Fun With Virtual Meetings (Business and Otherwise)!

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TastyReuben posted to the General Chat Thread a reenactment of a virtual meeting where he works, and it struck a cord (after I got done laughing). I know that a lot of us have been living with remote work and virtual meetings, and I have to think much of our experiences are not unique.

There's an aunt on my mom's side that started a monthly Family Meeting through Zoom last summer, and it's been a lot of fun. I have relatives in Massachusetts, Florida, California, Nebraska, and Illinois, and I seriously don't think we would ever have been able to meet otherwise. I don't think anyone would ever have tried planning a family reunion: many relatives are unable to travel under normal circumstances, and flying cross-country is expensive. This might be the only good thing to come out of the Pandemic.

Ford Motor Company has supported remote work for a very long time. We are issued laptops and smart phones, and many people opt to call into meetings even when the room was right down the hallway. The advantage of that is that you got to eat your lunch while still participating in the meeting. I can see feeling uncomfortable about stuffing your face when you're sitting across from a manager in a meeting room.

The transition was seamless for the post part. Most of what we do is not hands-on. While we haven't gotten specific direction yet, I suspect Ford will encourage people to work remotely if possible, even after the All Clear is announced. In the past year, the building where I was working was decommissioned. I am now assigned to a building where I spent most of my career, along with a lot of others; I don't think there are enough desks for everyone if the plan was to have everyone go back at the same time.

My wife is a high school special ed teacher. Remote learning is really a tricky thing. It largely depends on kids actually showing up for the lessons. Once they do show up, though, it actually seems to work well. Kids are much more tech savvy than they were when I was in high school (yes...there were computers when I was a kid, but they weren't in the schools). Younger kids, though, have it tougher.

A fun thing that we run into almost every day is that I have a meeting and she has a class at the same time. One of us needs to leave the room so we don't bother the other. The thing there that cracks me up is when she listens in to one of my meetings, and then does an impersonation of Engineer Guy Talking About Technical Stuff. Needless to say, I'm on mute most of the time. :laugh:
 

TastyReuben

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Ok, here's a good one, from several years ago:

We were sat in a conference room, about eight of us, dialed into a call with one of our vendors.

The normal procedure was that we'd dial into a main conference line with the central conference room phone, and it would go through a whole spiel along the lines of "Welcome to Conference Solutions. Your corporate ID is Big Business One. Your conference ID is 8439661...," and eventually, it'd get to the point where we had to say our group name, and it would announce us. It did this for anyone dialed in. We'd say something like "Cincinnati Business Team" for the announcement.

As you can guess, after hearing the conference room intro a thousand times, you tend to tune it out until it gets to the part where you have to say your name for the announcement, and in this instance, we were all jabbering with each other while the intro was playing.

A couple of playful barbs were traded back and forth between a few people, and just when it came time for us to speak our group name for the announcement, one of the women in the room jokingly called another person a rude name, so that that name was recorded for our team name, which meant, when the attendance announcement was finally made, it went like this:

"...it is now 2:04PM EST. The conference leader has opened the conference. Today's attendees are West Coast Vendor Team and AZZHOLE!"

:laugh:
 

caseydog

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Hey LateNight, as a car guy in the car business, I've been curious about what you do at Ford. In my work at car magazines, we had certain terms. There are the people who design and engineer cars, the ones who build cars, the ones who promote them (and give me cars to drive), and then there are the accountants (bean counters)... who ruin cars. :laugh:

If you are a bean counter, I'll give you credit for being a good cook and having good taste in beverages.

BTW, it was the same when I worked in Computer Software marketing. We called the Accounting Department the "Sales Prevention Department." :D (But, our CFO was a major car guy, so we got along great)

CD
 
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Hey LateNight, as a car guy in the car business, I've been curious about what you do at Ford. In my work at car magazines, we had certain terms. There are the people who design and engineer cars, the ones who build cars, the ones who promote them (and give me cars to drive), and then there are the accountants (bean counters)... who ruin cars. :laugh:

If you are a bean counter, I'll give you credit for being a good cook and having good taste in beverages.

BTW, it was the same when I worked in Computer Software marketing. We called the Accounting Department the "Sales Prevention Department." :D (But, our CFO was a major car guy, so we got along great)

CD

I'm not what I would call a bean counter, but I work with a lot of them. I work in Powertrain Controls for several programs (currently anything with a 2.7L or 3.0L gas engine). Controls is centered on the PCM (Powertrain Control Module, the main computer in the vehicle network) and related sensors and brackets. I am the project control engineer for these programs ("my" 2.7L Bronco is launching soon).

The bean counting comes in when we're evaluating cost and weight for our components. There are always calls to reduce both. Part of my job is making sure everyone realizes that there's always a price for any change: if you reduce cost, it's often because the new part is less capable; if you reduce weight, it's often because the new part is less durable. If a component fails often enough, there are warranty returns to replace it, so your brilliant idea to save a total of $100,000 is going to cost the company $5,000,000 to undo (and we still end up paying the higher cost for the component we should have used in the first place).

All this talk of bean counting is reminding me that I haven't made chili in a while. That's a bean counter I can relate to!
 

caseydog

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I'm not what I would call a bean counter, but I work with a lot of them. I work in Powertrain Controls for several programs (currently anything with a 2.7L or 3.0L gas engine). Controls is centered on the PCM (Powertrain Control Module, the main computer in the vehicle network) and related sensors and brackets. I am the project control engineer for these programs ("my" 2.7L Bronco is launching soon).

The bean counting comes in when we're evaluating cost and weight for our components. There are always calls to reduce both. Part of my job is making sure everyone realizes that there's always a price for any change: if you reduce cost, it's often because the new part is less capable; if you reduce weight, it's often because the new part is less durable. If a component fails often enough, there are warranty returns to replace it, so your brilliant idea to save a total of $100,000 is going to cost the company $5,000,000 to undo (and we still end up paying the higher cost for the component we should have used in the first place).

All this talk of bean counting is reminding me that I haven't made chili in a while. That's a bean counter I can relate to!

Ah, you are one of the "good guys." :okay:

Like the old saying goes, "Do it right, or do it over."

CD
 

Backbay

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So today I had a three, yes that is 3, hour business call. A week ago I had knee surgery which makes it hard to sit for long periods. I spent the call laying on my back on the floor with my legs elevated and resting on the seat of the chair. Thankfully, I was not asked to turn on my video 🤣🤣🤣...
 
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TastyReuben: I was in a meeting just now, and I heard someone say, "Sorry...I wasn't paying attention. Can you please repeat that?" And, it's Friday, and I'm already thinking ahead 2+ hours to when my weekend starts, so I'm thinking...

WE HAVE A NEW DRINKING GAME!

Every time someone says some version of the above, you have to do a shot!

Potential downside: it's virtually certain you will be fired if you actually do this. But, remember, you would still have to do a shot if you say, "Sorry...I wasn't paying attention...I had to go get another bottle of whiskey."
 

ThatDude

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I'm actually loving the fact that so many people are now working remotely...because they now appreciate my work life for the past 15 years :D

I work for a global network company supporting deals in the Europe region and I probably only go into the office a couple of times a year....this is pretty typical for everyone who works in the transversal teams (local in-country teams do tend to go into the office more often). So the past year hasn't been any change at all for me. The team I work in is spread across Europe and so are the people I support (plus a few a bit further afield) so every meeting is a conference call, every training course is a webinar, and I've never met (or even seen) most of the people I talk to every day. Its funny that although we've had the option of video for a long time, no-one really bothered with it until this past year. One thing I have noticed on video calls is that you can almost always tell from their workstation setup which people usually work from home and which are only working from home because of the pandemic.

This clip is pretty old so you might have seen it before...its been a favourite of mine for years, but not that many people really "got" it.....until now maybe :okay:
 
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