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What? Are you deaf?!?
Old 02-10-2015, 08:24 PM   #1
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What? Are you deaf?!?

Conference call today at Megacorp. PM insists we all had to gather in the small conf room to participate via speakerphone, mainly because that's the way it's always been done. The smarter PMs now just expect team members to call in from their desks, where they can get some real w*rk done while someone drones on and on about something irrelevant.

Anyway, that's bad enough, but he initiates the call and then turns the volume all the way up! "Dang, Joe, can you turn that down a bit please? I'm getting a headache." He complies, then reaches over not 30 seconds later and turns it up to "11" again.

What's WRONG with these people?? Now, I know sometimes there's a participant who's away from the mic or just doesn't speak very loudly; that's when you turn it up - temporarily. Most of the participants were bellowing into the phones on their ends, which made it worse. I pulled out my smartphone's SPL Meter app which gave a reading of almost 80 dBA. That's somewhere between a vacuum cleaner and a garbage disposer. Wow, just "wow."

One more reason to snap out of my OMY syndrome, I suppose.

(Thanks, bartender. I'll have another.)
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:28 PM   #2
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You supposed right Glalaxyboy. DH retired one week ago today and he already looks 10 years younger! Good luck with your choice.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:44 PM   #3
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One of my major pet peeves, and not just in workplaces. Many times I would attend meetings in rooms that only had 15 or so seats and the speakers would use microphones and speakers. They were perfectly understandable without them, probably more understandable. But they weren't LOUD enough.

I also don't understand why people need to be surrounded by sound all the time. Especially loud, annoying sounds. For instance, how many times have you gone into a restaurant or shop and the speakers are playing music that is loud and distorted like a radio that is mistuned? Are people that accustomed to noise that they don't notice?

Sorry... rant off.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:49 PM   #4
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At my last job one jerk always used the speakerphone, making him sound like he was at the bottom of a barrel. I repeatedly just said "I cannot understand you" until he gave up, exerted the muscle energy to pick up the handset, and speak normally.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:53 PM   #5
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Or the guy in the next cube that has a meeting on speaker Don't miss that!

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Old 02-11-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
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A great youtube video on conference calls...

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Old 02-11-2015, 05:45 PM   #7
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Our company has banned the use of speakerphones at the desk, and I'm glad to have been one of the main instigators of that. He was great at making a call with the handset, then yelling over to someone else to come over to his cube, then putting the call on speaker.

When he then complained about not being able to grab a conference room on no notice to make his loud and long-winded calls, I suggested to the facility manager to put a speakerphone in the engineering lab (unoccupied 80% of the time, and only a few feet away from Mr. Speaker-happy's desk). That's what they did, and now I have much more peace.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:46 PM   #8
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I guess you guys don't use MS lync with headsets....
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
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At the risk of defending the protagonist, there are times when I want my team together for a conference call. If I am calling the client I want the ability to mute and get opinions before responding. Otherwise you may get an opinion on the table that is not what you want. Turning the volume up is a different story. At my company it is not possible to turn it too loud, as the speaker phones are literally 20 years old and don't have the volume.

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Old 02-11-2015, 10:12 PM   #10
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I had a cube neighbor many many years ago who would always use her speakerphone for her personal calls. I learned way too much about her overly dramatic life. I asked her many times to use a hand or head set, but she wouldn't do it. An out of hours work assignment, a Leatherman, and a little wire snip took care of the problem. She was too lazy to ever go through the (admittedly overly bureaucratic) process to get a new phone, and she just started using the head set. Blessed relief.

I also learned early on to check the mute feature at the beginning of a group conference call. I saw a couple of examples of people incorrectly thinking they had muted the phone before making comments to the rest of the people in the room. Megacorp politics was unpleasant enough without letting a superior know what you actually thought about them.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
At my last job one jerk always used the speakerphone, making him sound like he was at the bottom of a barrel. I repeatedly just said "I cannot understand you" until he gave up, exerted the muscle energy to pick up the handset, and speak normally.
Brother-in-law and brother do this at work. I cannot stand it. BIL even has the audacity to still keep the speaker phone on even several times after people say "Hello? Hello?" because they can't hear him.

Do they feel they're so important that they can't be bothered to pick up the phone? Not to mention the fact that they have to talk IN A MUCH LOUDER VOICE EVERY TIME THEY OPEN THEIR MOUTH because it's on speakerphone. Even when someone pages them with the intercom, they insist on talking with the speakerphone on.

Are there any pranks or things one could do to finally get the point across to pick up the damn phone? Perhaps a clear coat of nail polish over the speaker....
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by CardsFan View Post
At the risk of defending the protagonist, there are times when I want my team together for a conference call. If I am calling the client I want the ability to mute and get opinions before responding. Otherwise you may get an opinion on the table that is not what you want. Turning the volume up is a different story. At my company it is not possible to turn it too loud, as the speaker phones are literally 20 years old and don't have the volume.

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they have this new fangled thing called instant messenger; works great on conf calls
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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That youtube video is a new classic. I got a hearty belly laugh out of it.

And we DO have Lync around here - it's just that people can't be bothered, or consider themselves too "old", to learn how to use it. That's my other big button around here - wasting huge amounts of time fighting with electronic documents because other people don't know how to use the programs correctly. Word Styles and outline-numbered formatting come to mind. Just the other day I opened a hundred-page report and the TOC was done exactly like it would have been on an electric typewriter (1 [period] [space][space]Title[period][period][period][period][period][period][ad nasueum]1).

And this is at the world's largest architectural/engineering firm.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:47 PM   #14
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That's one of the many things I don't miss about working. (Endless meetings) The last few years it became common place (very acceptable) that most meetings were held by conference calls and the use of some sort of electronic whiteboarding. Sometimes face to face meetings are good but in my experience, most can be held just as effectively over a conf call.
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