The wrong decision!
After six months off being placed on furlough, I returned on Monday 2nd November 2020.
I am sure thousands of people were in the same situation and found themselves sat at their home workstations. Switched on their laptops and PC’s and faced the game of ”What do I do”? Followed by ”What Password is needed for each step of the journey into the new work reality.
The week flew by, I read all that I need to read and in some cases, I read the articles twice as I tried to get my head into my work and understand what changes and modifications had been added to my job. Microsoft Team’s is now a big part of work-life.
One day was especially different and difficult. It was the day of ”welcome back” meetings and various team meetings. I had three in one day. The third was a 1600 start.
The Third Meeting
Picture the situation and my dilemma.
- outside was stormy, driving rain and gusts of wind, enough to blow your hair out of place but not strong enough to knock you over.
- Inside was also stormy. Mrs I’ was in a WWW mode, i.e. Offering Wise Words from my Wife to Laura (Daughter) these offerings were a tad louder than I could muffle whilst in the 1600 meeting.
- Teal, my guide dog had started to pester for attention. She also has to adjust to my new life pattern and restricted time spent with her.
The solution, well what I thought was a good all-round one was to simply gather my iPad and headset into a plastic bag. Thinking of the storm. Place Teals guiding rains on her and wearing suitable clothing go out into the storm in search of a cafe and simple join 1600 meeting.
It’s now 1545 and I am walking to find a cafe. I live in a sleepy seaside town. Its 24 hours before the next UK’s national lockdown.
No where is open!
It’s now 1550, I have made my way down to the local bandstand. A peaceful spot, with some shelter from the rain but not from the wind.
I let Teal of for a ”free run” She rushes off on her ”labrador forage” around the small but pleasant spot. Sniffing between each bench in the hope for some scraps of food.
I log into ”Teams” place my headset on and join the meeting.
I am now feeling smug, I have avoided the WWW situation at home. Teal is getting attention, I am stood in the bandstand out of the rain listening to my work colleagues, including Nick my director and in an almost ”win, win, win situation.
If I was playing background music this part would be calm violins and a triangle chiming simple but relaxing music.
”wrong decision time got worse”
Change the music! Now it’s that stressful drums and clashing symbols time!
Teal has found the lazy river after chasing a seagull. I have somehow turned on both my microphone and camera (Ipad is still in the plastic bag) Iam unaware at this stage.
In my headphones Kevin, has politely said
”it sounds like someone is in a wind tunnel”.
In the park, I am now shouting for Teal to get out of the river.
After a few seconds I realise, it’s me, Kevin means me!
I start to fumble inside the plastic bag to pull out the ipad.
I horrifically and very quickly find out the ”double click problem” too see my face with wind swept hair in the camera on the ”Teams Meeting”!
I quickly say some random words..
Look for the mute and camera off buttons.
Whilst in my head I am in deep mental panic! The background music is now defining aggressive..
Switch off the microphone then camera to hear Nick saying so carmly ”thats okay Roy, we are able to use Teams to its fullest and help keep lives going” or words to that effect.
Meanwhile back in the park; Teal runs back, she is somehow not wet as the lazy river was nearly empty!
I quickly place her on her harness and lead. I quickly find a bench and rejoin the informative meeting. Sweating and feeling stressed about my decision.
The next few days I spend apologising to colleagues who all found it funny and didn’t ruin the team meeting.
I vow never to attempt to join another meeting without a definite bolt hole that enables me to take part too!
I hope that your first week back was without issues and you’ve enjoyed this short story.