The novel coronavirus has forced people to stay indoors and work from home. This "new normal" has changed the way we work and communicate with our peers. However, the new virtual workplace has also caused many awkward moments especially because some of us are not very technologically aware.
The Business Standard has reached out to several professionals, who are working from home to hear their "bloop moments" while working online at their respective homes.
Awkward children: An official of Grameenphone spoke about how children are a constant distraction during work. "During a team meeting on Zoom last week, my colleague's three-year-old daughter suddenly popped up from the background, sat on her father's lap and asked, "Dad, why is this man bald?" It was a core team meeting and there was only one bald man in the meeting: the boss himself. My colleague turned pale and tried to handle the situation by telling his daughter to leave the place and play with her dolls. The child would not leave, she rather said "Dad, this uncle looks like my bald doll, doesn't he?"
Moms being moms: A contributing feature writer had a rather embarrassing story. She said that "I was in a meeting with my team. We were discussing our next issue when suddenly the door flung open and my mom barged in with a ladle in her hand. She came in screaming and swearing because I had left a wet towel on her bed. She kept yelling at me, using all the abusive words she could think of. I tried my best to stop her, but she just will not stop. Then I tried to mute the microphone because all my colleagues were hearing her screaming. But, I was too late. My boss said, "Finish it and come back."
Movie sites please: A chartered accountant firm is filled with movie lovers. Its CEO said, "One of our colleagues loves to watch movies. On usual days, he would sit in his desk and watch movies during office hours. Our management noticed it and then blocked all binge websites on all the laptops of our office. So when we all started working from home, he was extremely happy because he thought that he would be able to watch movies while working from home. But then, the problem occurred when he found that none of the movie sites was loading. He thought the PC was not functioning right and called the IT man to ask why he cannot watch movies from the laptop and what should he do to fix the problem.
Email blunders: A journalist of an English daily found that his team members sometimes cannot handle an email. He said "A colleague of mine sent me an email where she wrote please find the file attached. However, there was no file attached to the article. I responded to her and asked her to send me the mail again. On her second email she wrote, 'sorry, please find attachment.' But this time as well, there was no attachment. Then I called her and told her to attach the files first and then type my email address."
Wardrobe disasters: The lockdowns had placed a top bank official in a very uncomfortable situation during a Zoom meeting. He said "We were in a meeting with the managing director of the bank. The MD asked us all to mute our microphones and turn off our cameras during the meeting. One of our colleagues mistakenly forgot to turn off his camera, and then the disaster happened. He has been roaming around topless in his house, while everyone could see his bare body. At a point, the MD had to pause the meeting and tell him to go and wear a shirt".
A singer spotted: Amid this lockdown, a start-up owner found out that a female colleague is a pretty good singer. "During the early days of lockdown, many of us were not very "zoom friendly". One day, during a meeting, while I was talking to the team, suddenly I heard that one of our female colleagues was singing a song. She had mistakenly left the microphone turned on and was singing to herself. I stopped the meeting and once she had finished singing, I said please turn off your microphone."
A sudden loud burp: Working from home has allowed us the liberty to eat our meals during meetings and some people even run other errands too. That is possible because nobody can see what you as the camera is turned off and microphones are muted. A top official of a renowned bank recollected his bloop moment and said, "I just finished my breakfast before the meeting. So when I was about to say hi to my team, I ended up with a long awkward burp".
Passwords: The IT department has been having a very hard time as almost everyone started working from home. An IT executive of a renowned newspaper shared his experience, "A colleague called me late one night and woke me up to ask me how she can recover her Gmail password?"
Internet: Internet service providers have been getting countless complaints in a day. A service provider said that "one of our colleagues could not open a PDF file which she received as an attachment. She right away called the internet service provider to ask why it was not opening. Then it transpired that she did not have Acrobat reader installed in her laptop."