Coffee Shops and Conference Calls

Coffee Shops and Conference Calls: How I keep breaking my own rules

by Arian Shirakhoon, Guest Writer

Orange coffe cup prepares for espresso, stock photo

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!

 

Arian Shirakhoon is a second year Online Global MBA student with Thunderbird School of Global Management. You can find more of her articles on her LinkedIn page.

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