9.25.2020

the zoom diaries

I made it 6 months into this *censored* pandemic before using Zoom. I don't have to use it for work, my kids aren't doing virtual school, and I use Facetime to talk to my family. But I've now earned my Zoom badge and can say I took place in this cultural moment that has been fun for no one.

My BSF group started up again last week, and sure enough, it's via Zoom. It was supposed to be over Zoom last spring, but all the older women panicked over technology, so they just shut the whole thing down till fall. Now it's fall, and things are...

via GIPHY

....so the old ladies are having to get it together until we're allowed to breathe each other's disease germs again.

We had a practice run early last week. My leader was very confused, as she is in the group of women terrified of technology. Which is FINE. But not fine when you need to use it to lead a group. Somehow she was logged in on both her computer and phone and therefore we had two screens of her and two different angles of her telling me that her dog shares my daughter's name (this is unfortunately not the first time I've been told this, as if it's something I'd be excited about), and then showed us 5 minutes of her dog walking through the house.

On Thursday morning, I timed my life perfectly, had the baby down for a nap, and was ready and waiting at 9:30 with my laptop propped up on a stack of books so as to present the most flattering angle of myself. By 9:45, the group text was going wild with people asking for the meeting link, which hadn't been sent out. We got a very strange text in response, telling us she was too busy with other things to send the link to the meeting that was 15 minutes late. 

By 10:00, Clara was awake from her nap and our meeting still hadn't started. It wasn't until 10:15--45 minutes after our meeting was supposed to start and 5 minutes after it was supposed to end--that we finally started. Come to find out, one of the women literally drove herself to our leader's house to get her signed on. She explained that we all had ourselves on mute since many of us have little kids, to which the leader responded "But why can't I hear anyone?"

Off to a flying start.

I was bouncing the baby, who swiped at my laptop and knocked it over thrice, attempting to keep my feral kindergartener from setting the house on fire, and trying to sort of pay attention when I suddenly heard someone mutter "This is so stupid, I'm over this, I'm never doing this again." The woman who had gone to the leader's house to help her was walking outside to her car and talking to herself, not realizing her phone had the Zoom meeting open.

"Jan, we can hear you."

"Oh ladies! I am just so glad we're doing this!" she autocorrected in a syrupy sweet voice.

I had to duck out of frame because I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Either no one else noticed this, or they all have a lot more tact than I do.

We went in fits and starts of mass confusion over the mute button, while the group text continued to explode with people who couldn't seem to log into the meeting, and then the cherry on top--a woman who was new to the group, but was so frustrated over everything that she went ballistic on us all, telling us to never text her again because we interrupted her business calls and have thusly ruined her life.

By the end of it, I no longer wondered what a modern day episode of The Office would be like.

This week, I went ahead and blocked off my entire morning because I didn't know what to expect. It of course started right on time, but it was no less entertaining, especially the lady who aired her dirty laundry to all of us. I don't mean that figuratively; she was literally folding her underwear on camera. And then she got in her car and drove while participating. 

We're studying Genesis this year, and the leader went on and on about new beginnings and creation and said "It's like the magic of birth. It has nothing to do with us...well it does, there's, you know, the action that creates the baby...."

And there I was, sitting with my fairly fresh baby on my lap like 

via GIPHY

Let's hope everyone also muted their imaginations this morning.


4 comments:

  1. Oh my, I remember when Zoom was a new novelty and fun for like 2 seconds before it got super old...granted, my husband and I only have mostly Zoom for our church small group, which is why we had a short period of it being "fun" (and only because my husband would mess with the backgrounds). I'm so grateful that everyone in our group has been on board about outdoor meetings for the past few months, because in-person (even when you're spread a million feet apart from each other) is so much better than Zoom.

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  2. ahhh, BSF is so fab. But BSF and technology, not so great. Thanks for the laugh, sorry about how it went for you. I hope you press on and the ladies get it together.

    Sara L

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  3. Oh my gosh, what a nightmare, haha! I hate zoom meetings. They are SO AWKWARD. Even worse than in-person awkwardness. I’m ready to breath everyone’s diseased air again too. 😂

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  4. I hate to say it, but Zoom has been the absolute best thing for our weekly staff meetings. Pre-pandemic, our staff meetings were super long and a waste of time. Now my boss hates Zoom so much that our meetings are very efficient and he's on and off in no time. Sometimes COVID has its bright side! haha.

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