Mute your lines!

I just got off a conference call where there were about 30 participants. It was a status call where one person reported the statuses of a number of items. Since only one person needed to do the talking, everyone else should have been on mute unless they had to ask a question. Instead, during the half hour call, we heard:

  • a dog barking
  • a baby crying
  • desk drawers being opened and slammed shut
  • random shuffling sounds
  • snoring

Yes, someone was actually snoring on the call. During the first 5 minutes. The call started at 9am, so it’s not like it was super early.

I don’t get this. Why don’t people mute when they aren’t talking?

When I first joined the company, I had to call into an orientation meeting where a couple of HR representatives did a presentation of the company’s policies. During the call, some guy put the phone down without muting and started having a conversation with a coworker. We could hear the conversation loudly and clearly, and the HR lady kept saying, “Hello? Can you mute? Hello?!” but the guy obviously didn’t have the phone in his ear. At one point he started talking about porn. It was very distracting. The presenter attempted to continue but kept losing her train of thought.

Some people.



Filed under Work, WTF?

7 responses to “Mute your lines!

  1. That would have driven me nuts!

  2. Kathy

    Please tell me you let the last guy know you could hear everything he said, :).

    I’m not sure what people have against mute, but it made working the phones in accounts payable very entertaining.

  3. Once I was on a concall and was getting background from one participant. I was pretty sure I knew where the noise was coming from so I finally said, “Steve, could you mute your line please?” Steve replied, “I am on mute!” It was one of those rare moments that left me speechless.

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