There have been many significant changes to regular life that we’ve all had to adjust to in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Things like getting ready to go grocery shopping by throwing on a DIY hazmat suit made out of garbage bags and duct tape, sanitizing every single card in our wallets multiple times a day, and conducting all work related business through e-meetings. While there’s no denying that video conference apps like Google Meet and Zoom are incredibly convenient and are now a huge part of many people’s work life, there’s also no denying that having to stare at your own dumb face on your laptop screen for 20 minutes to an hour kind of fucking blows. There are few things as humbling, sometimes deeply upsetting, as seeing the way you look in your shitty kitchen lighting, through the lens of a high-def Macbook webcam.
That right there is enough to ruin anyone’s day, but if you’re not careful, video conferences can go really, really wrong. Last week I saw a story about someone who took their laptop to the bathroom so they could listen in on a meeting, thought they disabled their camera but didn’t, and ended up pooping in front of all their coworkers. Fucking nightmarish. I would straight up flee the country. I’d change my name, move to the top of a mountain in Moldova, and no one would ever hear from me again.
On the other hand, sometimes happy accidents can make video conferencing go really, really right.
The political director at People for the American Way, Lizet Ocampo, started her week with a morning staff meeting. It was all business as usual, except Lizet had just installed a bunch of camera filters that connect with the video conferencing app her team uses — and totally forgot.
And then one of the filters activated.
And she couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.
So she spent the entire meeting as a potato.
my boss turned herself into a potato on our Microsoft teams meeting and can’t figure out how to turn the setting off, so she was just stuck like this the entire meeting pic.twitter.com/uHLgJUOsXk
— Rachele with an e but pronounced Rachel (@PettyClegg) March 30, 2020
Lizet took it like a champ, dubbing herself the Potato Boss. First of all, that kicks ass. Secondly, I think potato filters should be mandatory for all meetings from now on.