Coffee Shops and Conference Calls: How I keep breaking my own rules
by Arian Shirakhoon, Guest Writer
As an MBA student where many of my colleagues are international, conference calls are inevitable. Most of the time I practice proper call etiquette: mute my microphone when I’m not talking, put my headphones in, and sit in a quiet room. Other times when I am running errands and minutes away from a call, I just plop down at the nearest coffee shop. BIG mistake. How so? Let me count the ways…
I sat next to the order counter.
Little did I realize that a “good spot” was probably the worst table in the place. The grinding, the glassware, the calling out of orders- make it stop! Headphones only go so far.
Instead: Find a window at the corner side of the shop. If it’s November in Arizona, outside is always a good choice.
My coffee was next to my laptop.
Yes, it’s completely convenient… until one gentle knock spills it onto your keyboard and you let out a loud yelp into the call. And then spend the next 5-10 minutes cleaning up your mess and completely miss what your finance colleagues said about the “net present value.”
Instead: Place your coffee on the chair next to you and have a lid. Better yet, skip the coffee and just have an apple.
The band played 5 minutes after I arrived.
Yes, you read that correctly. Lately I have been stumbling on coffee shops where they have happy hours, a bar, and a live band. As a fellow performer I appreciate good music, but all I wanted to do was throw my hot chai at them so they would stop playing for 20 minutes.
Instead: Find out the happy hours beforehand or go to another coffee shop. When you see a guy with a guitar doing a sound check, it’s time to go.
To my fellow cohort: I know the fan in my Macbook 2008 sounds like I am in a windmill. Apologies again. I am upgrading this week.
If you really want a good laugh, check out my favorite conference call video here. (Courtesy of: Tripp and Tyler)
Any funny conference call stories? Share them here!