Friday, August 31, 2007

Nothing in life was ever settle on a conference call

A large part of my job involves working with people to solve some of their problems. Frequently, this work is done on the phone. Sometimes, I'm solving the problems, other times, I'm getting someone else involved who can solve it.

The last two days, I've been on conference calls with 10-20 people and someone on the call tried to solve the problem. This meant that 2 of the 10-20 people had a deep technical problem, when the other 8-18 of us sat there, bored. To make matters worse, the person solving the problem (or trying to) argued with the other person. And of course the other person argued back, dragging the call down to a shouting match.

I'm firmly convinced that nothing in life was ever settle on a conference call.

(Can you tell I'm frustrated?)


John J. Kaiser said...

Something about not being able to see someone face to face is quite unsettling when in the business context.

Randy Barnett said...

You're right and I find that customers yell at me less when it's face to face.

My gripe is with conference calls with 10-20 people, different levels of management/technical and someone trying to solve a problem. Shouldn't be done in that setting.

Conference calls should have the same ettiquette as a meeting. Have an agenda, set the agenda and stick to it.

Following these rules, conference calls can be effective and cut down on travel. But sometimes, you need a throat to choke...

Neil said...

Preach on, brother! When I worked for HP I had daily conference calls, and sometimes hours each day. I don't miss them at all!

My attention span is too short. I have a hard time paying attention or conversing on them.

John J. Kaiser said...

You know something about as effective as a conference call but less painful?

Banging your head against a brick wall repeatedly.

BTW Randy swing by my Rants and Musings blog later, hopefully it will give you a good laugh.

Randy Barnett said...

Sometimes banging your head against the brick wall is more productive. At least you can stop when you want to.

Excellent post on Rants and Musings. You're on my daily read list, so I usually get there. Sometimes I have too many conference calls to give your blog the attention it deserves. I've also found that if I read it while on a conference call, I tend to get caught laughing uncontrollably.

If I read your blog aloud on a call, whill I infringe on copyrights??