’t even act like I didn’t do it (she was sitting next to me). After I realized this was a pattern, I started showing up purposely late so I could come in once business started.
Anyway, as usual, excellent read. Your posts are by far my favorite on all of Medium.