I was on a conference call yesterday. It's that necessary meeting by phone between co-workers in other offices that is a challenge...every...single...time. If you've ever been on a conference call then you have no doubt experienced all five of these things that make you cringe. And yes, these all happened on my call yesterday. 

  1. The Unmuted Phone - We might as well start the list off with the biggest annoyance of all conference calls. The person that forgot to mute their phone. Because of this guy you now know how much he can't stand the boss since he went into great detail about them with his co-worker rather than paying attention to the call. It was nice knowing him.
  2. The Awkward Silence - This is usually preceded by "Does anyone have any questions?" Cue the crickets. No one wants to be the one to ask a question, except if you're one of the lucky ones who has that guy on the call that asks ALL the questions.
  3. The Screen Share -The internet has made it possible to make a conference call a visual presentation...until the technology fails miserably. "Can you all see this spreadsheet on my screen?" No, but the photo of you drunk twirling your shirt above your head as your desktop wallpaper is cute.
  4. The Underwater Talker -  There's always someone who sounds like they are talking from six feet under the ocean. No one can understand a word he's saying. He tries for the entire call to fix the problem, and just as he does time is up. He'll send an email later.
  5. The Late Arriver - They join the call late with an annoying "BEEP!" right when something very important is being discussed. Now everything comes to a halt while the moderator asks "Who just joined?" The late arriver shamefully announces their name apologizing for being late and now we've all forgotten what we were talking about. Is it time for lunch yet?
Conference calls are evil but in today's workplace are unavoidable. They're also not nearly as fun as meetings in person in a conference room where pizza is served. I move for pizza meetings only from now.
What annoys you the most about conference calls? Ever had something embarrassing happen during a conference call? Let us know in the comments below and while you're at it, enjoy this video that shows just how annoying a conference call would be in real life.