Sunday, April 27, 2014

Oh Sh##, my mute button was off?

I love that commercial with the girl who scores points with her colleagues by doing an impression of the client while the client is muted… “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”  I think we all have those clients and what is said and done while errant clients are on mute can be hilarious.  And depending on who it happens to, what is said and done when someone thinks they are on mute can be even funnier.

Sure enough I had another mute button misfire at work.  I was on a national training call and my 15 year old son had arrived home from school famished and was raiding the kitchen for food.  I thought I'd add some harassment so I yelled out, “Hey, Jabber, how about bringing your father some ice cream?”  Sure enough shortly following my query, a moderator chimed in, “someone out there has an open mike”.  (Ugh, who might that that be?)  Needless to say, I scurried to mute my phone.

Sadly, this wasn't my worst encounter bobbling the mute toggle.  A year or two back, I was once again on a National call and an email came in that immediately pushed my blood pressure up a few points.  Believing I was the only one in the office (and also believing that my phone was on mute), I let out a string of profanities only to hear the speaker who was announcing some upcoming change relate, “Oh come on now, it’s not that bad.”

Conversely, I have had the opposite experience as well where I have verbally articulated what I thought was an intelligent response only to hear nothing from my audience.  Eventually, someone catches on (either them or I) and aside from the embarrassment, there is not a great harm done by speaking with the mute button on.  You simply may feel silly for a second, but repeat the original message a second time with the mute button off so that you can be heard.

I know I am not alone in the business world.  One of the big bosses that I previously worked with related how he had been on a call with some power brokers from DC and thinking he was on mute, proceeded to remark to the local audience, “that is the stupidest idea I've ever heard.”  Unfortunately for him, they knew exactly who he was and let him know clearly that his comment was not appreciated.  From that day forward he had the contortions required to mute the phone carefully written out and he would also pound the desk next to the phone to verify that the mute was on.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Birthday MTQ (again)

I received my annual message from Google in regards to the renewal of my domain.  If you had asked me two years ago that I’d be writing a post to commemorate a second year blogging I would never have envisioned writing something so corny.  When I started blogging, I thought it looked easy.  What write a few paragraphs, no problem I thought?  Further, I had basic web skills so the technical aspect didn't rattle me.  Certainly, there was some learning in regards to the nuances of Blogger, but I reflect that was among the least of my blogging challenge.  What I found to be most challenging was trying to maintain enthusiasm and motivation so that I could consistently publish.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

End of an era – goodbye desktop PC

Folks of my vintage recall a world without computers.  Desktop computers were the first widely adopted computers in the home.  I recall guiltily slipping my first computer into the home past my wife, having spent around $1300 from the Montgomery Wards on a no interest if paid in 12 months deal for a 386 having a whopping 128mg (yes megabyte) hard drive and 1mg of memory.  From there, I read many “For Dummies” books, tinkered and became a rebate hound where I enthusiastically amassed computer paraphernalia.  At the height of operations, I had amassed 3 desktop computers in the home and a basement holding many parts and peripherals.  I had scaled back to only 2 remaining desktops in the home when the remaining family members agreed it was ok to divest of the desktop.  I had not used these computers in years; my son using one for XP based games and my wife (resisting learning to use a laptop) had used the other.  Regardless, it fell to dear old dad to get rid of them.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Misadventures in iTunes Land

Ok, I fess up.  I have iTunes on my laptop, but seldom make a purchase from the iTunes store.  Instead, I primarily use iTunes to rip my CDs into MP3 format so that I can play them on most digital devices.  I have converted my entire CD collection of about 100 or so CDs to MP3 format using iTunes.  It came as no surprise when I finally went to make a purchase to use up the $10 iTunes gift card that I've had for a couple of years that I was prompted to respond to security questions and had no idea what the answers would be.  (I don't believe I ever set security questions – yes, the account is that old).  Any who, the Apple prompts walked me to their help which had me enter my telephone number and I received a message that I would receive a call in 10 minutes.  Well apparently that message is not correct if you are calling on Sunday… no call back until Monday.  Being the impatient person that I am, I didn’t wait for a call back so I called the Apple help number and got through to a live person in a reasonable amount of time (honest, that is a compliment).  Without too much drama, my issue was resolved and I was on to purchasing my app (which was the paid version of my top (free) choice Craigslist app).