As a knowledge worker, you are likely to at least participate in conference calls, if not hosting them yourself. I have been doing audio conference calls in business for more that 15 years, watching the technology change and morph from scheduling calls with operators into its current form used today, which is primarily reservationless conferencing, that is, using unique combinations of toll-free numbers and pass codes and/or PINs to get into a particular call instead of using an operator. Heck, these calls have even become free to organize and use. Simple right? Well, the mad growth in the business use of the mobile smartphone, and the giant wave of remote work and road work being done, has created a whole new dimension to this newer method of conferencing. Mobile devices now account for over 25% of all the people dialing into conference calls each day and that number is increasing. As we transition to joining calls from our cool new mobile device, there are new nuances that make things more challenging. Multitasking, network quality, battery life, pass codes and PINs, an app for this and app for that… it can be a challenge just to join a call.
Since going mobile, I have had my fair share of times where the call was a bust. I was working from home and discovered that my dog left the screen door open while I was on a conference call. (Yes, my dog can open doors, but cannot close them.) A squirrel had entered the house while I was in my home office and proceeded to tear about trying to find solace from my dog, the nice canine gentlemen that let him into this fine establishment (aka my living room). Dog chases squirrel, things get loud, I start to yell (profane) all while my mobile phone remained un-muted. The kicker was that this call was with my whole staff. I sounded (and acted) like a lunatic until it discovered the open screen and returned to the yard. Needless to say, they will never forget.
What is your worst mobile conference call story? Please comment below.