Zoom Meeting Personality Profiles

Seven months ago, I had never heard of Zoom. No, that’s not entirely true. As a child of the 70s I was familiar with “Zoom” and by that I mean the PBS kids show.

Back in the day I was all about “Come on and zooma, zooma, zooma-Zoom!”

I was so into it I begged my mother to let me try out to be a “Zoom Kid.” My pleas were met with one of her signature eye rolls as she took a drag on her Winston Light 100’s cigarette because again it was the 70s.

But this current Zooming we’re all doing was not something I’d ever experienced until the pandemic. Now, I feel like a Zoom veteran. I know this because my Zoom familiarity has morphed into me attaching monikers to almost everyone I interact with on my computer screen.

In my time spent on Zoom I broke down what I think are the five basic personality types that you can expect to find on any multi person computer screen meeting.

My least favorite is the “Pivoter.” This Zoomer after 210 days is still all about letting you know that you have to be agile and open to change.

Yeah, we get it. This is the new normal so you can hop off your pivot soap box. We’re all pivoting. If I pivot anymore I might pass out from dizziness.

The biggest downside to the “Pivoter” is that they seem more focused on pontificating about change than actually doing any what’s that called? Oh yeah, work.

Next is the Zoom “Poser.” This person seems like the employee of the month. He or she is attentive, is actually sitting up straight and appears to be wearing a shirt that’s not wrinkled.

This person also is a busy bee taking lots of notes on a secondary laptop. What you don’t know is that the Poser is actually barely listening and doing work that the Zoom meeting is sucking time from.

The telltale sign of a “Poser” is when asked a question they will ask you to “please repeat it” because there was some “internet drop out on their end” to disguise that they were barely engaged in the meeting.

The “Glamour Zoomer gets nothing but respect from me. Mainly because I admire anyone who does a full groom for a Zoom meeting. I don’t think I’ve fully brushed my hair since March 14.

These people not only go all out in the use of cosmetics but also have a ring light rig to assure that they’re looking their optimum on screen. They’ve also placed their computer on a stack of books to ensure they’re not looking “double chinny.”

The worst Zoomer has to be the “Comedian.” Aren’t Zoomers suffering enough having to endure a meeting that is hitting the two-hour mark? Does anyone really need it prolonged by witless zingers and jokes so lame they can’t even live up to the subterrain chuckle standards of a dad joke?

Here’s my public service announcement for the day. If you’re not funny in person you will be tragically not hilarious during a Zoom meeting.

Rounding out my Zoom personality profile is the “Constant Commenter.” This person has never met a meeting they didn’t like. Not only can they now easily dominate the on-screen conversation by talking over you but they’ve also brought gifts in the form of multiple PowerPoints.

This is when your only option for survival is to pull the plug on your internet and plead at home connectivity issues.

For the record I’m not saying I’ve ever done this. I’m just saying it works.

Home Alone (But Not For Long Enough)

It has been 77 days. 77 long, long days. But it has finally happened. I’m alone in my home. Blissfully alone.

Ah, the sounds of silence because what I’m not hearing is someone on a Zoom call or in a Zoom class or in the kitchen yelling, “Who ate all the Doritos?”

This feeling I’m experiencing is close to euphoria. At long last the house is all mine. As someone who has worked from home for more than a decade the influx of other humans, albeit family members, into my daily workspace has been extremely annoying.

Gone was my routine of working in uninterrupted quiet. Instead I got to enjoy my husband on Zoom calls for literally nine hours a day. It got so bad I put Post It notes in his home office that asked: Could this Zoom meeting have been an email?

My daughter’s college Zoom classes were less annoying because I began crushing on one of her college professors. Whenever I heard this man’s voice I would stop what I was doing and began eavesdropping on her class. This professor has the most delicious vocal cadence. It was equal parts soothing and yet with a certain impish quality I couldn’t get enough of.

My daughter upon noticing me lurking become annoyed and a “little bit creeped out” by my “obsession” with her professor and started shutting her door during her Zoom classes. When I found myself covertly listening in I had to admit she might be right. Maybe it was an obsession.

An obsession I was perfectly fine with because hey, it’s a pandemic. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do and this man’s voice was lowering my blood pressure.

Another thing that was most irritating was how much my family disrespected my work zone. It didn’t matter what I was doing they would wander in and out of my office all day. Most of the time their interruptions were for trivial issues like, “Do you think you can get this stain out?”

By all means come on in and disturb my work, which is usually deadline sensitive, to discuss your laundry concerns. The bigger problem here is I’m a sucker for laundry remediation. If someone shows me a stain I’m immediately all in duel wielding OxiClean and Shout.

This means my normally quiet and orderly workday became one of stops and start as if I were in a bumper car with a laptop.

Then there was the issue of the Internet being a diva. With all the assorted Zoom and Google meetings it was almost impossible for me to get a sustained signal. Also, I was apparently low human on the totem pole because my need for any connectivity was superseded by everyone else in the family

This led to me literally loitering outside a McDonalds’s, parking my car as close as I could to the building, and suckling at the teat of their internet. By the way, three words I never thought I would use in the same sentence – McDonalds, suckling and teat.

What’s that? Wait a minute. I hear something. Is that my garage door opening? Is my husband home? How can this be? He’s only been gone three hours. I haven’t even had one of my celebratory “Yay I’m alone” cupcakes.

“Why are you back?” I demanded in a very curt voice.

He sighs and shares that the air conditioner at his office is broken and it’s, “probably close to 90 degrees in there.”

Before I have to chance to tell him to grab a fan and go back he’s sprinting upstairs, yelling, “I can’t talk. I’ve got a Zoom meeting.”