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A scene straight from a bad sitcom - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
A scene straight from a bad sitcom
Today I felt like a cliche for working mothers. I was scheduled to be on a 9am conference call about a problem involving people working in the London office. Due to the math of my commute (1 hour travel time to be in at 9am, 30 minutes travel time to be in at 9:30) I elected to do the call from home and then go in. So there I was with my laptop open in my study, talking on my brand new blackberry, and upstairs my baby was screaming her head off. I was OK with that, she’s been cranky since her shots on Friday, and I knew that she’d been fed recently and that she was safe with Warren looking after her. Then Jomkwan came upstairs, and started asking me if she should take the baby. Normally she takes the baby at 10am, but she obviously hadn’t understood about the change away from daylight savings time over the weekend, so she came up nearly an hour early looking for the baby. So there I was on the phone with a half dozen people and trying to explain as briefly as possible what time it was to Jomkwan while still keeping track of the technical discussion. Jomkwan’s English is of a standard that I normally have to say things three different ways in order to be understood, the Blackberry is brand new and I didn’t know there was a mute button, and Jomkwan had opened the door to my study so that the sound of pissed-off baby was much clearer. I am also the type of person who finds phone calls stressful. It was not a good Monday morning. Jomkwan went away, but she clearly hadn’t understood me because she came back again 20 minutes later. I was still on the phone, and sending her upstairs to Warren for an explanation was not an option as I was pretty sure Warren was not in a fit state to receive her. Again, I had to try to get across to her as briefly as possible what was up while still not being heard by the six guys on the phone and while still keeping track of the current state of foolishness. Margaret was still complaining as Warren had apparently not transformed himself into me in the last 20 minutes. Jomkwan left again, obviously still confused. Finally the call ended, I calmed Margaret down, and I took her to Jomkwan and got to iterate through the explanation of daylight savings time enough that she seemed to understand. Sadly my boss (who was also on the call) revealed when I mentioned it that he had heard Margaret ‘a couple of times’ on the call, but he didn’t seem upset, so all’s well that ends well I guess. I just hope that things will go more smoothly if this sort of thing happens again in the future.
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Comments
jaedian From: jaedian Date: November 4th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, you NEED to find that mute button. I KNOW for a fact treptoplax's is well used! I believe the issue he was having was J hanging his call up for him with the headset. I suppose you can claim technical issues in that case. Although I am sure that there have been *LOUD* kids in the background before he could hit the mute.

Although at least on a weekend (or at night), you can feel justified in having the background noise going on. But during the day, you need that mute button!!
enugent From: enugent Date: November 4th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Eh - things happen. In general, I've found that co-workers cut me far more slack about child-related difficulties than I cut myself.

But you do probably need to focus on cutting to essentials with Jomkwan in situations like this: "No. Come back in one hour. I will explain then."
izmirian From: izmirian Date: November 4th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that does sound pretty stressful. If it's any consolation, at least once when I've been talking to my company lawyer on the phone there's been all kinds of kids squealing noise in the background on his end which I thought was amusing, not annoying. Still, it's not the professional "ideal".

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