Thursday, June 25, 2015

Story 88: Conference Call on the Party Line

            (In multiple offices, a teleconference takes place with a vendor and managers – they all can view the vendor’s computer screen)
            Vendor: Welcome, everyone – is everyone here?
            Caller 1: I think so?
            Caller 2: Hi!
            Caller 3: Someone’s missing from the queue.
           Vendor: All righty, I’ll just start and they can catch up.  Soooooo…. how’s everybody doin’ today?
            Caller 3: This is an hour and a half demo: just cut to the chase.
            Vendor: All righty.  Can you all see my screen on your end?
            Caller 3: Yes.
            Caller 2: Yes.
            Caller 1: No.
            Caller 4: Yes.
            Vendor: Good.  I’m going to demo how to run that report you had requested the other day.
            Caller 2: I don’t have it.
            Vendor: Pardon me?
            Caller 2: No, I don’t have it, I’ll even check my inbox – (A voice is heard saying something unintelligible) You never said anything about needing it for today!
            Caller 3: Turn off your mic!
            Caller 2: Hold on a second – what?
            Caller 1: We all can hear you!
            Caller 2: Right, sorry.  (Clicks off)
            Caller 3: Sorry about that – you were saying?
            Vendor: Thank you – oh, I see the last caller has just joined us.
            Caller 1: Hi!
            Caller 3: Turn on your mic!
            Caller 5: (Clicks on) Oh, there it is, hello!
            Callers 1 and 4, and Vendor: Hi!
            Caller 5: I was stuck in a meeting – how far did you get?
            Caller 3: We’re losing precious paid seconds here that we’ll never get back!  Keep it going!
            Vendor: Right.  OK, so you’d open the window here, and select “File”.  Everybody see how I did that?
            Caller 3: Not for nothing, but we all got computer basics down pat decades ago.  Just advance to the part we don’t know, please!
            Caller 1: Can I leave early?  I forgot that I have to go to H.R. soon.
            Caller 3: Do whatever you want.
            Vendor: OK, I ran the report and this is what it will look like for you.
            Caller 3: Looks good.  What does everybody think?
            Caller 5: That should work.
            Caller 1: Yeah.
            Caller 4: (Sound of a page turning)
            Caller 3: Are you reading a book?!
            Caller 4: Noooo…..?
            Caller 3: Get off the line!
            Caller 4: You told me to call in!
            Caller 3: And you’re supposed to pay attention!  You’re going to have to run this thing on your own soon, so you’re gonna have to know how to run it!
            Caller 4: But this demo’s sooooo boooooring!
            Vendor: Um, would you like me to call back later?
            Caller 3: No!  We paid for one session, and we need it done now!  Continue, please.
            Vendor: OK, so if this report has what you need, I can show you what else you can do with the program.
            Caller 1: Does this demo really need to be an hour and a half long?  Can’t you just send us a slide show and we’ll call if we have questions?
            Vendor: Uh….
            Caller 3: Our package includes this, so we’re doing it!  Why are you wasting even more time questioning it?!
            Caller 1: `Cause it’s wasting my time!  I have to go to H.R. soon!
            Caller 3: Then go already!  We don’t need you!  You’re all useless!
            Caller 5: Hey, I didn’t do anything!  I was stuck in a meeting!
            Caller 2: (Clicks on) OK, I’m back – what’d I miss?
            Caller 3: Everything!  You people have ruined the demo, and we’re never getting that money back, never!
            Vendor: Actually, that slide show suggestion was a good idea –
            Caller 3: No it wasn’t!  We are doing this demo if it kills us all!
            (Sounds of clicking)
            Vendor: Everybody else just disconnected.
            Caller 3: Finally – I can never get anything done with them around.


  1. Conference calls can be confusing and nothing gets done at the time. Eventually, it does get going.