Welcome to the new normal. Instead of sitting bored in a conference room work meetings, we now fire up the Zoom/Skype/Team or whichever video conference flavor of the month and sit bored in front of a screen.
We’re not annoyed by creaky, broken chairs, a perfume/cologne smog bomb, or air conditioning set to “Ted Williams Head” mode. Instead, we have video buffering and audio not quite worthy of a tin can and some string. And more frequently, we’re annoyed by Zoom-Holes. You know, people who have no clue, or worse, give zero F’s.
But hey, we’re working from home, so we have to do this, right? So when you get on Zoom for today’s rah-rah meeting, follow these tips so you don’t become a Zoom-Hole.
- Mute your mic unless you’re talking. These mics pick up EVERYTHING. We don’t need to hear every cough and breath you take. Not to mention every other person in your house.
- Find the one corner of your place that doesn’t look like an outtake from Hoarders. You don’t have to live in a mansion. But how about sitting in the spot without the litter box and the banana peel you were too lazy to walk 2 feet to throw away in the frame? All you need is a camera shot as big as a credit card. You can do this.
- If you wouldn’t wear it out of the house, don’t wear it here. In your ripped, comfy pajama pants? Cool. So am I. But you wouldn’t know it because I’m sitting in a chair with the camera pointed at my face, not sprawled out like Rose posing for Jack Dawson.
- Speaking of Rose…Wear clothes. With all the appropriate layers…if you know what I mean.
- Don’t talk to hear yourself talk. Zoom provides an excellent platform to conduct business and keep communication open. If someone talks to you, answer them. If you have insight into the topic at hand, by all means, offer it. But we don’t need your off-topic thoughts on the rest of the world. You can start a personal YouTube channel or podcast for that. Don’t bother sending me the subscription link. My Mimecast will probably block it anyway.
- Don’t eat or drink. Seriously, you have 7 other hours of the day to take care of this. There’s nothing more annoying then your horrible chewing sounds, which somehow sound louder and grosser over the internet.
- Don’t be like Jennifer. Unless you like being famous for dropping trou (or in this case sweat) during a work meeting. Don’t know who Jennifer is? Check her out (so to speak,) below.
In the meantime, please stay safe, be kind, practice social distancing and we’ll all get through this together.