It’s strangely a bit reassuring to know that, no matter where you work, there will always be somebody who doesn’t understand or refuses to honor the basics of conference call etiquette. Whether it’s a distracting echo or the clack clack of keys typing or the slightly more adorable sound of a cat meowing in the background, there is always going to be a sound that derails the meeting, because at least one tech-ignorant jerk is going to forget to mute their damn mic after calling in.
It even happens in the NBA, where the Portland Trail Blazers were rendered helpless by some creepy heavy breathing while they tried to introduce new signing Pau Gasol. The veteran big man, who was dialing in from Madrid, found his quotes obscured by an anonymous reporter doing his best stalker impression.
“If I can interrupt for just a quick second, please, just a reminder to mute your line,” said a Blazers flack as Gasol was trying to explain the value of his veteran presence. “We’re getting a lot of breathing.”
And yet despite that polite request, the heroic wheezer refused to stop. This left the hostages stuck on the call with this psychopath, who just wanted a usable “I’m excited to be here” quote from Pau Gasol, to grow more and more impotently annoyed.
“Can we get the reminder again please, gentlemen, about muting the phones?” asked one reporter. This prompted the PR guy to once again make a plea for silence.
“I don’t know who’s got the heavy breathing,” he tried. “But it’s rather distracting, so please make note that you’re breathing heavily into the phone.”
I bet it was Bob from sales. Weird guy.