Ah, the pharmaceutical conference call. The mundane, routine ridiculousness fragmented into background noise and voices over voices. Barking dogs, crying babies and series of half words stuttered over “excuse me” or “I’m sorry.” A never ending cycle of regular talkers overstepping bounds and quiet ones being called out to see if they are present and awake.
A rite of passage that sounded relaxing as a new hire: So, you’re telling me that I can work from home and only have to speak aloud once or twice on a call, once or twice a week, in my jammies? I can be hungover in bed for this. I can be in bed. In jammies. I will sound brilliant and then go back to sleep.
I haven’t been a new hire for longer than I’d like to recount, and I am (almost) never hungover. I’m also an efficient worker who likes to get an early start and keep a schedule. So, the Monday morning pump up conference call is not a favorite of mine.
Let’s go sell! (That’s my job!)
We need to meet this goal! (I’m familiar with the bonus structure. Also, we ARE at goal.)
What are you doing this week? (The same thing I do every week. Get out of my house and sell. Oh, here’s a list of my appointments.)
This particular Monday morning cc was especially painful because it began with a roll call for almost 100 people. Yes, it was a training call. Once a quarter, everyone must be accounted for, and it being 2013 and all, let’s do a verbal roll call because that’s the most efficient option. Almost 100 un-muted people working from home. A glorious chorus of loud music, car wind, squeaking doors, sipping coffee, someone saying “I love you too,” and toddler talk.
You see, I was up early and exercised before the conference call. I worked out so long that I felt great, but I ran out of time to shower before the call start time. No worries. These things are usually 10 minutes tops. An hour and a half later, I hit the shower. I was shivering. My sweaty clothes had dried. My sweaty hair had dried. I had heard the same question maybe 7 times, and the same answer from many different management people trying to sound more intelligent and invested than the last. Once again, everyone from “home office” sounded brilliant and like they were working hard. I had coffee, some breakfast, checked Facebook, texted my coworkers about how ridiculous the whole thing was, and organized my sales bag for the week. I learned very little, but my manager knew I was working. Fresh-faced and ready for the week, I left my house promptly at 10am.
I wonder what the neighbors think.