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jibber jabber (v2, thanks Vista for the random reboot!)

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Friday, July 18, 2008 at 4:54 pm by flerly.

A work quickie, that may take longer to write than it took to happen.

A call was requested from a Virginia MLS rep by his legal department to take place with one of our Virginia customers and a tech rep of our data agg group just to go over the spiel of legal crap that has to be said before they release a new type of data feed. Data agg guy suggests that someone from our group should sit in to listen as well, since we do actual tech support on the sites, and would be more likely to work on any compliance issues with display of the new data feed once the data agg people hook it up. Customer then supplies Mac’s info as her contact with us, and thus he gets an invite to a call he has no clue about.

Mac has what James calls one of his “Mac Attacks” and emails everybody with the call info, asking WTF, how does he prepare, have we seen his pants, etc. Mary calms him, tell him not to worry, that he shouldn’t be on it. She and I will sit in, and if we have any speaking part, she’ll let me run it, as I’ve been on these calls before.

Thus, we do not expect him on the call, and at 2:32 pm, after a very brief round of introductions, we are good to go, turning things over to the MLS legal rep to give his spiel.

Then there is a beep of another caller joining, followed by a new constant static hum, with plenty of popping and hissing, and generally sounds like someone calling from a cell phone while driving, and since introductions were already made all around, my brain screams: Mac.

I need not have wondered, though, as he made himself clear a moment later when he pulled up to the drive through and began ordering food, then rustling around for money or something, then pulling forward to chat up the window person, paying, getting his food, getting back on the road, rustling bags around, and generally nom nom nomming down on his chow completely oblivious to the people on the conference call who are shouting to get his attention to MUTE HIS DAMN PHONE.

At some point, after ordering, when the MLS guy was trying to keep it cool and only saying “Excuse me, is someone calling from a cell phone?” over and over, Mac seemed to have heard us, as he actually responded with, “Yes, I am” before his attention was again taken away with having to pay for his food order.

The legal rep eventually gave up, started talking as loud as he could over the noise, and asked if it would be okay to proceed. So, he did, and only because I’ve been on such a call before and realized it was essentially just his job to read their policy to us as well as send it in writing, did I make it through — really getting nothing out of it but a vague sense of how many times Mac chews each bite of food before he swallows. The customer and Mary had not known what to expect, and in the end when the legal rep asked if there were questions, it hung heavy in the air with neither of them knowing enough about what was just said to know what to ask about.

As last, our customer says, “Well, if these guys who are setting this up for us don’t have any questions, then I guess we don’t. We’ll just follow their lead.” I add, “You’ll get all of this in writing, too” which the MLS guy confirms.

Then, I’ve never experienced so many people trying to excuse themself from a call so quickly as this. Introductions, Mac’s food ordering, spiel with questions, and some hasty retreats afterwards took six minutes.

Most. Bizarre. Conference. Call. Ever. But at least it was short.



  1. goaticusmaximus has made a Comment

    That’s…. Does he know that everyone on the call could hear everything he was doing? Has anyone told him, or are you going to jump him en masse?

    July 18, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  2. randomrants has made a Comment

    That’s ALMOST on par with our once-upon-a-time director calling into outage bridges during wee hours, drunk…and usually still at the bar.

    It wouldn’t have been so bad if he done what your boy did, simply sat there and didn’t say anything (even if unknowingly non-muted), but this guy always demanded status updates in wonderfully slurred speech or, worse yet, tried to help fix the problem.

    Fun times 😉

    July 18, 2008 @ 7:59 pm

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