20 tips to survive the #Covid19-impacted conference call
Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

Where once you just ambled down the corridor to the meeting room, now you’ve a whole new set of challenges to contend with as #Covid19-impacted conference calls take over the world.  These tips from LIAM HORAN will help you to survive the #Covid19-impacted conference call.

  1. Pyjamas are perfectly acceptable – but only below the fold. If the kids initiate World War 3 in the sitting room, respond slowly. If you can’t figure out how to turn off your camera, just slip down off your chair and slink out of the room in a snake-live movement. Star-struck junior staff, in particular, will never recover from the sight of your tartan pyjama bottoms.
  2. Figure out how to turn off your camera.
  3. Adopt a dog. Nothing dissolves a boring, tricky or over-running meeting quite as effectively as the sight of Fido on your knees. Some of the attendance will melt. Others will be irate. Either way, your meeting is over.
  4. Here’s one I learned from my father but it needs some modern-day modification. One famous day long ago, he wasn’t so much stuck as incarcerated on a phone call with an individual (I’m not even revealing gender at the remove of 35 years) who could be charitably described as a wittering nuisance. Fearing days might pass before he could escape the clutches of this wretch, and unaware that I was emerging from the nether regions of the house at that precise moment, I saw him open the door, reach around the frame and press the doorbell. “I’ll have to go,” he lamented dolefully, “there’s someone at the door.” With one bound our hero was free.
  5. Not all heroes wear capes.
  6. Never underestimate the malign ingenuity of your parents.
  7. Potential modification to the manoeuvre mastered so deftly in Point 4 could include a sudden look over your shoulder, a muffled expletive and a sudden dash out of the room. Make sure not to come back. Call in later to say “something came up here, but thankfully we didn’t have to go to the hospital, herself/himself does first aid.”
  8. If deploying the action outlined in Point 7, refer to Point 1, despite the obvious contradictions this presents. It’s complex stuff, working from home.
  9. If you’re of a mind to watch what we will euphemistically call ‘dodgy stuff’ on the net, secure the scene before going on any subsequent calls. Unsubscribe, log-out, road test, stress test, risk test, speed test and test-test.
  10. If you’re tuning out completely to check the Facebook message of the couple breaking up on Day 4 of self-isolation, never, repeat never, attempt to over-compensate by wearing a look of extreme concentration. Anytime I see someone on a conference call contorting their face to indicate they are really into the conversation now unfolding, I know they’re completely zone out. Guaranteed.
  11. Don’t pick your nose on camera.
  12. Don’t pick your nose.
  13. Wash your hands.
  14. Wash your nose.
  15. Wash.
  16. Don’t pick anybody else’s nose on camera.
  17. Remember, if you can hear it, they can too. All domestic rows should be put on hold until after this is over. This will not be easy given the cheek-by-jowl existence thrust upon you and your family. As a general rule, relationship break-up is best achieved away from the ears – and eyes – of your colleagues.
  18. To refrain, remember, if you can hear it. Turn down the volume on bodily functions.
  19. If you haven’t told them at work that you and your other half have gone your separate ways, you could consider chirping ‘yes, darling, be with you shortly’ once or twice during conference calls.
  20. If you hear someone going ‘yes, darling, be with you shortly’ during a conference call, chalk it down their marriage has gone south.

Liam Horan is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Ballinrobe.

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