A slight technical hitch
HOLDING a meeting online can be a safe, convenient, and efficient way of getting a group of people together. However, not being something that the vast majority do as a matter of routine, it is not always without minor hiccups, writes Gareth Evans.
Delivering a presentation to a group of railway enthusiasts about my work via Zoom, which included how the magazines are put together, I was asked to ensure I was in the meeting approximately 20 minutes before ‘kick-off’ as each attendee had to be manually approved.
Several overcame their fair share of minor technological hurdles. At times I wanted to burst out laughing, but I decided smiling was the best course of action and to humour where necessary. Me being me, however, I was making mental notes.
Here are some of the amusing (in my opinion) highlights...
An older couple were sitting alongside each other on the sofa. He was holding the iPad when she leaned over and remarked: “Oh, there they are, then.”Then there was Trouble With Technology Part One. In the words of the organiser: “Fred is coming and going. Oh, he’s back. No, he’s gone again… Are you okay, Fred? Are you there? Fred lives in a part of the world with poor internet.” Fred did eventually join the meeting.
Trouble With Technology Part Two swiftly followed. A gentleman was having difficulty with his camera, showing the desk rather than his face – it was almost an advert for Ikea.
He said: “I’m using an iPad. Does anyone know how I see my face on screen, please?” I remarked: “Well, it does look like a smart desk, I have to say.” He must have touched the correct button as his smiling face suddenly appeared on screen, chuckling.
Background noise was another issue. “Hold on, they’re making a racket in the farmyard outside,” said Edward, a participant. “I’m sure they will be gone in a moment…”The tractor tooted as it roared by. Edward got up and gave the driver a wave.
Then there was the entry scene that was reminiscent of a village hall or social club in the ‘good days’, when the meeting’s organiser said: “Welcome Janet. Pete has already signed in.”
After the organiser formally introduced me, I said: “I appreciate technology is something we are all having to get to grips with today. If I make any mistakes, feel free to laugh – I won’t be offended.
“So far comedian Michael McIntyre would have gained plenty of material for one of his shows – maybe these sort of things will be the subject of a Channel 5 documentary in due course!”Thankfully, they laughed before I began my presentation in earnest…