Fool’s guide to video call blunders

I must admit that the article today began with a few blunders of my own, so I decided to lay them out in an organized manner, so you can have a laugh with me or learn from my faux-pas, or simply for me to pay more attention to details.

1 before video calls

1.1. close your multiple windows and tabs. #KeepItClean. This way, if you get to point 2.1 you can close the damn tab fast.

one window list of tabs, identify which one is playing…

1.2 dress like you were at least walking on the street – pants and all. So if you get to point 2.2 nobody will scream “legs! legs! I saw legs!” In my defence, I was wearing a skirt, a short one 🙂

1.3 check your name, especially if you use the account for personal reasons or lend it to your kids. It is awkard to show up with a Pink Berry nickname.

1.4 check your background and how wide your camera angle is – some art, some photos should be for your eyes only, your bed included (if you’re still in it).

2 during video calls

2.1 don’t check stories on facebook/instagram – they will remain open and keep an endless playing loop, while you click back through windows and, in the middle, of your moment of glory everyone will hear the sudden rock-goth music your friends are doing tik tok challenges on.

2.2 while on laptop and grabbing something behind the laptop, you naturally slide the lid to reach the coffee mug; remember that when closing the lid the camera shifts focus and is now facing down at you legs, or pants or whatever. #DoWearClothes

2.3 don’t engage in personal messaging, or you will end up being the one that smiles silly and flirty, while the discussion is about closing a business line.

2.4 don’t cook while video calling with a bluetooth headset. You will manage to burn the food, run to put out the smoke and swear with the mic on.

2.5 announce yourself when you enter or (re)enter the conversation, if you lost connection. In a big group you could end up on the second or (worse) third screen and nobody would notice you are there. #WasHeHere?

2.6 listen to the entire talk or announce if you are away, otherwise you will hear you name called out and you won’t have anyone near to ask what the subject is. #NoCheatSheet

2.7 instruct the household of the importance of the call and the rules, so your kids don’t come yelling “I need to pee!” while you are talking budgets. I know the etiquette is not to video call with kids or pets, but let’s face it, we can’t help it sometimes.

3 after video calls

3.1 make sure you turn off the mic and camera before shouting at the partner or the kids.

3.2 turn off bluetooth and disconnect your headset, or you will put on spotify and you won’t know why it’s not working … while it is playing in the headset still. Take advantage of the break and charge them.

3.3 disconnect hotspot if you were using it for better signal, so you can avoid a larger internet bill, if you want to binge some netflix in the evening via laptop.

And just for fun, here is a video conference, in real life.

So … what blunders did you stumble upon?

Remote working fails

I gathered here a collection of remote working gone wrong, as seen on Twitter 🙂

WFH day 1 report: I whispered “I LOVE YOU” loudly into what turned out to be my spouse’s active meeting headset mic.

— Lindsay Crudele (@thelindsayist) March 12, 2020

Strange new WFH universe pillow talk is your partner saying “I agree with what you were saying in that meeting this afternoon”

— Emily Kager (@EmilyKager) March 18, 2020

Day 3 of WFH and my family started screaming while I was in a meeting and my coworker remarked: “Now I understand why you prefer to go into the office everyday.

— rimsha (@rimshutup) March 18, 2020

Unexpected partial nudity

Pro-tip: if you and your husband are both working from home, check to see if he’s on a four-way video call BEFORE running past the office naked to get a towel from the linen closet. #RealStory #COVID19 #WFH

— Christina Kerby (@ChristinaKerby) March 13, 2020

Big WFH learning for me today.

???? Remind Ryan to put some clothes on before he goes into the bathroom first thing in the morning.

Today he walked past my team video call BUTT naked ????????‍♀️ SOOOOOOO FUNNY ????

— Amanda Baker (@amandahustled) March 17, 2020

First day of working from home is going great. On a video call meeting with my 2 girl teammates and my brother walks into the room with only his boxers on. Happy WFH!????

— Marissa Notaro (@xoxomarissmarie) March 16, 2020

Wild animals

First WFH meeting and my dog decides to show his ass ????????‍♂️

— Quan (@QuanTarantino_) March 16, 2020

just started talking to my cat in the middle of a 68-person zoom meeting—and i wasn’t muted!!! send the meteor!!!!

— daniel taroy (@danieltaroy) March 16, 2020

Teleconferencing is hard


– join meeting
– unmute to speak
– washing machine starts spinning
– hurriedly get up to escape the noise
– not realise charger is plugged in
– proceed to loudly knock pint of water + cup of coffee all over *everything*

– …continue speaking calmly as if nothing happened

— ????????????????????????

hashtag wfh Looks (everyone including me had their cameras turned off)

— that fucking bug woman again (@taxxonomic) March 18, 2020

I’m in a WFH meeting and my Google Home just answered a question someone on the video call asked, unprompted.

I nearly jumped out of my skin.

— Ashley Casperite (@missalwayswrite) October 16, 2019

Every WFH meeting so far:

“I’m sorry, you go…” “no, sorry I-” “Well what I was sayi-” “I’m sorry, were you saying something?” “Go ahead, no sorry, you go…”

*5 voices speak at once*
*suddenly no one speaks*


— Kaleb Coleman [AR/VR] (@kalebcoleman) March 11, 2020

Don’t say “I heard email got coronavirus” in a wfh comms meeting. It does not land.

— Aaron Pobre (@aaronnotpoor) March 12, 2020

WFH Side effect:

We can no longer use “Sorry we’re getting kicked out of this room” as an excuse to end a meeting on time.

— Josh Newton (@nooneswatching) March 17, 2020

Trying to press the ‘leave meeting’ button really fast on Zoom so I don’t have to hold my awkward goodbye face for more than a second#WFH #workingfromhome

— Heather DeLand (@HeatherDeLand) March 17, 2020

Body sounds

day 1 of WFH and i already burped on a bluejeans meeting thinking i was on mute????

— kief (@grtbarrierkief) March 16, 2020

WFH Day 3: Was in a 15 person online meeting, thought I was muted, farted really loudly………. shit ????

— Yvette Chua (@yvettemc18) March 18, 2020

Challenges of interior design

If you do WFH and have a Skype meeting, always consider if the ‘art’ on the wall is:

A) In shot
B) Appropriate

— Gareth Barlow (@GarethBarlow) March 18, 2020

@MantonJen has this #WFH all sorted…..

— Ramsay Jones CBE (@Ramsay59) March 18, 2020

WFH Update: We don’t really have desk/office chairs so I’ve been using this rickety folding chair, which just gave out. I tumbled cartoonishly to the floor. Thankfully, this was just prior to my morning Zoom meeting.

— Zack Mohlis (@zmohlis) March 18, 2020

The subject of every WFH Zoom meeting is actually “oh so that’s where you live.”

— R/GA (@RGA) March 11, 2020

Kids saying the darndest things

WFH diary, day 1:

???? Power went out during recording

???? Contruction workers are extra loud today

???? Daughter walked in on a meeting singing “I like banaaaaanas” at the top of her lungs

— Howard Pinsky (@Pinsky) March 13, 2020

Day 1 of mandatory #WFH while watching a sick kid: pretty good, other than my 4-y/o running into the middle of a supervision meeting yelling “DADA, I HAVE TO POOP!” Textbook “disorienting moment” pedagogy!

— Blake Reid (@blakereid) March 11, 2020

My kid just walked into my video conference, yelled “look at my penis,” and hit the button on his fart machine. Working from home going really great!

— Jenna Weiss-Berman (@WBJenna) March 17, 2020

Okay, this is a work-from-home win

To be in active status while WFH.. ???? #workingfromhome

— Bharat (@Bharat53021017) March 18, 2020