I Hate Conference Calls

Working in an office, you must learn to cope with annoying people, because almost everyone is annoying in some way. Some people just don't "get it", mainly because they fucking suck. They have zero awareness of anything going on around them. And these people do not confine their stupidity to the office, oh no - they are the same people who try to read a book while walking down a busy street, treat waiters like ancient Egyptian slaves, and eat Quizno's Italian Combo subs dripping with balsamic vinegar on a fucking unventilated subway. They are the very top of the asshole chain. They are the apex of assholes, if that's possible.

And life would make too much sense if it was just one guy/girl who did all of this annoying shit, because then I would be able to focus all my hatred on one target. But no. It's all different people doing different but equally aggravating shit. Some of them are disgusting eaters. They microwave food that smells like Bum Feet and eat it three feet away from my nostrils. And they will eat it loudly, like a fucking starved pig sawing through a deer carcass. Other people like to listen to music. Like Salsa music or Musak or something equally as terrible, all of which make me want to funnel boiling cooking grease directly into my ear-canal. Some people bicker with their spouses while I cringe..."Do not buy those. DO NOT BUY THOSE. I TOLD YOU YESTERDAY WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE FUCKING TOWELS. WHY DON'T YOU EVER FUCKING LISTEN TO ME? FINE, GO OUT WITH SHARON, SHE'S A SLUT..." Some people coo with spouses while I vomit into my lap - "Ohhh baby, I love you so much. You are the best baby. What's that, baby? I'm your snuggle muffin, baby? Awww, baby, I love you too. Mmmm I can't wait to see you in three hours either, baby..." Some people have full discussions all by themselves, like shitty, a one-man, unsponsored Shakespeare play in Central Park, starring that creep from across the hall who does his laundry wearing only underwear and a v-neck. The aggravations are literally endless. But the worst of them all are the people who put their conference calls on speakerphone. Those people deserve to rot in a Bengali prison.

I know I'm a little crazy, but listening to people hold conference calls through a speakerphone at their desks, to me, is the annoyance-equivalent of someone screaming in Arabic through a megaphone while beating a tambourine into an amplifier and using a jackhammer on a piece sheet metal while I'm trying to sleep five feet away. The minute I hear that scratchy jumble of stupid voices, my stomach boils. And the call can never be kept quiet. That would be to cordial. No, these people feel the need to pump their speakerphone volume to level 7,860, making the people on the line sound like Buffalo Bill from "Silence of the Lambs."

And conference calls in general are the fucking worst. The calls are always super-disorganized; it's mostly people mumbling and whispering and typing too loud and bullshitting about the weather "How is it out there, Bob? Is it raining. It's raining here. Is it nice where you are, Bob?" BOB IS IN CALI-FUCKING-FORNIA, FUCKFACE, OF COURSE IT'S NICE OUT!!!!

And there is always a technically-retarded person on the call who is unable to hear anyone because they have the call on mute and they're just saying, "hello...hello...hello..." until they hang up and dial in again. They click all the buttons at once so it sounds like Speak-and-Spell while some other shithead wanna-be-hero tries to help them, even though shithead #1 can't hear a fucking thing. At this point, I'm so annoyed I put the call on mute and start to decide who I'm going to pimp-slap when I win the lottery.

Once the call is underway, it usually takes me less than three seconds to decide who I hate the most. There have been times when I've been on calls with like thirty fucking people, and after just one introduction, "KAAARRRAA in Chicago..." I will already know that I hate this person. And I also know that they will be the one who needs things explained sixty times.

Person Leading the Call: So does anyone not understand the 35 minutes of nonsense I've just dictated?


Person Who Doesn't Fucking Get It: Umm, yeah, actually, Ken, I don't. If you don't mind, could you repeat it all again? My three-year-old nephew and my Ukrainian Au Pair just joined me, so I just want to make sure everyone is in the loop on this.

That blood-curdling screaming you hear? That raging cry of lost humanity? That's my fucking soul. It gets stabbed in the fucking eye every time someone extends a call for the sole purpose of feeling important and having their voice heard and contributing to the worthlessness of what's unfolding before us. And this same person, the one who needs everything repeated, he/she will be the one who keeps the call going just as its about to wrap up.

Person Leading the Call: Well, I think we're all set here. Thank you for sacrificing 123 minutes of your life to hear my idea that will never see the light of day. I will be setting up 34 more meetings this week because I'm paid handsomely to do futile shit like this.

Person Who Doesn't Fucking Get It: Ummm, did we discuss the time frame for this idea? What about budgets? And time travel, did we discuss that? Can we also go over why my husband/wife fucked the cleaning lady/plumber? I was too busy putting the call on mute and bad-mouthing my assistant for being a slut and wishing my kids didn't hate me for never being home so I can be here to BE THE MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE WHO MAKES CONFERENCE CALLS DRAG ON FOR 3 FUCKING HOURS!!!

(crying on a bus stop bench)

Honestly, I could keep going. I could probably write 45,000 words on speakerphones and conference calls. I could pull a Jack Torrence and write the phrase "Speakerphones and Conference Calls suck fucking dick" a million times over. But I'll stop here, because each paragraph I write on this topic is shaving six months off my life.

No comments: