let’s hear about awkward things you’ve seen on video calls

We’re all learning way too much about our coworkers and their homes on video calls — from the person who got a message saying her robe was too open, to the person who fell asleep on a call, to the person whose nude husband appeared in the background …IT’S ALL TOO MUCH INTIMACY AND WEIRDNESS.

Let’s hear in the comments about the most awkward/weird/amusing things you’ve seen on video calls.

{ 642 comments… read them below }

  1. NewHerePleaseBeNice*

    Earlier today, through the power of Skype for Business, I watched my colleague’s cat saunter over to its litter tray and take a huge dump, shake its ass and saunter away.

    Followed shortly by my colleague’s horrified expression as she presumably caught the smell and/or litter scritching noises.

    I have cats. I laughed. A lot.

    1. Amber T*

      OH MY GOD my cats wait for me to get on a video call, and then they use the litter to take the stinkiest dumps ever. My office is where the litter is – thankfully not on camera, but it was SO HARD to not make faces at the smell.

      1. blackcat*

        I feel much better knowing how many other folks have the home office with litter box situation.

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        My spouse has made himself an office in our decent-sized, unfinished basement, but he’s still in proximity of both of our litterboxes. No one can see/hear the cats using them, but he’s come upstairs more than once muttering about the “wafting”.

    2. Dust Bunny*

      Mercifully, we are not doing Skype meetings because one of my cats, if she heard extra voices coming out of the computer, would be all over the screen the entire time trying to figure out what was going on, or howling to be allowed back in the room. There would be no way I could win that one.

        1. OrigCassandra*

          This is most definitely my cat. So glad I’m not even trying to teach synchronously online!

          My colleagues don’t mind so far — I’m being good about staying muted when I’m not talking, and I introduced the cat to them on video.

        2. willow for now*

          I think all that talking wakes the cats out of their normal torpor and triggers the “gotta poop” button.

      1. Quill*

        My labrador used to have to be locked in a room across the house when my dad took conference calls from home.

        1. College Career Counselor*

          My Labradors have to be in the room with me when I’m on zoom calls. Apparently, they think someone else is in the house, and they have to check it out. They are quiet once they’re in the office with me, although both of them are garbage-farting champions.

          1. Quill*

            Eli was a talker. Probably our fault because we had him trained to bark when he wanted out, bark three times for a pre-dinner treat…

            He was an excellent and seldom odiferous foot warmer though.

      2. Amber T*

        I’ve been using headphones for most of my calls and meetings, but if they run out of battery and need to charge, I’ll sometimes get a call from my boss or coworker and take it on speaker. When my cat hears a voice, he wonders where this mysterious person is and why they’re not here petting him (he LOVES people). So he’ll be by my feet meowing, yelling at the person “pet me, pet me!”

      3. cacwgrl*

        My team got to meet my cat within 2 minutes of our first Zoom when he jumped in the window sill then crawled into my lap. Sweet in concept, totally awkward and distracting IRL. Luckily he’s gotten used to mom talking to voices that aren’t physical visitors to his home and now ignores the sounds unless he hears an actual door open.

      4. NotAnotherManager!*

        This was our senior citizen cat who passed away earlier this year. He would be all over this everyone-home-and-teleworking/distance learning thing and the star of conference calls. Our remaining two are not terribly into people, but the super loud one seems to know when I’m on the phone and use that time to start yowling at the top of his lungs.

      5. Essess*

        You don’t use headphones for skype meetings? We get all sorts of echos/feedback when people just use their computer speakers without headphones.

        1. Fleasus*

          I work at home normally. I ditched the headset for a jabra speaker pretty early on. Of course now it is not ideal because of all the background noise

    3. nonprofit director*

      I have cats. I am laughing out loud. And I am grateful that even though the cats’ litter boxes are in my home office, they are out of view of the camera when I’m on video calls. Thankfully, the cats are sleeping through most of my calls, but one day last week my male cat woke up and wanted food and howled. Everyone on the call stopped talking, wondering what it was.

    4. Delta Delta*

      I had a cat who would wipe his paw on the side of the litter box when he was done. It was sort of cute.

    5. many bells down*

      I almost got to see my 70-year-old minister topless. He’s technology challenged and I was trying to get him set up on Microsoft Teams. I’d finally gotten him logged in and he was about to answer my call when he yelped “Wait I’m not wearing a shirt!”

    6. AnonAnon*

      I am dying!!!! LOL
      I also have a cat. I am choosing not to be in that room for this reason. I relocated to the dining room table which is bigger anyway.

      I rarely have any phone calls with my job which is great but when I do, that is when my cat decides to run at Mock 1 through the house and then scream for no reason. It’s like a little kid…as soon as you pick up the phone they have a million things they need to ask you.

    7. SQL Coder Cat*

      I have set up my temporary office in our extra bedroom which we usually use for storage. Yesterday in the middle of a video chat one of my cats pushed stuff off the top of the bookcase behind me directly onto my head. My coworkers were laughing their heads off.

    8. Damn it, Hardison!*

      It’s a good thing that my default on calls is mute, otherwise my colleagues would hear me sing “Smelly Cat” to my poor kitty, thereby adding to her humiliation at having to poop in room with me in attendance. Her revenge is apparently more pooping.

    9. Wing Leader*

      While thankfully this was not a work call (just chatting with a friend), I’ve had my cat jump up, turn around, and give the viewer an up close view of his butthole.

      1. MayLou*

        We had a team Teams meeting today and my colleague repeatedly had a cat-tail moustache. She was trying to ignore the cat and we were all cracking up laughing. Which of course led to my dog coming over to see what was going on. And then our boss’s doorbell rang and we were all :O someone is OUTSIDE and basically the meeting derailed from there.

      2. DesertRose*

        I’m disabled, so I don’t have work calls, but I had a Zoom meeting of one of my social activities earlier this week, and my cat kept jumping into my lap and rubbing her face against my laptop screen.

        I’m not the only one, either; one of the other people in the call has several cats, and her most social one showed up by the door to the room and meowed his fool head off until she set down her headset to go get him and bring him back to the desk to sit in her lap, and someone else’s cats were out on the catio, which set the neighbor’s dogs to barking loudly enough that we could hear.

    10. CEO of Cats*

      LOL, my cat vomited his breakfast in the background of one of my Zoom meetings. Luckily my boyfriend was home to clean up the mess and I just shifted my screen away from the war zone.

    11. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      We recently discovered that my husband’s boss has cats – by one of them bringing daddy a “present” during a video meeting.

      “Present” was a piece of poo excavated from the litter box and dropped on the laptop’s keyboard. Apparently you could still see the litter on the gift.

      1. ThatAspie*

        That…is extra special. Most cats give their humans dead animals and stuff. This one gave their human a turd. Not just any turd, but one they had actually dug up out of their litter box. Dang.

        1. Astra Nomical*

          I read that as ‘gave them a human turd…dug up out of their litter box’ and had so many questions.

    12. Estrella*

      This is great!!! I have cats too, and we’ve had quite a few Zoom meetings since everyone began working from home. During our first meeting my cat came to sit on my lap, and I didn’t realize until a while into the meeting that as she moved around, she was pushing up on my chest from the bottom. I think the cat was too low for the coworkers to see, but the strange boob movements must have pretty obvious until I noticed it and moved her. Nobody said anything, and I hope nobody noticed.

    13. RestroomTimeExtraordinaire*

      not on a video call, but I was unmuted when my most obnoxious cat decided to use my leg as a climbing post and really dug in with his full front claws – I yawped and said, “muthatrucker, i’m bleeding – go away, Wylie!!” to the concern and then amusement of my whole team. YAY me!

      It was mortifying, and then to add insult to injury, it incited a why dogs are better than cats derailment of the meeting. :(

      1. bears_beets_battlestargalactica*

        My cat jumped on my back, claws out, while I was on a video call the other day. I yelped and yelled “OW, YOU FUCKER!” with my microphone on. Luckily, everyone thought it was funny!

    14. Mid*

      I converted a closet in my apartment to be the cat’s room. She was a shy pooper, so if anyone walked past her in the act, she would stop and hide for an hour. I took the door off the hinges and hung a curtain and now she’s much happier!

      1. Jaid*

        That’s what I did with my cleaner and paper goods closet. I got those Japanese Noren doorway curtains so she’s not stepping on or brushing against the fabric.

    15. Code Monkey, the SQL*

      My co-worker’s dog has taken to finding a squeaker toy and working it non-stop during meetings. (he says the dog is now stealing them off the counter after they’ve been confiscated) I think I’d prefer the smelly cat!

    16. Katepreach*

      I was on a conference call this morning when my boss pointed out that my cat was balancing on the window frame half out of the window (one floor up)

      I hadn’t even noticed myself

      Cat was fine of course, he’s a mischievous little sod but very agile

    17. hannahbanana*

      so with me working from home full time and the fact that it’s been overcast, 3pm becomes the “witching hour” where my cat is like “get off the weird peoplebox and feed/play with me NOW.” his favorite way to get my attention is to shred cardboard boxes if there are any waiting to go to the recycling bin (and with buying more stuff online, there have been more boxes.

      so there i am, trying to listen & keep a straight face on video, whilst Shreddy Krueger is off-camera rampaging his way through half a shoebox…

    18. Beth*

      I work in mental health, and doing sessions online has been quite an education overall. My favorite part is seeing all of the fur babies I’ve been hearing about for so long. My not-so-favorite are my cat’s noxious dumps, him running downstairs where I am to puke on the rug, and him flinging himself onto the chair behind me. My client said, “Oh my God, was that a bear cub?!?!”

    1. annakarina1*

      The resigned face like “Yup, now I’m a potato forever” is hilarious. It’s like someone messed up casting a spell and are stuck in that form for all time.

      1. Amy Sly*

        “Oh hi. How are you holding up? BECAUSE I’M A POTATO!”

        “You know what my days used to be like? I just tested. Nobody murdered me. Or put me in a potato. Or fed me to birds. I had a pretty good life.”

        1. LunaLena*

          “Go on. Get a big fat eyeful. With your big fat eyes. That’s right. A potato just called your eyes fat. Now your fat eyes have seen everything.”

          GlaDOS seriously has the best potato quotes.

    2. CatCat*

      “I was so confused as to why I was a potato,” she said. “Of all the things I could be, why a potato?”


      1. Myrin*

        Me too! I would’ve posted a link if someone hadn’t already done it because I quite literally laughed out loud when I saw it for the first time.

    3. Tea Earl Grey Hot*

      I have been crying-laughing at this for a solid 5 minutes. I don’t know if it was really that funny or if I just needed a really good laugh right now, but I feel so much better!

      Thank you for sharing the confused potato lady.

    4. Dumpster Fire*

      Oh, now I wish we were using Zoom for our meetings. Microsoft Teams doesn’t have anything fun like that!

      1. ThePants999*

        This actually WAS Teams, not Zoom – the earlier reference to Zoom was an error. AFAIK, you CAN’T do this in Zoom!

        1. Couch potato*

          You can do virtual background on Zoom! You wont be completely blend in but it’s still pretty funny lol

          1. Thany*

            OH but you CAN blend in. This was Zoom for social and my skin color (white) apparently matched the WALL all to well. And my skin blended in when I tried to do the backgrounds to hilarious effect. Luckily where I set up to work from home is a different wall.

    5. Paradiddler*

      I couldn’t get past the title and subtitle without cracking up with tears. Going back to read the actual story lol.

    6. miss_chevious*

      That Twitter thread made me laugh until I cried and my stomach hurt. It. Was. Epic.

    7. lailaaaaah*

      One of my coworkers decided to switch his Zoom background to one of the ISS, except that his software read face and clothes as the green screen, so it deleted him and left his messy living room behind him. It was beautiful.

    8. nnn*

      My favourite thing about that story is that being a potato is even an option. Like, someone actually came up with the idea “You know what? We should make a potato filter!” And they put in the time and effort and made a potato filter. And it went through however many layers of approval it takes to release a filter into the world.

    9. Girlinthecity*

      This might get buried but I live in a large city with several universities and a friend who works for one told me that her university has adopted a policy of ALL faculty members CANNOT teach Online classes with their video capabilities on because of an incident at a different university in the city involving a pantsless completely nude professor. Like, full frontal close up penis action happening here – all the students were yelling at him to get his attention but apparently he was hard of hearing or something. I’m not sure how this happened but yep.

      Also my dog chose the moment I was on a zoom call with a freelance contact to start playing with a loud squeaky toy. Yes, I see you weirdo wanting attention!!

  2. Jennifer*

    My brother saw someone on a call that forgot he only got dressed from the waist up who stood up and showed everyone his boxers.

    Here’s hoping we won’t have any zoom meetings.

    1. Hello*

      OMG I stood up yesterday and was so thankful to be wearing jeans – completely buttoned and zipped

      1. MM*

        Ha, I had the opposite thing–I got fully dressed for a Skype meeting, and partway through discovered that my PhD advisor was fully in pajamas when he got up to get something. A lot of people in academia have been sort of defiantly insisting on pajamas lately (I suppose as a way to underline that the work we’re being asked to do now isn’t normal), so I was like, “Oh, embarrassing for me, wearing jeans and a cardigan and everything, I’m behind the times”

        1. Beth*

          I am 1000% work groomed from the waist up. Thank God, I don’t get up during calls. Ain’t nobody wants to see my gym shorts, socks and slippers.

    2. RabbitRabbit*

      A few years ago, my husband and I were on vacation and he got the notification that if he wanted the promotion he was gunning for, he had to do a Skype interview the next day. He had a decent shirt along, so he set up the laptop and did his interview with some men that he knew personally and professionally. It was Friday so one of them had a polo shirt on, another had sunglasses sitting in view, etc.

      The interview took a little while, so they had a little break for getting some water. My husband stood up. In his boxers. (Everything tucked away fortunately.) Cue a burst of laughter and razzing from the guys, an embarrassed and semi-snarky remark about scheduling him during vacation from him. Yes, he did get the job.

    3. annakarina1*

      Oh thank God he had underwear on, I thought this was going to end with him being totally bare below the waist.

    4. DataQueen*

      I’ve been wearing tiny yoga shorts around the house all week and every time i need to get up, i turn my video off for a millisecond. The comfort is worth it!

      1. Ama*

        I may have ordered a pair of solid black pajama pants in part so if I have to sit through a two hour staff meeting call I can get up without having to remember to turn off the video.

        1. Oska*

          I call my black pajamas my formal pajamas these days. All black is always work appropriate, right? :D

    5. Amanda*

      I wish boxers was all I’d seen!
      I was on a meeting and the presenter’s computer kept dinging, turns out his whatsapp web was on. When he went to turn off the sound, the app showed up on the shared screen, showing *very* not safe for work content. Nude pics included. It was an accident, and he was clearly mortified, but none of us in that meeting know how we’ll face this guy again!

      1. Jennifer*

        Oh no! You HAVE to turn off your notifications when you’re sharing your screen. Rookie mistake.

        1. Not a Girl Boss*

          I got surprise attacked by a need to share my screen to another department and forgot to turn off Skype alerts or move them to the non-shared screen because it was all very last minute.
          Cue my boss messaging me “NOOOO! Do not agree to that!” for all to see.

          There was also the great scandal a few years back where a coworker messaged another “sorry you have to deal with that ****” while the recipient was sharing her screen with said ****.

          Such a rookie mistake, and yet well all do it.

        2. Ellie May*

          Better yet, share the application (e.g. Powerpoint) and NEVER share your screen (which is EVERYTHING)

          1. Glitsy Gus*

            The one thing I do like about Teams is that is defaults to application sharing, offering all the open apps before the share screen option. That has stopped me from inadvertently showing far too many not so great Slack message previews that could have caused some awkwardness.

          2. noahwynn*

            This, I love how Teams asks you what window you want to share instead of just defaulting to sharing the entire screen.

    6. Thankful for AAM*

      I was in a rush yesterday and grabbed a shirt and pants after my shower and quickly opened the browser for a meeting and got up to dress. Then I noticed I had left the slider on my camera privacy thing open from the last meeting.

      I’m pretty sure I was on camera in a bra for a few seconds.

    7. Mallory Janis Ian*

      Haha our local weatherman did that a while back when there was an earthquake. He was all excited and reporting from his home office setup while his wife was still in bed. Their child came into the room, and when he got up to escort her out, he was in his boxers.

    8. dog in a bag*

      This is why I’m getting fully dressed every day, I’d rather the only view my coworkers ever have of me is in office-ready wear.

  3. Hello*

    Yesterday the dogs at different homes heard each other over zoom and tried barking at each other. Their conversations kept getting interrupted by the mute button.

    1. Jennifer*


      “Who are you???”

      “No, WHO ARE YOU???!!!”



      1. Jdc*

        I happened to watch a Famlly Guy episode last night and a dog barked and Brian the dog replied “ no f you dog”. We were cracking up.

    2. Archie Goodwin*

      A former boss at another job used to take a weekly teleconference call where one of the participants had a dog. Who would bark – once – in every call. Just once. Never followed it up with other barks, and nobody ever shushed it. Just that one, lone, bark in every call, as if to say, “I’m here, too! Just checking in!”

    3. Accounting Otaku*

      My new dog does something similar. He doesn’t care about my coworker’s dogs, but when my boss’s son starts fussing, dog is on high alert starts woofing and looking for the child. It happens every time. I have to hit mute very quickly.

        1. Accounting Otaku*

          No. He’s a mutt. Some sort of husky and mix of I don’t know what. Shelter thought he was a shepherd mix, but I don’t know.

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            Husk mix would do that. Back when we still had our husky she would always alert us to something wrong with our oldest as an infant at the same tome we would hear the fussy (think getting dinner on while baby in play pen in the living room).

            It never failed.

          2. Quill*

            Huskies and pretty much all varieties of retriever are insanely baby-focused. It comes as a surprise when they start meeting toddlers and it’s like you suddenly have a different dog.

            The husky whose family I used to babysit for adored me when on walks or hanging out with the family – but as a babysitter I was under his constant, silent, unblinking supervision the whole time. Clearly I was good enough for *him* but he reserved judgement on whether I was good enough for the baby!

          3. allathian*

            Border collies will do that too. A friend of ours had one and they have four kids born very close together (the oldest is six years older than the youngest). All of them learned to walk by holding on to the dog’s fur. She was always very gentle with them and seemed to understand the difference between a toddler pulling her fur by mistake and an older kid pulling her tail to tease her. Not that the family’s own kids ever did anything like that, but all of their friends weren’t so understanding. To be fair, their parents are always very strict about them not teasing the dog and that the dog’s bed and food and water bowls are out of bounds.

    4. AnotherAlison*

      I had a 5 pm call yesterday. I was planning to take my dog on a walk after, and to expedite things, I put on my shoes and hat before thecall. She KNOWS what that means, and was pretty relaxed until about 6:00 and then she just growled and whined at me nonstop. I had to unmute to talk a few times with her carrying on in the background, but I didn’t feel too bad since the call ran 30 minutes over, and it was after my work hours.

      1. Ali G*

        This happened to me too! I sent everyone in the meeting a chat with a pic of my dog staring at me with the caption of “Dog is very annoyed that this call is cutting into his walk time.”

    5. Sleepless*

      Hahaha! Good thing my husband doesn’t do videoconferencing. We have a very loud, very territorial dog and it’s bad enough that she barks like she’s going to kill somebody during half of his phone calls.

    6. Dust Bunny*

      OMG my boss just emailed me: He has two dogs and the little one (10 pounds) ate the big one’s (65 pounds) entire breakfast yesterday. I used to work for a vet so he emailed me to ask if this was an emergency; I told him to call his vet and see what they recommended (probably not an emergency but the dog was stuffed and feeling miserable).

      Anyway . . . not an emergency, but I emailed this morning to ask how the dog was and my boss replied he was A-OK . . . especially after he BARFED AUDIBLY DURING A SKYPE MEETING later yesterday morning. Boss says he could tell from the looks on people’s faces that they definitely heard it, but nobody said anything.

    7. Jay*

      I had to call a colleague in the evening once to get info about a patient. We were having a perfectly normal professional conversation when all hell broke loose behind him. I could tell both his dogs were barking frantically but couldn’t figure out what the rest of the noise was, and I was concerned. “Are you ok?” Deep sigh. “We have a parrot, and the parrot has learned to call the dogs. He waits until the dogs come in the room and then imitates my wife. When the dogs can’t find her, they lose their minds.”

      1. Librarian of SHIELD*

        When I was a kid, a friend of mine had a parakeet and a bunch of dogs. The parakeet learned to bark, and it would rule the dogs up every single time.

    8. Not a Girl Boss*

      This. Is. Amazing!

      Yesterday I stopped mid-conversation to yell at my new puppy “No! Do NOT pee there! We pee OUTSIDE! So, that was awkward, once I came back to myself. AND I had to excuse myself to go get paper towels.

      I have also ordered a dog whistle off amazon to see if it really is an amazing barking cure, because I’m at the end of my rope with them barking every time people walk down our street (the incidence of which has gone way up since everyone is home during the day).

  4. ProgrammerDude*

    There was a video I saw (can’t track it down now, as it was removed) of a zoom call where one person takes their laptop to the bathroom with them and the camera is pointing right at them as they get on the toilet.

    Everyone’s reactions were amazing.

    1. FitzG*

      Yeah, I read about this. What I find ‘amazing’ about that is it was one of the persons colleagues shared the video on and it went viral.

      1. Beth*

        Even more amazing to me is that it was a discussion about professional ethics. Whoever posted it is a jerk.

      1. scanon*

        Ah. That makes more sense. My first thought was how wildly unprofessional it was that anyone would be recording this in the first place – especially as they are talking about social work would involve highly confidential information.

    2. I Want to Go to There*

      I am on some medication at the moment that comes with certain gastrointestinal uh… side effects. Which hit me the other day during a MS Teams meeting and it was URGENT. I switched to mobile, triple-checked that both my camera and mic were switched off, and took care of business. It felt super weird being able to hear my colleagues carrying on a very normal meeting while doing something very private, but nobody was the wiser. I washed my hands and returned to my computer feeling like I had just pulled off a bank heist. We are living in the weirdest timeline.

      1. nightcat*

        hah, we were having a games/drinks night yesterday, same – muted audio and left the laptop, but hearing them from the bathroom while on the toilet was… weird.

    3. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      I’m a teacher, and my coworker who teaches kindergarten had one of her students do that in a Zoom lesson yesterday! The kid was just blithely about to pull down her pants when my coworker noticed and super-quickly turned off that student’s video feed. Fortunately since all kindergartners are pretty clueless, none of the rest of them seemed to notice!

  5. Alternative Person*

    Nothing yet, but during an audio test, one of the managers played ‘All by myself’. There was a mass collective groan.

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Yesterday during my audio-only end of shift meeting on of my co-workers blasted “Alone” by Heart.

      (We all had a good laugh – it was a good tension release.)

    2. Jennifer Juniper*

      I hate that song. I would have muted myself just to hiss at it.

      What can I say? I’m part cat.

    3. Keymaster of Gozer*

      Husband’s boss apparently played “as the world falls down” from the Labyrinth soundtrack today!

      (Guy is a huge Bowie fan and forgot he had his stereo on)

  6. I'm A Little Teapot*

    Nothing yet – but apparently next week we’re starting video. Or at least trying to. No idea if everyone’s internet will support it.

    The guy who’s pushing it is generally reasonable, and was making jokes about we’ll be seeing his extensive collection of sweatshirts. So, we’ll see. Wish me luck. I know that with my lighting and setup, I will look terrible no matter what I do so not even trying.

    1. AliciaB*

      There are filters you can use! Not like silly cat ears or whatever, but ones that can just kinda make everything look slightly better. Zoom for sure has it, not sure if other video conferences do.

      1. OtterB*

        There’s virtual background on zoom, which is really helpful if there’s clutter in line of sight, but it doesn’t help what you are wearing. Or not. I’ll have to look for other filters.

        1. The Messy Headed Momma*

          Zoom virtual backgrounds are so great! I’ve done a bunch of different ones, like over the top luxury living rooms, anime food markets, The Green Monster at Fenway Park. If you decide to use an image with text in it, you have to flip it or else it will show up backwards.

    2. MusicWithRocksIn*

      Man, my internet is barely hanging on for remoting into the server and using outlook. I had to watch a video from work today and it took about half an hour to load properly. I feel like now is not the time to try to use extra bandwidth unless you really need it.

      1. Not a Girl Boss*

        This is how I’ve been talking my bosses out of it. Today I said “Oh, I read an article somewhere (waving hands vaguely) about how its selfish to use video if not necessarily because of the extra bandwidth load” and they bought it. (Insert evil smiley emoji).

          1. BookishMiss*

            My CIO has basically forbidden video unless it’s absolutely a business necessity.

            I’m not sad.

    3. Hadespuppy*

      We’ve been doing morning calls, and my home office directly faces a window, so I rarely turn the light on in the room. The result is that my face is a glowing white blob, and all you can really see of me is the outline of my head and whatever shirt I’m wearing that day.

      1. Em*

        One my direct reports’ set up has her in shadow and she always looks like a witness whose identity is being obscured deliberately . . .

        1. Coffee Bean*

          Now all she needs is one of those voice modifiers that will make her sound like she has the deep slow-mo voice or helium voice.

      2. Beth*

        I had my windows behind me for the first week, and as the day wore on, I became more and more orange. My last clients of the day burst out laughing when they saw me.

        I need a teenage girl to light me. I’m too old for this crap.

    4. Skeetpea*

      We generally do a lot of audio-only calls — I’m 200 miles from my colleagues, and we have screens to share — but we’ve started a weekly “happy hour” videoconference just to hang out.

    5. Emilitron*

      My team has universally agreed to all keep our cameras off. Except on Day 1, when we realized that 10/12 of us were wearing hoodies, so we turned our cameras on one by one to show off our hoodies.

  7. my_employees_are_messy*

    Caught one direct hire sipping on a big glass of wine. Tried to ignore it at the time so I could talk to her about it later until she then lit a joint. Ummmmm….yikes.

      1. Prismatic Professional*

        I’m stealing this for future use.

        I pictured a cartoon set of bushy eyebrows being scraped off with a window squeegee.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      OK, I am very flexible and lenient or whatever, but… NO. Someone who doesn’t have the sense to put the wine in a coffee mug either has terrible judgment or is letting quarantine get to her head.

      1. Sneaky Ninja for this one*

        I may have, once or twice, put wine in the coffee mug in the afternoon. Maybe.

          1. Sally*

            I’m glad I’m not the only person drinking more now than I usually do! I’m not surprised!

        1. SheLooksFamiliar*

          We never really used the cameras during our conference calls, and still don’t. But one of our team had hers on for some reason – we think accidentally – and was on camera drinking wine straight from the bottle.

          It was 5 pm her time, so HAPPPY HOUR! We didn’t make a huge deal over it, but we did tell her that bringing wine to work but not having enough to share violates company policy…

            1. SheLooksFamiliar*

              We thought so, too – and now we are planning virtual happy hours for our team. She inspired us!

              1. UKDancer*

                We are having these now and they work very well on a Friday afternoon. They are completely optional but it’s nice to just chat for about 30 minutes about non work things.

                We’re not particularly an office that spends a lot of time at the pub because most people have children, commitments or plans after work but because we’re under lockdown and can’t go out we have more people dialling into the virtual happy hours than we did going to the last actual one.

                1. Not a Girl Boss*

                  I’m LOVING our virtual happy hours:
                  -Comfier seats
                  -No loud crowded bars
                  -Cheaper booze
                  -Don’t have to drive home after
                  -Less time commitment overall

                  I hope we never go back.

          1. RabbitRabbit*

            Sounds like she was going for Ina Garten-level quaffing. Not posting a link so my post doesn’t get moderated, but you can Google – just yesterday she posted a video of herself making up a pitcher of Cosmopolitans (with alcohol quantities “measured” in cups), straining it into a giant martini glass, and taking a big drink. Fabulous.

            1. cacwgrl*

              Because of her, I risked it, safetied up and ran over to the gas station for some cranberry juice since i had everything else. Did I over pay? For sure. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

          2. enlyghten*

            I have a bit of construction paper taped over my camera, so none of that ‘oops’ stuff for me =P

            1. SheLooksFamiliar*

              I use cartoon Band Aids, and put the folded wrapper over the camera. Kermit the Frog is watching me type right now.

            2. Birch*

              Yeah same… a post-it. I don’t remove it till I’m ready to work, and in fact I’m so paranoid that I’ll check how everything looks in the camera before I start the meeting!

              1. SeluciaMD*

                SAME. Same, same, SAME. So paranoid! Until I figured out the best long-term wfh set-up I was camera checking myself before every meeting because the one time I didn’t, the camera was at a weird angle and people spent like 20 minutes looking up my nose. (OK, it wasn’t really THAT bad, but it absolutely FELT that bad.)

      2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

        OMG! I don’t drink during work time anyway (even at lunch) so have no need to “put wine in a coffee mug” but it had never occurred to me that any of the people on video calls’ “coffee” cups could have anything other than coffee in them! So thanks for that image…

        1. AvonLady Barksdale*

          You’re welcome. :) I do not usually drink while working– though I have been known to pour a glass of wine if I’m still powering through something at 5:30 or so– so I do not condone such things, but it’s just that much worse when someone doesn’t think that maaaaaaaybe it’s best to keep up the fiction WITH YOUR BOSS.

          1. Pit Pat*

            LOL. My cutoff is 6:30. If I’m still powering through something at 6:30 at home, it’s wine time!

        2. many bells down*

          It only just occurred to me yesterday that no one would know if my mug was full of beer instead of tea at staff meeting. We all have mugs or water bottles, no one would notice.

      3. Works in IT*

        Is it bad that I don’t drink alcohol so my first thought on seeing this was “oh, she ran out of glasses for her berry juice like I did only instead of switching to coffee cups she switched to wine glasses”?

        1. Third or Nothing!*

          Sometimes I like to drink my sparkling juice out of a wine glass to feel fancy. Favorite varieties: apple, grape, and cranberry.

        2. My Job Sucks Less When I'm home*

          My boss was drinking [something] out of a wine glass during our meeting today. He kept insisting it wasn’t wine but my coworker and I told him there was no shame in day drinking and that we were in no position to judge. Then we started talking about cocktail recipes.

          Now he probably thinks I indulge during the day because I’ve been so much nicer to him since working from home full time.

      4. MusicWithRocksIn*

        I like to use a wine glass for my cranberry apple juice to feel fancy and less confined, but I would never take it near a video call. I don’t understand how anyone isn’t 100% constantly aware of everything their video call is sending. All I can think on one is ‘accck – is that really how my face looks?’

        1. Wing Leader*

          I do this too! I put orange juice or soda (just plain, no alcohol) or even water in a wine glass because it seems cooler.

          1. Paulina*

            I’m slightly tempted to do the reverse, since I have beer that looks a lot like orange/grapefruit juice. In a regular tumbler nobody would know…. too early in the day for me, though.

        2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd (ENTP)*

          I get the face thing but I think a lot of it is because you’re used to seeing yourself in the mirror which is (obviously) not the way round other people see you so it looks ‘odd’ to you – the video feed of yourself is showing you as other people see it! (Sorry if this is obvious, it took me a while to twig this!)

          1. SeluciaMD*

            This really screwed me up too until I figured it out!

            On a related note, I don’t know if you care, but if it really bothers you and you are on Zoom, you can go to the video settings and choose “Mirror my video” and it will flip the image. I have no idea how other people on the call feel about it – I’m guessing they don’t look hard enough to care – but it makes me feel better to do it! :)

            1. Sally*

              Actually, I think others on the call don’t see the mirrored version. I was using a background with numbers in it, and to me, they looked backwards because I mirrored the video. But when I opened the recording of the meeting to edit it, my face and the numbers were the right way around.

          2. MM*

            It’s not just that. The camera represents your face differently from how the mirror does, and different lenses do it differently. So for example I look quite different (to my own eyes) through my phone’s camera vs. through my laptop’s. The lighting also has a bigger effect than I think most people realize (which is why it’s so important on film sets), so if where you’re sitting for video calls isn’t a place you’d normally be seeing yourself (in a mirror or on camera), the different lighting may also be a factor. This is also why a lot of the time people say famous people look different in person, or why some models don’t always seem strikingly beautiful IRL–their features photograph or film in a different way that may not translate the same to the eye.

            Basically none of us will ever actually know what we really look like to other people because every means of representing ourselves will present us slightly differently (mirror, various camera lenses and focal lengths, etc etc), which is a great reason not to worry about it too much if you can possibly talk yourself into it. (Still working on it.)

            1. MM*

              I should maybe clarify that when I say “represents your face differently” I mean that all of these things handle light differently. So all of them are “distorting” you in some way, though I was trying not to use that word because of the negative connotations.

        3. Galloping Gargoyles*

          I keep thinking “man it’s a bad hair day today” :-)

          We were hosting a statewide meeting earlier this week when we got zoom-bombed. It was awful. As quickly as I muted/stopped sharing and kicked out one another would hop on. I ended the meeting pretty quickly and have now learned everything one needs to know to keep the creeps out of our meetings. But, yikes!

      5. Krabby*

        All I can think of is someone drinking out of a coffee cup during a meeting and slowly getting red wine lips and teeth… Everyone pretending not to notice, lol!

        1. Bow Ties Are Cool*

          This is why a shot of Bailey’s or whiskey in actual coffee is probably the way to go.

          1. Harriet Vane*

            I was on a webinar once with a curriculum publisher. Somebody at the publisher switched the view so one of their employees, alone in her office, was on the main screen, and she didn’t realize it, and picked her nose on camera. We were rolling on the floor and cringing simultaneously!

          2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

            We ran out of milk right before everything went down and it was a week before I could get more – housemate switched to Bailey’s in his morning coffee as a result :)

        2. Carcosette*

          This is exactly why my family refers to white wine as “stealth wine”! My sister gets really bad wine lips that stick around for a day after having red, so last time she had a big job interview she stuck to white the night before, haha

      6. Person from the Resume*

        That’s what gets me about so many of these things. Like I immediately think: if I ever were to do that “bad thing” I would at least know enough to hide it.

      7. my_employees_made_u_laugh_at_least!*

        She was a special girl. Gone from us now, sadly, due to a combination of plagiarism and botched corporate intrigue.

        As a remote teacher- Naked moms and dads! One naked dad picking his nose and scratching his ass simultaneously. Additionally, little kids like to flash.

        As a professional editor/writer-
        – A pet pig, which came running into the room squealing after accidentally (?) destroying its patio enclosure.
        – A grown man pee in a bottle under his desk very subtly (NOT. SUBTLE. ENOUGH.)
        – One couple fought so viciously (they both worked for me) that I muted them, left to grab a snack, and came back to see them still fighting.
        – Someone’s roommate in half-finished drag, wandering around nomming a banana.

        I love working remotely and I hope I never have a “real” job again! :D

        1. Grits McGee*

          Gone from us now, sadly, due to a combination of plagiarism and botched corporate intrigue.

          Well that’s a story for the Friday open thread, if I ever saw one.

        2. Sneffy*

          I was working as a maths tutor when naked Dad wandered into the room after an afternoon swim. We both saw each other, froze, then I did an abrupt ninety degree swivel to stare at the textbook while he practically dove out of the room.

          The fun cherry on the weirdness cake was that my housemate worked for his wife, so I got to go home and say “I saw your boss’s husband naked today!”.

      8. Mallory Janis Ian*

        Thank you for the helpful hint. I came here to say, “I hope no one sees my wine glass.” Crisis averted.
        /jk (sort of)

      1. my_employees_made_u_laugh_at_least!*

        She was fired last week. We found out that not only was she plagiarising work, but that she was attempting to use our IP to apply to other jobs!

        1. my_employees_made_u_laugh_at_least!*

          What I said to her was “Did you smoke marijuana during the meeting?” and she owned up. I mean, at least she didn’t lie. I told her that it wasn’t acceptable and her response was to call me uptight. Meh. I kind of knew she was on her way out, so I didn’t get as crabby as I would have otherwise.

          The wine could have been juice, as someone said (it wasn’t, but it easily could have been with someone else!)

    2. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      I found out lots of people in my department smoke pot, but outside office hours. Discreetly. And without pushing those who don’t. Unlike they heavy drinkers.

    3. EddieSherbert*

      One of my coworkers logged into a Zoom meeting with a big wine glass of… chocolate milk! Hahaha.

      (However, drinking is acceptable in my office – even before we were working from home -so it would have been fine if it was wine.)

    4. Anon for this*

      Why is a glass of wine ignorable/to be discussed later but the weed gets a giant yikes?

      1. Cyn*

        I agree that it’s morally the same but honestly, weed is still banned in a lot of places, and even where it isn’t, it’s just not become acceptable workplace behaviour. Whereas a moderate amount of alcohol is. You don’t have to like it, I don’t like dress codes, but it’s p normal

          1. Cyn*

            Normalised workplace behaviour is a thing, whether you or I like it or not. In most workplaces you might go out for happy hour with your colleagues and you usually wouldn’t invite them to share a joint. I’d love to go into work in my pyjamas and my work won’t suffer either way, but it’s not gonna happen.

      2. cacwgrl*

        For us, alcohol is legal but it is A Thing if you’re drinking on the job. However, we’ve all gathered casually for after hours drinks and often share tips on the new places and our recently allowed margarita delivery options in town. However, any illicit drug use personally and professional absolutely is banned, so it’s more than a big deal, even in the WFH environment.

    5. cacwgrl*

      I cringed at a few, smiled at others, but this one, you win! I no kidding LAUGHED OUT LOUD at this one. We’ve been having to correct some behaviors but this one takes the cake.

    6. montescristo1985*

      I was going to say are you sure it was wine, until you mentioned the joint, lol.

      I don’t do video calls, but if I do, I’ll make sure everyone knows it’s just sweet tea in my wine glass. I hate wine, but the glasses make me feel fancy, lol.

    7. Automotive Engineer*

      I did the opposite! We had a going away party over zoom for a coworker and I didn’t feel like drinking so I put cranberry juice in a wine glass.

    8. Kate Monster*

      Yesterday I was drinking Diet Dr Pepper out of a wine glass. During a noon call. Everyone was very nice, “We’re not judging you… but… are you drinking wine?”

      Today I made sure to not grab a wine glass for any beverage.

  8. chellieroo*

    Someone flossed her teeth. All of them, just before the meeting began. She stopped at paid attention at the dot of 9. She was apparently invisible till then?

    1. Llama Face!*

      Ohhh nooooo. Flossing is one of the most cringey nausea-inducing sounds/sights for me. I woukd have had to shut off my video feed at that.

      1. ThatAspie*

        I get gum infections easily, and the “skin” of my gums is really thin and sensitive, so, unfortunately, my gums often bleed when I floss. Yes, I realize that none of this is normal and I’m trying to address it any way I know how. But my point is, if I worked remotely, I would probably save the flossing for later in the day so my hypothetical coworkers wouldn’t have to see me looking like someone out of a horror movie.

  9. Awesome*

    One of my coworkers said “if you ever see me laughing in the middle of the call, It’s because I realized at any given moment, someone on the call might not be wearing pants.”

    There wasnt a response to that

      1. Julia*

        Idk, seems like a harmless joke to me… I guess as always in these threads, so much is dependent on the specific culture of the workplace. (Or I could just have bad joke calibration.)

    1. Miriam*

      That thing where we were all taught to imagine the audience in their underwear to combat stage fright is real life now.

    2. EmbracesTrees*

      Hah, in my dept that wouldn’t be awkward at all but probably be met with a huge laugh — and several confessions!

      1. hello*

        Yeah the person who said that is in a department that definitely would have gone that route. I had nothing to add because I was wearing pants! Plus if I laugh randomly in a video call there are so many other reasons it might happen lol

    3. Amber T*

      One of my coworkers just constantly giggles and laughs throughout every meeting. He’s on mute so we don’t hear him, but we see him just chuckling to himself. Someone asked him why and he just said he thought everything just looked funny on video. Makes me really self conscious that I have a booger hanging out of my nose or something, but maybe that’s what he’s thinking.

  10. Archie Goodwin*

    And this is why I hate videoconferencing, and will block my camera if at all possible. At my last job we used to use Skype, and I was grateful to be able to set my profile image as a still photo. I used this painting, the jester Stańczyk mourning the coming downfall of Poland:


    I do have a story to offer from a phone conference, though.

    At my last job I was responsible for running a monthly team meeting which involved cleaning up one of our shared e-mail inboxes. What usually happened was, I’d share my screen to show the latest e-mail; people would discuss what to do with it; and ultimately it would be filed or marked for cleanup.

    During my last one of these meetings before moving to my new position, I brought up the next e-mail in sequence and set the discussion in motion. While others talked, the following happened in quick succession, in the space of about 30 seconds:

    – I bumped my phone with my elbow
    – it started to fall off the desk, pulling away from the headphones
    – I dove for it, forgetting that
    – the pants I was wearing were peculiarly slick, and slid easily off that particular chair
    – so I, too, slid easily off that particular chair
    – ending up splay-legged under my desk
    – swearing
    – not having muted myself.

    Thank the Lord my oath of choice was simply, “Oh, Goddammit” and nothing worse.

    We all had a laugh about it, and nothing was injured save my pride, but still.

    1. Blueberry*

      Bwee, i’m glad you didn’t hurt yourself anywhere but in the pride. Also, I love your username.

      1. Archie Goodwin*

        Well, I like to think it’s because I’m well-padded in the area where I landed. :-)

        As for the user name – Lily Rowan is around here, somewhere. We run into each other from time to time.

        1. Bryeny*

          And Nero Wolfe never goes out, so we won’t be seeing him. Wonder what he’d think of video calls? Not much, something tells me.

  11. NW Mossy*

    One of my employees did himself a startle when we pointed out that he was on video unintentionally. Nothing at all unprofessional or weird was visible, but his jump-reaction and scramble to turn it off gave us all a good laugh. Accidental video calls are a lot like seeing a spider on your desk!

  12. LittleRedRiding...huh?*

    I have 2 I would like to share:

    One coworker forgot to close her home office door and her pre-teen son could be seen skateboarding past the door in regular intervalls in the nude – as you do.

    And our Business Development Managers forgetting his mic was still on and singing “Elmo had 4 ducks” to his dog.
    Melted my heart! :)

    1. CollegeSupervisor*

      Oh boy… I hope someone pointed it out to her! I’d have been mortified and closed the door immediately to protect my son’s privacy.

      1. LittleRedRiding...huh?*

        At first we didn’t clock on to the fact he was in the nip so just kept quiet. But yes, eventually it was pointed out and the kiddo went to put on some clothes.

    2. Jedi Squirrel*

      They really should tell you when you have a baby boy to expect nudity. Lots and lots of nudity, and always at the most inappropriate time.

      1. revueller*

        it’s included in the handbook, but the handbook was left in the boy’s pants and who knows where those are now.

        1. SeluciaMD*

          I laughed so hard at this!!! What is it with little boys and no pants? Or hands in pants? I swear, I’ve got three nephews (ages 1, 3 and 6) and I cannot tell you how accustomed I’ve grown to hearing “hands out of pants” from either my SIL or BFF.

      2. AnotherAlison*

        My oldest was a mooner. There is a 20-person family picture to prove it. My son was 16 then, and this was with my hillbilly in-laws at a campsite in Ontario, so it’s not quite as horrifying as you think.

    3. OhNoYouDidn't*

      What sort of boundaries (or lack of) does that household have that a pre-teen kid is going through the house naked?

  13. Iconic Bloomingdale*

    A week and a half ago, I was attempting to join a Zoom video chat for a group I regularly attend in person. This was my first time using Zoom and I was having a tricky time getting the hang of it. Unfortunately I got the hang of it, while sitting on my bed in my bra after I realized I’d enabled video. Ugh.

    At least I was wearing a bra. lol

    1. nightcat*

      only after our first zoom meeting ever have i realised that i’d had a bright pink lace bra hanging in the background, perfectly visible.

  14. Funbud*

    Have been on weekly staff video calls and apparently for some of my colleagues, the best WiFi in the house is in creepy, dungeon-like basements! Or maybe they are just getting away from roommates, kids, grandkids, etc.

    1. EddieSherbert*

      So many unfinished basements!

      My favorite is a colleague (who has 6 kids from ages like 8-19) that set up his “office” in his walk-in closet. So we can see rows of clothes on hangers behind him in video meetings. It does have a window, though!

    2. AnotherAlison*

      I’m finding that even though people might normally have decent home offices, with two people WFH and no daycares, people have to get creative to get enough privacy to work full-time at home with the whole flipping family there.

      1. Jay*

        This is us. My husband does part-time consulting and I do full-time medicine, so I get the privacy of the office and he’s a nomad. Luckily we installed Eero a few years ago so we have excellent WiFi everywhere in the house, including his workshop in the basement. Unexpected bonus: he’s finished a couple of projects that he saw when he was down there and bored on conference calls.

        1. OrigCassandra*

          My WFH office is intended as a guest room… and quite a few small necessary projects have gotten done since it became my office, yeah. I don’t have stayover guests all that often, so procrastination had kicked in.

    3. Sneaky Ninja for this one*

      Some of us just have small houses. We have a 2 bedroom house, with a kid. I WFH already, but my spot is in the corner in a semi finished basement. It works for me. For internal calls, I have my camera on or off, depending on what others are doing, but I don’t care who at work sees it. A bunch of us are remote.

      For external calls, we are usually no camera, and just use a static picture. If I had to be on camera, I’d move upstairs.

    4. NotAnotherManager!*

      My spouse teleworks nearly full-time even when we’re not on lockdown, and he chose for his office a corner of our unfinished basement. It’s quiet, dim, and close to the wireless access point, and it had the space for a large desk and shelving. He’s laid out one of our area rugs and put up a few things to mimic finished walls, but it’s not a professional-looking home office.

      Now ALL of us are here, so the kids each work at their desks or on a couch, and I’ve commandeered the kitchen table, which is driving him nuts. We’re just not set up to have four people working/distance learning all at one time.

  15. Madeleine Matilda*

    Nothing from my work because we’ve been banned from using video both to preserve the bandwidth of our VPN and because there are so many people using WebEx, Skype, Zoom right now that our IT is concerned it can’t handle the load if everyone in the world is on video.

    1. Bow Ties Are Cool*

      Same here. Such relief, as my cats are so excited that I’m home all the time that there is often one clinging to my torso.

    2. Carlottamousse*

      No video calls on our end at work, either, thank goodness. Just video calls with family and friends.

    3. Elenna*

      My company just said we are allowed to use video now. I’m hoping we stick to audio-only, since I’ve just been wearing bathrobes this whole time :P

  16. Generic Name*

    This didn’t happen to me, but to my brother-in-law. He was on a video call with a coworker who pointed out that his 2-year-old was drawing on the wall behind him with a marker.

    1. Quill*

      Look, home rennovations are a BOOMING business right now, kid is clearly investing in the future.

  17. Your Weird Uncle*

    We organized an informal team happy hour last Friday – one of my colleagues must have been drinking early and was visibly drunk, and at some point early in the call she fell off her chair.

    I can’t laugh at her as I think she’s taking things pretty hard. We’re all just glad our boss wasn’t in the call.

  18. Accounting Otaku*

    Not mine, but my boss told this one for his wife. She was leading a call and had their one year old in her lap. For the most part the boy was very well behaved just quiet and playing with stuff on the desk. Then he picks up a giant pair of scissors. She grabbed them from him right away, but you could hear the gasps of “Oh no!” from everyone on the call as it happened. We all got a laugh from that story and wished we had been on that call. Their son makes regular appearances on our morning teams meetings.

    1. Slow Gin Lizz*

      I have been enjoying seeing my supervisor’s 8-month-old on our weekly check-in calls and occasionally our team meetings too. Today in our one-on-one he was being very talkative and it was nice to hear his adorable baby babbling. I realize not everyone wants to hear baby noises on work calls but I really like hearing him, he’s very cute, and it takes the edge off my being home without any other humans around.

  19. WantonSeedStitch*

    We haven’t had anything embarrassing or cringeworthy happen on our calls, but we’ve found it to be kind of hilarious when someone is using a virtual background and the camera gets a little confused as to what’s the person and what’s the background that it’s covering up with the virtual one. So sometimes someone will wave before signing off, and their hand will disappear. Or someone will turn and lean out of frame slightly, and their head will disappear. I have to say, it’s been adorable seeing people’s kids and pets come up for a cuddle during video conferences!

    1. fposte*

      Yes, I love the background effects. And if you claim you have a green screen when you don’t they go completely FX.

      1. Frideag Dachaigh*

        My team has been using a lot of fun virtual backgrounds to match our theme days- I convinced Zoom that my shirt was the green screen so I could match the theme that day since I didn’t have anything that worked that day.

    2. Artemesia*

      I was on a Zoom the other day and had never done backgrounds but managed to get a photo from my file up which was a giant spider display from halloween in the neighborhood. I then disappeared so it looked like a giant spider was participating in the meeting. Haven’t got the hang of backgrounds yet.

      1. Certaintroublemaker*

        One of coworkers is really good at video virtual backgrounds. He recorded a movie of himself, slightly to the side, then runs it behind himself so he’s cloned!

    3. Hlyssande*

      I saw a post floating around with a girl in hijab whose Zoom can’t figure out the proper bits to keep and which to make the background. Either it turned her hijab only to background, or left only her eyes and mouth visible.

    4. TiffIf*

      One of my coworkers took a picture of his office and set that as his virtual background–he gets a kick out of people confusedly asking him if he is at the office instead of home.

      1. JaneB*

        One of my colleagues gets better signal by remoting in to her office PC, but can’t work out how to turn the camera off, so we are watching her office plant wily day by days as no ones allowed in to rescue it…

        1. TiffIf*

          One of my colleagues is remoting into a office PC too–and he has purposefully left that camera on–it points towards the main hallway (his is the first cubicle after you turn into our area) so early on he could see everybody who was going into the office to pick up equipment! Now the only movement is the security people making rounds.

    5. cleo*

      I’m enjoying that too. This morning I saw something flitter past my boss’s boss – I thought it was maybe a bird. But it was her 5 year old running in front of her laptop, confusing the camera and virtual background.

      And in our monthly all departmental meeting today, both a cat and toddler crawled into their respective adult human’s laps during the call. Toward the end, someone joked in the chat that they couldn’t pay attention because they were watching the cat and there was an explosion of oohing and aahing over the cuteness that are toddlers and cats.

      1. nightcat*

        same, but with dogs. had a meeting with one of my professors the other day, his wife had to grab something so the dog came into the office too. i let out an audible “awwwww look at him” before i could catch myself, to which the prof just laughed and adjusted the camera so i could see the pup getting alllll the cuddles. precious.

  20. Pretzelgirl*

    A few years ago I was on a zoom call, waiting for everyone to arrive. One the participants to the call was dropping her dog off to be groomed (this a board member for a non-profit). She didn’t have her video on, only her audio. She thought she was muted and described in detail, how she wanted her dogs anal glands expressed and the hair around its bum trimmed. Finally, I piped up and said “Ummm Jane your audio is on”. She was mortified, but everyone on the call got a kick out of it.

  21. ashie*

    I had a Zoom call with a colleague at another company yesterday. She had set her virtual background to a bunch of shirtless firemen holding puppies. Best. Videocall. Ever.

    1. OysterFellow*

      That would make me pretty uncomfortable but I can see how people would get a kick out of it.

  22. DarthMom*

    A colleague, clearly in his flannel pajama pants… he logged into the call on his phone and then proceeded to walk through his house with the open camera phone in his hand, inadvertently focused on his crotch until he got settled in to his meeting spot.

  23. Jennifer*

    I saw some poor woman on twitter that must have forgotten that the video was on and starting using the bathroom. I’m sure many have seen it since it went viral.

    1. username required*

      I felt so sorry for her. I can’t understand how one of her coworkers thought that would be ok to put online.

    2. All Hail Queen Sally*

      I saw this! I am sure that poor woman had to change her name and move to another state.

  24. zoomzoom*

    I’m a grad school student and have a colleague who Juuls throughout all of our class Zooms! I’m in two classes with her and it’s so distracting when all of a sudden her whole frame fills with a cloud of vape smoke.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I had a co-worker who used to vape at work. He was on the west coast and I was on the east, so we communicated exclusively over Skype, and while I hated the vaping it eventually became normal. Then he came to our office for some in-person work and vaped AT HIS DESK across from mine, and I nearly lost my mind. Our boss did not prohibit it. I hated the vaping but I liked him so much– and knew he would be gone in a few days– that I said nothing.

      1. Bubbles*

        That’s one thing I really love about California – you absolutely cannot vape indoors. It’s on the same level as cigarettes. Like people will absolutely speak up and tell the offender to get out.

        1. JustaTech*

          Seattle too. You even think about it and *someone* will show you to the outdoor, 25 feet from any door, designated smoking/vaping spot.

      2. SweetestCin*

        My comment to the chronic vape-er was mostly unprintable and sent me to HR. “You and your nicotine phallus need to leave my cubicle, now.”, approximate wording, but far-fouler. Oops.

        It was worth the look on his face though.

        The use of the vape was just the icing on the cake with that one.

    2. TheAssistant*

      I’m totally guilty of this since I started Juul-ing (instead of smoking) while working from home full time. I’ll maybe nip a hit or two during a call, mostly as a nervous tic. But I only do it when I’m on a team meeting of two people. Any other call and I’ll wait until the call is done or kill my video (for particularly long calls).

      I feel like your colleague is not using a Juul if there’s a cloud of smoke. I don’t produce a cloud. A little wispiness, maybe.

  25. On that Academic Job Market Grind*

    one of my students thought he was muted (or so he says. he’s a bit of a class clown but I actually do believe him) and started making some… really uncomfy noises during a zoom discussion. he was enjoying a sandwich.

    1. Just J.*

      I think someone was brushing their teeth during our call this morning. But it may have been their espresso machine. Lots of swishing and whirring. (No video of course!)

  26. Sabina*

    Last week I watched a married couple basically have a fight while on Zoom video. The wife was on the call and the husband came in looking annoyed and she’s pointing to the laptop and shaking her head, like, “hey, I’m on a meeting call here”. And he’s scowling and looking pissed. They were muted but you could still tell they were arguing. He finally flounced out of the room with her looking daggers in his back. Very uncomfortable for everyone else on the call…you could tell by people’s body language (at least if you were on “Gallery View”) that people were trying not to notice but also couldn’t look away, kind of like a car wreck.

  27. fort hiss*

    Hilarious Zoom moment when one of the team leads of our school introduced a new class we’d be having for students who need more help. People immediately started asking lots of negative questions, implying it would be too much or too hard. The principal then Skyped her saying “I hate the immediate negativity we get.” which popped up in the bottom right of her shared screen. She frantically tried to close it but failed, so she stopped sharing after about 10 seconds of wild clicking. I could not keep myself from making a OOOHHHHH face because it was so funny. I don’t know how many people noticed. (The principal was right, in my opinion!)

    1. JustaTech*

      We had something like that on a big all-hands call yesterday, where one of the speakers messaged the admin who was sharing their screen to show the presentation, so right in the middle of someone talking about sales numbers pops up an IM “How many people have called in?” so the admin had to answer.

      It felt super awkward.

    2. Foxgloves*

      A similar thing happened on a Skype call with a bunch of my boyfriend’s friends a couple of weeks ago. While we were chatting about how couples are getting on with working from home together, one of the guys messaged my boyfriend to say he was looking forward to reading the memo my boyfriend drafted while he was inevitably getting [something, i’m sure you can imagine] from me. We couldn’t stop laughing when the message came through, at which point the friend realised that I was OBVIOUSLY also looking at the phone, as we were using it for the Skype call. It still cracks me up just thinking about it.

  28. Camellia*

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been putting on a bra every day because that’s what says ‘going to work’ for me. Even though I don’t have video and don’t plan on getting and using it.

    My daughter did say that her coworkers are about to find out that she has 20 identical car club t-shirts. She promised them that they really are multiple versions and not just the same one day in and day out…

    1. LeahS*

      I had to run into the office to pick stuff up on my second day WFH… I realized when I was halfway there I did not have a bra on. Whooops.

    2. AnotherAlison*

      I’m showered and fully dressed every day, but I prefer wearing my workout-type* gear and my manager wants everyone to wear work-type shirts. I’ve managed to join all calls audio only so far and explain that it is due to my crappy rural internet–there really are lags and bandwidth issues, but it’s not resolved if the person on the other end is on video even if I’m not. (This dress thing is so our company culture that I’m not surprised. We’re business casual normally, but execs wear sport coats or suits.)

      *I actually have been working out before and after hours, and it helps force me to do it if I am dressed that way instead of in jeans and a blouse.

      1. Sally*

        At this point, I think the manager wanting everyone to wear work-appropriate shirts is asking too much. For crying out loud – everyone at my company has been working from home for 3-4 weeks by now. I’m seeing a lot of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and baseball caps – and nobody cares.

      2. Beth*

        If I have four clients in a row, I’m good with keeping on the work blouse and bra. If they’re more spread out, I commute downstairs with a hangar and a tank top and switch off accordingly.

    3. LunaMei*

      I’ve been doing that too, even though the first thing I do when I get home from work normally is remove the bra. For the first few days I was doing full braless PJs, but after a few days of that I couldn’t handle it. So now I wear my nice sweats or leggings, a bra, and I fix my hair.

  29. Krabby*

    I think I already shared this one in a past thread, but a coworker of mine was on a video call with one of her direct reports, and the direct report’s grandma wandered into the room and thought the manager was his secret girlfriend.

    She kept asking her questions about her suitability for “my sweet boy,” as her grandson tried to wrestle her out of the room.

    1. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

      I imagined this playing out very Happy Gilmore like. Amazing.

  30. Keyboard Jockey*

    Someone who forgot to mute himself while taking a call during a video conference. The call was him getting a rejection from another company.

  31. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

    This actually predates the nonsense, because a large swath of my department is perma-WFH anyway, but. Backstory: My dog (Alannah, from yesterday’s pet thread) came home from the Humane Society at 8 weeks old and has always, for the last five years, spent the majority of her days in my desk chair. Once she got too big to fit in my lap, I swapped the original office chair for a giant armchair, almost a loveseat, and so now she has a lot of space to both sides of me and behind me.

    I was in a fairly large meeting to discuss some guideline documents, being run by one of our quality managers, and all of a sudden she just completely derailed into coos and giggling. Turns out that the Junior Ambassador had sat up behind me and was staring into the camera over my shoulder with a very disapproving look on her face. (She has very expressive eyebrows, just like I do :P ) For the rest of the meeting, I got sporadic “OH MY GOD I LOVE YOUR DOG” jabbers every time Alannah moved.

  32. PSB*

    I was on a Zoom call yesterday that was all audio except for one participant who apparently didn’t realize her phone camera was on while she joined the call while still lying in bed. We had a view of her covers from the back camera for a while and later her headboard via the front camera before finally going black. I don’t know if she realized the camera was on and switched to try to avoid embarrassment or what, but her video stayed on throughout the call.

    1. Susan*

      I had a phone interview last week and coincidentally had a different interview the next day. I don’t know why it does this, but my phone switches to FaceTime if I am on a call when a calendar notification pops up. So – call starts, notification pops up – bam -FaceTime. Luckily the phone was next to my ear and I don’t think he saw much, because I was in bed in pajamas.

    2. Lana Kane*

      I did a video Webex the other day while sitting in bed, my headboard was in view. And I did not care lol

  33. Jane*

    I was on a call for a church project and decided to walk my laptop into the living room for better light.One of the other people on the call abruptly started talking about how clean my house was, and demanding that I pan around to show everyone, then wouldn’t let it go. I’m intentionally a minimalist, but she was super perplexed (and semi-outraged) that I have so few things in my apartment. I ended up laughing it off and trying to steer the conversation back to our project numerous times before succeeding.

  34. CupcakeCounter*

    At our weekly team meeting (fairly informal – mostly just a touch base for interaction) one of my coworker’s 2 teenage children decided to have a dance off behind her. The home office set up she has is closed off by full panel glass French doors with no curtains so they could have their fun without interrupting her. It was extra fun since her daughter is a highly trained dancer and her son is exuberant and highly untrained – she was executing some incredible moves and he was imitating a Night at the Roxbury and trying (and failing) to twerk.

  35. Amber Rose*

    So far we’ve only been doing screen share, not video. But I’m thinking my coworker was probably a touch confused when she called me the other day since my husband was home that day and playing (and cursing at) Final Fantasy 10 nearby.

  36. LadyByTheLake*

    Not a work call, but my friends have been getting together on Zoom. I have one friend in particular who props up the iPad on her kitchen table, places her dinner or breakfast in front of it and then eats. The camera angle means that with every bite we get a huge close up of her putting food in her mouth. Put your plates over to the side, people!

      1. LadyByTheLake*

        That would be SO mean. We’ve mentioned it but I’m not sure it’s sinking in. She’s a super-thoughtful and genteel person, so the call outs were kind of light-hearted. We have another call Saturday and if she does it again I’ll really call it out.

        1. WFH before it was the thing to do*

          At some point, it’s KIND to help her understand, even if it requires showing her a photo. If she does the same thing on other more serious calls, and grosses out coworkers, she would probably rather know, though she’ll probably hate you in the moment.

      1. Beancat*

        This comment is so underrated and I love it; thank you for the smile – both you and said tubers :)

    1. Mama Bear*

      I love this potato thing. I’m going to see if my kid can turn herself into a potato for class.
      The teachers are going to hate me…

    2. CupcakeCounter*

      One of my coworkers was desperately trying to get that to work for our 2:30 meeting. Sadly he was not a potato but his daughters did help him dress as Sheriff Woody. I sat on my back desk in sunnies.

  37. The one who wears too much black*

    I was on a video call for school recently where someone lit what appeared to be a self-rolled cigarette (or other smoking product haha) and cracked a beer during a fellow classmate’s presentation. Not a good look!

    That being said, I have to say I found it pretty funny and sent them a private message that they might want to keep their video off if they aren’t presenting.

  38. Professor Plum*

    “Alexa, play the Beatles.” And you’ll find out how many people on the call have an Amazon Echo. Two from our group of 12 responded.

    1. Jay*

      We have a colleague named Sierra. We also have company-issued iPhones. “Hey, Sierra…” usually get a chorus of responses from various people’s Siri-enabled phones.

  39. embees*

    Telling on myself – Cat had been sleeping on my desk; woke up and decided he needed petting. Which he indicated by headbutting my face with his face, thus pointing his, uhhhh, rear anatomy DIRECTLY at the laptop webcam. Thankfully it was “just” a team call (Coworker – who was talking at the time – quipped “if you didn’t like my idea you could have just said instead of being an @sshole about it” LOL)

  40. JMR*

    This is not the most major Zoom gaffe of all time, but I ended a call with a bunch of collaborators, said to my husband “It was audio only – I put on a bra for nothing!” – and then realized I had not, in fact, ended the call.

      1. EBStarr*

        Seriously. All of these stories are great but this one made me squeal with laughter!

  41. Allornone*

    I’ve gotten off easy. My cat, Catsby, wanted attention started meowing excessively during a meeting. My coworkers mostly thought it hilarious and wanted to take the chance to “meet” him. So, I picked up him and put him on the laptop. He stiffed the webcam like a good boi, meowed again, and turned his back to us all, proudly showing that kitty booty. He was a hit.

    1. OrigCassandra*

      My cats are used to me singing along with something, but NOT talking (I live alone). So one of them has to ask me who I’m talking to whenever I start a call or online meeting.

      “Who’s that? Who are you talking to? No, really, who? And why is it not me? HEEEEEEEEEEY, I SAID WHO YOU TALKIN’ TO?”

      He’ll shut up if I reach down and pet him. Temporarily.

    2. JustaTech*

      Thankfully we’ve been video off, because this week during my one real meting first my cat threw up (thankfully my husband was able to clean it up) and then my coworker (who was presenting) had her dog throw up. Thankfully we couldn’t hear the dog, but we did get to listen to “Oh no, oh no, no there! On the tile, on the tile! Oh, honey, oh, it’s ok, yes, it’s ok, you’re a good girl”.

      1. Susan*

        I did have one call finish abruptly when my colleague said “I have to go stop the cat from vomiting on the dog.”

    3. Mama Bear*

      Our pastor’s cat decided to make an appearance on the first Zoom and was such a hit that now everyone shares their pets.

    4. Susan*

      My cat walks all over me. One time she got on my lap, stretched up, and wrapped her mouth around the headset mic. My poor colleague got purr blasted.

      1. Lierre*

        That sounds amazing! I’ll have to get one of my coworkers try to reenact that for me. :-)

  42. EmbracesTrees*

    I’m teaching from home now and had to set up a small workspace in my bedroom. I checked the video and my head blocks out most of it, so no big deal. Then a student asked about something that required me to bend down and look at a file on (my “storage space” on) the floor. I suddenly heard a few “awwwww”s and realized the students were able to see my decrepit, geriatric cat curled up on HER heating pad on one of the–scratch that, one of HER– pillows, and the entire bed (which is covered with a nasty old (protective) sheet, Because decrepit, geriatric cat).
    I was a little embarrassed but glad that at least the bed was sort of made up–and they couldn’t see yesterday’s clothes piled on the floor! Since then, decrepit kitty has made a few on-screen appearances. =))))

    1. Gumby*

      A family member is a high school teacher and occasionally looks for interesting places from which to run his class. Also sometimes interesting outfits for both himself and the dog. Last week he set up with a cooler and a folding chair to get full enjoyment out of the teacher of the month parking spot. (Not sure if he really was teacher of the month or stole it for class that day – his was the only car in the parking lot.) His students love it.

  43. The bread burglar*

    More cute.

    But a colleague had their dog in frame saying hi and another colleague had his cute toddler on. When the dog left the toddler wanted to know where it went and the guy was like “oh hes gone to the garden” and the toddler looked in his own garden! And then was like “where?” It was so cute.

    Otherwise the only thing was when my colleague let her son screech for a few minutes in the background and was like “I am going to just let him have his tantrum” it was so annoying as she had to be asked to mute herself so we could continue on.

    1. EddieSherbert*

      Yeah, I have coworker with a newer baby (like 4 months old?) and they never mute themselves when it’s their turn watching the kid (even if they’re not talking – literally every meeting I have to ask them to re-mute after every time they talk.

      It’s cute to see the baby and say hi for a minute or two! It’s not cute for the rest of us to try to yell to each other over their baby screaming… OR playing nicely with their loud crinkly toys 6 inches from the microphone.

  44. Long drives*

    The best was shared in a teaching-during-the-pandemic FB group:

    Zoom lights up the frame of the box of the person talking. Well, someone farted VERY LOUDLY- and his frame immediately lit up.

    1. AnotherAlison*

      I’m not sure how teachers are surviving this. My son’s 1oth gr. ELA teacher had a zoom session to kick things off this week. There were 60 kids on it, along with a handful of parents. The teacher told the kids there were parents on and that it was going to be posted to Canvas and viewable by the administration. There were kids asking to use the bathroom, kids talking over her to each other, and one asshat playing the guitar.

      1. Long drives*

        Word. This was a college-level class. I can’t imagine being able to recover it was K-12- the students would’ve been un-get-back-able.

        1. AnotherAlison*

          Nope, definitely not recoverable with younger students. Honestly, I’m not sure it would have been recoverable with my office crew!

      2. WishWeHadThatIRL*

        A friend is a middle school teacher – she learned day 1 to mute all the participants! Said she’s been getting through lectures in record time without all the interruptions lol

        1. Mama Bear*

          ALWAYS mute the participants as a default and in Zoom you can have them raise their hands for a question or use chat.

          1. Sally*

            Or they can unmute themselves, but it takes a little effort on their part, so most people don’t unless they have a question.

  45. JustaTech*

    At my department’s happy hour (the first video call we’ve had) my direct boss decided that he would only half-uncover his camera (which had the effect of really messing with the light balance so he was very blown out).
    A little while into everyone’s drinks our department head said “Hey [Boss], how much do we have to pay to get you to uncover your screen all the way?” and I followed up with “But [Department head], where do we put the quarters?”

  46. Booksaregood*

    This one’s only minor but I chuckled: was attending my class online and in the middle of my professor lecturing about the devil in early modern Europe, my husband yells from the kitchen (and seemingly the top of his lungs): “OH SHIT!” As I tried to mute my phone, he came into my room to tell me more quietly but still loud enough that my class heard: “Oh shit! Ants!” Thanks honey!

    1. Jenny D*

      Here’s my best trick for handling ants: Put down a saucer with honey mixed with yeast.

      The ants will eat it because of the honey. Their digestive system will make the yeast expand, which will kill the ant. Since no ants return from the trip to your kitchen, the hive will learn not to go there.

  47. EPLawyer*

    Through a series of unfortunate events, I am now President of my local philanthropic organization. Thanks to the site, I feel adequate to handle this. I had my first board meeting last night, normally our meetings are over an hour. I brought it under 45.

    Here’s the amusing part. My birthday was Monday. My husband likes to get silly stuff at the dollar store to go along with the really nice present he gets me. This year, he bought a backdrop with a big pink castle on it. We left it on the wall for the Zoom board meeting. People appreciated it.

    I plan on getting a new silly backdrop for every board meeting we have for the duration. Of course, this is not something I would regularly do in a professional setting (depending on the client, there are some who would love it). but for this board, it works.

  48. Notthemomma*

    Just yesterday, a couple birds outside were fighting up against the basement window that is right above my desk. The sudden noise and odd shadows led to me releasing an unmuted list of swear words that would make a professional curser blush.

    1. Consulting Consultant*

      My printer, after being finicky all day, decided to VERY LOUDLY reorient itself to print the last page of a document I had given up on 3 hours before (and forgotten all about), in the middle of a call with a senior project leader. I, being very startled, shouted “holy cats!” at the obnoxious machine (I have a toddler, so I have tried to revert to benign versions of my previous sailor-like cursing). I then had to explain to my colleague what had happened, and I’m very sure the phrase “holy cats!” will be come a catch phrase with this project team.

  49. Emma*

    I was on a call yesterday where someone was screensharing and i could see that they had a job application site open in another tab….

  50. EmbracesTrees*

    Oooh. I was already stressed about the first video discussion on the first day “back to classes” (I’m a prof). I had *everything* prepared beforehand — all the docs I wanted to show them, a powerpoint, a few video clip, etc. Then, as I saw them log in, I realized that I couldn’t hear ANYTHING, nor even use the written chat function. After 12 minutes of clicking, and stressing, and … swearing — including a really bad habit of using “f— me” when I’m super-stressed — I realized that they could, however, hear and see me just fine.

      1. EmbracesTrees*

        I did. I was trying everything I could think of!
        It turned out to be this obscure setting that got overlooked in the training in all the hullabaloo of frantically trying to shift gears to learning what programs were available and how to use them to teach online (which most of us have never done before, and is a whole different ballgame).
        They were pretty great about it, and I did apologize! A few just giggled.

    1. MyLifeInSocks*

      I am also a professor – I teach math. I was using an iPad to share a whiteboard with my students as I solved equations. Well, the iPad was rotated for me – but apparently Zoom didn’t rotate the screen for the participants when I shared the screen. So my students had to tilt their head 90 degrees for about 10 minutes until I finally checked the chat and was clued in to the issue.

  51. Art3mis*

    Not too awkward, but I was having a meeting yesterday with someone from our HR when I see the sliding door behind her open slightly and an arm stick itself through it and start waving. It was just her son. It was kind of funny.

    I’ve been enjoying all of the “oooooo puppy!/kitty!” breaks that happen when someone’s pet pops up in the background.

  52. SheLooksFamiliar*

    We never really used video cameras during conference calls, and still don’t. But we hear interesting things, thanks to family interruptions…like little kids…

    One of my team was sharing her screen with us, describing progress on a new tool we’re installing. Suddenly she yelled, ‘Travis! NEVER touch that part of the kitty again!’ There was stunned silence on the call, then muffled laughs. Turns out she was talking about the cat’s eye, but we didn’t know that.

    Travis didn’t actually touch the cat’s eye. Kitty defended itself against quite well!

  53. Quill*

    Not at work, but during a virtual birthday party.


    Everything paused for a minute, nobody admitted it, party resumed… Only for the noise to start again. As it turns out, I was inadvertently finishing up a sewing project with a very stiff, crinkly fabric, directly into the microphone.

    1. EddieSherbert*

      Haha, we’ve had that happen with a coworker’s baby sitting on their lap playing with a crinkly toy!

      1. Quill*

        Worse: it was the birthday person’s present I was working on. Birthday person correctly guessed what it was DURING THE PARTY. :)

  54. Shannon*

    Nothing too embarrassing but kind of cute. My director is not the most tech proficient. And because she’s a director in a hospital system, learning Teams is not her highest concern. She hasn’t quite figured out how to move her laptop screen to change the camera. She also doesn’t close the blinds on the giant windows directly behind her desk.
    So every meeting with her is really just a meeting with a silhouette of a poofy ponytail.

  55. NowWhat?456*

    Quarantining with my dad. Who is semi retired. And using his new found “free time stuck in the house” to remodel the closet in the family room to have a washer dryer hooked up. The family room is also my home office.

    There have been many calls interrupted with power drilling, table saws, swearing at drain fittings, and him explaining to the dog why she should wait until the tile is installed to lick it.

    1. Quill*

      My dad calls me during the work day now about “hey did you check the mail for this thing I accidentally shipped to you?”

  56. BradC*

    We’ve been having fun with the “set your virtual background” feature in Zoom: you can set it to a corridor on the Starship Enterprise, or to a meme, or to a beautiful mountain range.

    Or, you can take a screenshot of someone ELSE’s face in front of their background, and set it to your own background. Then a 3rd person can take a screenshot of yours and set it as their’s.

    So after a few iterations you have the entire team sitting virtually behind you as you join the call.

  57. Butterfly Counter*

    I’m a lecturer at a university who has gone completely online.

    Yesterday, after my shower, I put on a gold sheet face mask and checked my email. I saw that Canvas (the school site for our classes) had let me know there was a “Conference” set up. Apparently, one of my students had called a conference during our regular meeting time because he thought I might lecture? (Not actually sure why he did it.)

    I clicked over and signed in and LUCKILY didn’t enable my camera for the Conference because it was basically like a Zoom meeting with several of my students logged in asking why we were having a “Conference.” I had a brief “oh no!” moment before I remembered I hadn’t engaged the camera.

    I just reminded my students that the notes were made available on Monday, they had a quiz due Saturday and wished them well. No one saw my weird gold-Hanibal-Lecter-escaping-confinement look. *phew*

  58. Oops*

    My husband and I are both WFH right now. I usually get started with work at about 8am, while he usually gets started around 10:30am. I was listening in on a call (should have totally muted myself, but was anticipating I was about to get called upon) when my husband decides to belt out “BABYYYYYYYYYYY THAT THONG THONG THONG THONG THONG”. Turns out he was folding our laundry in the other room and was finding motivation by singing the Thong Song. I wanted to crawl under my makeshift desk and die, but everyone else had a good laugh.

  59. snoopythedog*

    Last week I had to give a presentation over zoom. Half way through, one of the board members just turned the camera to face his dog. I was sharing my screen, so likely the only one who saw. I had a good chuckle, alerted the others to the new member of our meeting and carried on.

    It made my day.

    My dog usually just snores through my meetings.

  60. My favorite coworker is a cat*

    A few years ago my team was on a Skype conference. Some of us worked from home, some in various office locations. Our norm was to not use video. One day one colleague’s video was showing and he was shirtless! Somebody spoke up and said “err Wakeen, you know you video is on?”. Wakeen sort of squealed and went wide eyed and jumped and tried to quickly cover his camera with one hand while trying to fix the settings with the other. We all just laughed and carried on as normal. It’s since become a sort of office legend!

    1. noahwynn*

      I’ve been that cowoker before. At the time was east coast based but on the west coast for a project that kept me up until after midnight trying to get stuff done. I had an 8am Eastern time meeting which was like 5am Pacific time for me. I was still in bed when I opened up my laptop and started the Zoom meeting. Well, I forgot to start the video and like many guys I sleep without a shirt on. So I was in bed at the hotel, shirtless, with my hair all messed up after sleeping for like 3 hours. I’m sure it was quite the sight.

  61. Bunny Girl*

    My boyfriend hasn’t said anything about this, but I know it’s been a slight issue. He is downstairs leading a training over a web conference. We have a 7 month old, 50 pound puppy who is obviously REAL excited when he gets to go out, and normally the first thing he does is chase the cats around. I try to usher him to the door as quickly as possible, but it must still sound like the ceiling is caving in whenever I let him out since our home is older. I can’t imagine what people are thinking.

  62. the one who got away*

    I work at a K-12 school. We are brand new to Zoom and figuring it out as we go. I wasn’t present for this, but a couple of weeks ago a faculty meeting was Zoom bombed by some random naked dude.

    They figured out security controls immediately thereafter.

    1. the one who got away*

      Also, I was present at a department meeting where someone accidentally pointed her phone directly into her cleavage for a really, really long time.

    2. JustaTech*

      Yeah, I’ve heard that Zoom is having security issues that make it easy for random people to hack a meeting.

      At least it was a faculty meeting and not a class? Ugh, that’s gross.

  63. Ellochka*

    I went through an entire staff meeting without realizing that I had left a Christmas card that a friend gave me up in the background. Covered in glitter and with bold letters reading, “Merry Christmas Tinsel Tits!”

    1. Jedi Squirrel*

      At first I thought…what’s wrong with a Christmas card? It still spring. But then I read all the way to the end.

      Dying of laughter!

  64. Tin Cormorant*

    So my husband and I started a bathroom remodel the week before the SIP, which emailed ripping the whole thing down to the studs and rerouting plumbing and everything. It was pretty extensive. Luckily our contractor lives next door and the hardware stores are open, so we let him keep working while we socially distance in our office.

    So my husband is on a meeting and wants to show his co-workers the progress of the bathroom construction. He carries his laptop into the bathroom, and proceeds to fall into the hole in the floor leading to the crawlspace because he was looking at the laptop and not where he was walking. It was only 2-3 feet, so the result was a big bruise on his leg and the eternal mockery of his co-workers.

    1. the one who got away*

      Oh my gosh it’s a good thing I’m not on a call right now, because I am HOWLING.
      I’m glad he’s okay. :)

  65. CW*

    Nothing really awkward but during an all company meeting, in which most of us – including myself – were on video call because of the coronavirus, everybody was dressed casually since most of us were working from home. In some cases, it was really casual. Like sunglasses and pajamas casual. I am not one to judge though.

    Another time? My coworker had her cat almost walk in front of the camera. Luckily, nothing happened there. Not even a meow.

  66. BethRA*

    My office-mate likes to eat at her desk, and she is one of those people who not only eats with her mouth open, she makes a LOT of noise. Think loud slurping, and lots of lip-smacking and tooth-sucking. I mean, she can be noisy drinking water. So when our office went remote I was thinking “hey, at least I don’t have to hear Snuffalupagus eat lunch everyday.”

    Then she ate her lunch during our department’s first video meeting. Soup and crunchy crackers. Except now I get to see her mouth and not just hear it.

      1. JustaTech*

        The other day my spouse had back-to-back meetings from 10 to 3. (He had blocked off a half hour for lunch, but then someone scheduled an emergency meeting over it.) So he just brought is iPad into the kitchen, muted himslef, and made and ate lunch.

        I left, because the last thing I want on my lunch break is someone else’s management meeting.

    1. My Job Sucks Less When I'm home*

      Not a WFH thing but my manager had scheduled a bunch of daily scrum meetings at the time I took my lunch. In protest, I used to grab my lunch in time to make sure I was chowing down in the middle of his meeting (all on video conference, but in the office).

      The one day, while sitting on a call with another guy, waiting for boss to show up, I thought I put my speaker on mute and started slurping my soup. Turns out, I muted the call and not myself, so my coworker had to listen to the slurping (which is fine; don’t like the guy anyway).

      Another time, I had a call right before the scrum, so didn’t have time to run to the kitchen. My boss showed up to the meeting and actually made a comment about my lack of lunch; so clearly he noticed the trend.

  67. Lana Kane*

    This one isn’t visual, but the other day I was on a conference video call with over 100 people in my employer’s leadership. I work at a large hospital, and this is a daily, Very Serious meeting about COVID. One of the meeting presenters was talking, and at the very moment he took a pause, someone on the line yelled “this is a FUCKING freeway!”

    Silence, a few dropped jaws on the people I could see on the video, and then the VP curtly saying, “you might want to mute yourself now”.

    The silence was extra funny because this call is non-stop talking.

  68. BradC*

    Our office legend is from a year or two ago when were in a big team meeting, with most people in the conference room, but one user working remotely. Their camera was on, and his young son (maybe 8 years old?) walked by, completely naked.

  69. angstrom*

    On Zoom, staying on mute and using the spacebar as a push-to-talk button can eliminate a lot of background noise.

  70. TiffIf*

    Not awkward, but extremely cute.
    There’s like one person on our conference calls who regularly uses video (he’s tried to encourage others to share video but no takers yet!) the rest of us are strictly audio only. One day on a meeting I a supervisor on another team’s 7 month old daughter suddenly start cooing adorably.

    Slightly awkward moment–I was on a call with a direct report yesterday–just audio–and I heard water running and I couldn’t figure out if the water was on my side or his side. It was his wife taking a shower in the bath connected to the Master bedroom where he has his WFH setup.

  71. Ms. Mad Scientist*

    Most of the people on my team, including my boss, have small kids. For our last meeting, he requested having the kids on for a moment to say hi. I wave my kid over and he immediately announces “I POOPED IN THE POTTY!”

    1. Mrs. Smith*

      Off-topic, sort of: ten years ago we were having dinner with another couple at a quite upmarket Indian restaurant full of well-dressed people mostly age 60-75. My son, age 3, sauntered out of the bathroom and announced I PEED IN THE POTTY! and for one full mortifying minute there was pin-drop silence and then a roomful of grandparents burst into spontaneous applause.

  72. West Coast Reader*

    One of the attendees in my meeting started talking…except in a chipmunk voice. Her headset decided to give her a new voice. She tried various things to try to fix it, and all the while she was talking to see if it was fixed, only a chipmunk voice came through. She had to leave the meeting and come back.

    1. BrightLights*

      My old work laptop had a loose headphone jack. About 20% of the time I would join calls and sound like Darth Vader.

  73. Kyrielle*

    I haven’t had any video calls and don’t expect any, but my husband has a bunch. I don’t watch them, so not sure what he has seen…but I know his coworkers have seen me (because I have to walk behind his area to get in/out of my WFH spot) and also our kids.

    I am trying to be very boring, but the bouncy excited kid hauling the Switch over to show me some Animal Crossing thing has gone through the background of his video calls so. many. times.

    1. Construction Safety*

      If I had to do that while the SO on a call, I’d probably walk thru in slow motion or stop-action mode.

  74. Wakeens Teapots LTD*

    Related anecdote:

    Having a problem with sometimes unwanted video (OMG MY HAIR IS ON END HOW THE HELL DID THIS END UP VIDEO WHEN I KNOW I CHOSE NO VIDEO) so I *intelligently* used a high tech solution: electrical tape on the front of my iPhone, covering the camera so, no surprises I have won control.

    That’s smart.

    spending an hour later that evening cursing out my stupid iPhone because FaceId is not working!!

    Yes. It took me an hour for the penny to drop.


  75. EB*

    I have several moments, one cute, one annoying –

    I was on a zoom meeting with my research assistants when my 3 year old nephew came in and saw me using the computer. My nephew is a screen addict (his mom keeps him on a strict 1 hr per day regiment), however, he has learned that his aunt will watch Mr. Rogers with him on her computer. He crawled onto the couch and then promptly introduced himself to the participants (he facetimes with his grandparents) and wouldn’t stop watching the screen while we talked until his mom came to get him 5 minutes later. We figured he was at the point where anything moving on a screen was better than no TV at all.

    The annoying thing is teaching over zoom. I set up the meetings so students are muted and videos are off when they enter the meeting, however, someone inevitably turns on their mic and video before logging in and we either see someone in pajamas eating or get to hear blaring rap music in the background (how they expect to both go to class and listen to music at the same time is something else). I’ve learned to always hover over the “mute all participants” buttons. I haven’t seen anyone drinking or vaping yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    I’m waiting for the “parents bust in and start talking about doing chores during zoom class” that is featured on a bunch of TikTok videos :).

    1. Al*

      I empathize with the frustration of your students turning on their mic/video and distracting other participants. But I wanted to mention that one of the ways my son’s ADHD manifests is that having background noise makes it easier for him to concentrate. No idea if that’s the case for your particular students who play music during class, and they should keep themselves muted, regardless!

    2. Blueberry*

      I love that your nephew introduced himself as a fellow participant. I know that would brighten my meeting!

  76. Fire Lord Azula*

    One of my coworkers apparently doesn’t wear pants while at home. This wouldn’t be an issue if he remembered not to get up and walk around on video calls…

    It doesn’t help that this coworker doesn’t have a good sense of appropriate boundaries anyway, but I definitely would have loved to live my life without knowing what kind of underwear he wears.

    1. JustaTech*

      This is an unstated job requirement for me. I’ve had enough jobs that required changing with coworkers (Science: it’s so dignified) that I’ve made a personal rule to avoid any job where there is more than 40% risk of learning what kind of underwear my coworkers wear.

  77. Elizabeth Proctor*

    A friend of mine sent me a video of a class at Wharton on Zoom (I think it was the class’s first zoom call). Guy appeared to have recently come out of the shower and uhh had not put ANY clothes on yet. The professor said, “Let’s make sure we’re all dressed.”

  78. Tidewater 4-1009*

    I had never done video conferences until last week, and it’s not for work. It’s for volunteering.
    One of the men on the calls puts his phone so his image is sideways, with those big headphones that cover his ears.
    He didn’t say anything and didn’t mute himself. We saw him moving around and picking up a shelf? or something, with accompanying tool noises.
    Then a little later there were loud squeaky, metallic noises. He was putting his finger under his headphones to scratch his ear.
    I don’t know why the moderator didn’t mute him or send him a message.

  79. jamberoo*

    Hahaha!! I have never worn that robe on a call again, even after defaulting to NO CAMERA EVER.

    Now I just have an ’emergency beanie’ next to my makeshift desk in case of crazy hair.

  80. Beatrice*

    The sexist jerk on my team mentioned that I looked angry during a team meeting. I dryly informed him that it was just my normal face. He’s finishing out his two week notice, thank heavens.

    Also, I have several teammates with young babies, and I’ve now lost count of the number of audio conference calls where I’ve been able to hear a breast pump going full tilt in the background, either because someone forgot to mute or because she needed to un-mute to speak.

  81. GiantPanda*

    Coworker’s kid (7 years?) tried to prove to her Dad that she has stinky feet. He tried to tell her to go away and keep her feet away from his nose.

    She won.

  82. anonymous 5*

    I am very sure I read this story here, but don’t remember when: a multi-national company had a regular conference call at xyz time EST (but therefore at potentially weird times elsewhere) and the various offices set it up to start automatically in the respective conference rooms. So when a couple decided to use the empty conference room after hours for a…different kind of conference, the remaining attendees were treated to quite the show every time the, ahem, noises from the conference room switched the screen to show them as presenters.

  83. DMouse*

    I have some from my teenagers being on video calls for school these past few weeks:
    – My son as a joke yelled an off-color remark into my daughter’s computer, assuming all the participants were on mute. Was not on mute.
    – My daughter got an email from her teacher: “Next time make sure you are not lying in bed during our class.”
    – Daughter left the room to get something and everyone could see she was in pajamas.
    – Another kid was brushing his teeth while on camera.

    1. Teach*

      I had a 9:00 am Zoom meeting with high schoolers today and joked that if they joined a morning Zoom meeting with no video, I was going to assume they were still in bed. Silence, then several voices saying, “well, yeah, I am…”
      At least they chose the more professional option of video off!

  84. anon for this one*

    Surprised not to have seen this yet (or maybe I missed it): I saw porn.

    My boss and her partner are sharing a personal computer that I guess is in a private part of their home, for whoever needs to be on a call at the time. My boss was using screen sharing to go over several documents with me, and kept using task view to switch between windows. Well, Windows 10 task view now incorporates a timeline feature that also shows things you’ve had open in the last several days. Apparently that can include old browser windows! The first time it came up, it was just one thumbnail program of many. The second time, it somehow maximized behind the document my boss was trying to show me. She was mortified and apologized, obviously, and I told her it was completely fine because it was obviously a mistake. It’s one of the risks of sharing your screen on a personal computer and it could really happen to anyone right now, in my opinion. I guess she talked to her partner about it after we were done, because the next day she apologized again and explained how it happened. And that’s how I learned about a potentially very embarrassing new Windows “feature”.

  85. reluctant attorney*

    i’m the one with 6 dogs from yesterday’s photos. i presented a webinar earlier this week with about 750 people attending. i had the dogs shut in a room on the other side of the house, a tv playing in that room to muffle the inevitable barking and howling from being so mistreated, etc. I’m at about the 30 minute mark when I hear paws running. They figured out how to open the door and all 6 run into the room where I’m presenting and jump all over me. I ended up just letting them stay in the shot for the rest of the webinar because it would have taken too much effort (and yelling and most definitely cursing at the little assholes) to put them back up. So a whole bunch of lawyers and HR folks got to see my pack.

    1. Bizhiki*

      I have never wanted, so badly, to be on a video call involving lawyers and HR folks as I do with this specific call.

  86. Amber T*

    So I, a female, have not been wearing professional undergarments while working from home. We’ve all been dressing pretty casually on our video calls, so heavy sweatshirts/sweaters have been hiding most things anyway. Except yesterday, when I opted for a thicker cardican with a cami and no bra underneath. I realized, while leaning back, that my un-bra’ed boobs were center frame for me, only covered by a thin cami.

    There’s at least 12 of us on the call at any given time, so I’m hoping it wasn’t obvious and no one noticed. No one said anything and I covered up quickly… but whoops.

    1. Jennifer*

      Not having to wear a bra has been nice. But I’m also a girl that can’t go around without a bra in public without it being obvious.

      1. fposte*

        I’ve been wearing weekend bras (no underwire) all week. It’s going to be hard to get used to work bras again.

        1. Quill*

          Had to start wearing bras again because my posture is not any good without them. (Not helped by my wfh setup being on my coffee table. )

          1. Jennifer*

            Hmmm…maybe I need to start back wearing them then. My back is a little sore today but I thought it was because I don’t have my office chair.

            1. Quill*

              I figured out after a really bad shoulder time last year that I was NOT wearing the right size… because my ribcage is enormous compared to everything else. At least I don’t have to reach into a BSE hood right now…

              1. delta-cat*

                Oh gosh yes, a proper fitting can be life-changing. I wasn’t even sure what to think when I was told I needed to go down a band size and up three cup sizes, but oh, the difference it made (even if I can now only shop at high-end stores where the damn things cost two or three times as much as they do everywhere else…)

                1. Quill*

                  Luckily I can make up the difference (odd number of inches, boo!) with a homemade bra clasp extender. I have a handful of thread wrapped metal ones but next time a bra dies I’m definitely cannibalizing it for parts.

            2. Workerbee*

              I’d put it down to the chair and/or not paying attention to posture (the latter of which is my failing), but then I went bra-free two years ago and my posture has been lousy for decades. ;)

        2. Third or Nothing!*

          I haven’t nursed my daughter in months but I still wear my wireless nursing bras cause they’re so comfy. I can’t go back man. I can’t.

          1. The Rural Juror*

            I made the switch to wireless bras last year and won’t go back to the wired kind. I like the brand Lively.

            1. Third or Nothing!*

              Haven’t tried those. I have huge tracts of land so I am going to have to go in person somewhere once all the stores open back up.

              1. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

                I wear the Playtex 18 hour wire-free front closure bras, which can be special ordered in up to DDD and are the kind of thing that are cheap and go on sale regularly. They also hold up well when washed on delicate in lingerie bags and line dried, and I am not willing to handwash anything I wear more than twice a year.

                I suspect I am still wearing the wrong size, but I am not going to give up wearing a front-closure non-underwire bra and I don’t tend to see those in the larger sizes I might really be. (I also don’t like how “conical” they try to make my breasts be, but I’ve decided to live with it rather than bra-shop further.)

                I have been conducting a Free Range Boob experiment for the past few weeks unless I have a video call, and I am now trying to decide if it’s a thing I’m willing to take back out into the world (outside of work) once we start leaving the house again. (This would be at conventions, mostly.)

                1. Third or Nothing!*

                  I have one dress I can go Free Range in, and it’s one of my favorites! It’s structured enough that I don’t bounce (which is what makes going bra-less painful for me), plus it’s got a great vintage vibe with its polka dots and swingtastic skirt. I bet the more vintage style clothes are going to be good for Free Ranging it up since they tend to be more structured and fitted.

              2. Azure Jane Lunatic*

                My favorite (relatively inexpensive, band sizes 30-58, cup sizes A-K) is Glamorise in the wireless front-hook edition. Fortunately I like the bullet look.

                1. Shartheheretic*

                  I discovered Glamorize after I broke my humerus last year. They were one of the few places I could find front close bras that werent “swim tank” style in the back. And I could only wear front close for about 6 months because I could only halfway use the arm. After 6 months of therapy, I can now put my arm behind my back better than I could before the surgery.

                  Im still wearing the Glamorize bras though, because the wirefree yet strangely supportive bras are super comfortable.

          2. Koala dreams*

            Wireless nursing bras are great. They can also be used for people who never nurse, but need a machine wash safe soft bra. Keep on!

            1. Third or Nothing!*

              Haha, I will until I can find a good alternative. Mine don’t actually make my girls look good and I don’t feel pretty in them. Right now that’s not a issue (holla at me all you peeps who haven’t washed hair in a week!) but I would eventually like to find some that are both pretty AND comfy. I’ve noticed I feel so much more confident when I’m wearing things I think are pretty.

              1. KaciHall*

                I ended up having to go into the office this morning and realized on the way there that I haven’t washed my hair this week. Only one person has been working from the office since last week, but of course while I was there, the owner and head IT guy showed up.

                I probably should’ve been more embarrassed than I was. It’s been a weird couple weeks.

          3. MusicWithRocksIn*

            I just stopped nursing, and after a year of looking forward to finally buying a decent well fitting bra again, there is now no bra shopping, so I’m also still in nursing bras. But I never really found one I liked.

            1. Third or Nothing!*

              I like mine well enough, but they don’t really make my girls look good. While I was nursing I didn’t care since it was more important that my daughter be able to get milk ASAP, but now I’d kind of like to feel pretty in that way again, you know? Like I know it doesn’t ultimately matter, but having pretty undergarments makes me feel more confident.

          4. Comfortable!*

            I found the most AMAZINGLY comfortable work-from-home/light activity bralette that is actually more comfortable to me (34ddd) than going braless all day. I wouldn’t wear it in public, and am spilling out of a it a little b/c it doesn’t come in a large enough cup size, but smaller chested women could wear it in public. Seriously, I have other wireless bras that are comfortable, but nothing beats this one — I’ve never had a bra I’d rather wear than going braless around the house. It’s the “Wacoal b.tempt’d Women’s Lace Kiss Bralette” and is about $13 on Amazon or Bare Necessities. I got the medium. Also, I have sensitive skin, and do not have a problem with the lace being itchy or anything.

          5. MsSolo*

            I’m dreading nursing, because there’s good reasons for nursing bras not to be wired, but non-wired bras always come up way too high under the arms for me and give me eczema in my armpits. It’s underwire or braless for me! (and I’m currently a 38 FF, with another couple of months to go before baby actually comes, so god only knows what my actual options will be bra-wise)

            1. Third or Nothing!*

              Try the Motherhood Maternity brand. That’s what I use and they come up just to the bottom of the armpit on me, which is only slightly higher than my wired bras.

            2. HBJ*

              You CAN wear wired bras while breastfeeding. I will not wear non-wired bras, and I’ve breastfed two children for a year plus apiece with no issues. Never had mastitis, plugged ducts, nothing.

        3. Matilda Jefferies*

          Weekend bras are the best, and I’ve pretty much decided never to wear underwire again. FREEDOM FROM UNDERWIRE TYRANNY!

          1. Alexandra Lynch*

            Underwires never worked for me. My underboob is more square than rounded, apparently, and I always wound up with chafing on the sides of the underwire.

          2. Shoebox*

            I ditched the underwire over 2 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But I’m super well-endowed, so it wasn’t a difficult transition for me. Whenever I do have to wear an underwire bra, I’m just “what is this patriarchal nonsense!??!?!”

          3. Comfortable!*

            See my comment above about the Wacoal b.tempted lace bralette. It has been the discovery of the decade for me in terms of around-the-house comfort!

        4. Librarian of SHIELD*

          Yeah, switching back from my at home bras to my in public bras is going to be very not fun.

          1. Mimi Me*

            I only have public bras. At home, the girls go free!! :) I’ve already realized – several days into this working from home thing – that going back to a bra will be hard.

            1. Third or Nothing!*

              Oh man I wish I could go bra-less that much. Mine are big enough that after a while the unsupported weight starts to hurt. And then they bounce when I walk too fast. Ouch.

            2. Vemasi*

              I hope a result of this is widespread adoption of wirefree, so they will make more bralettes in large sizes and wirefree in more unusual sizes.

      2. Amber T*

        What’s funny is I sort of miss wearing my nice dresses/work clothes since I haven’t *really* gotten dressed now in three weeks, but I do NOT miss wearing bras.

        1. CupcakeCounter*

          I’ve been home for about 3 weeks now and yesterday was the first day I didn’t wear a hoodie and sweats. I have now upgraded to yoga pants and flannel shirts.

        2. Jennifer*

          Yes, I have put on cute outfits certain days and done my hair and makeup just to feel human. But I haven’t put on a bra unless I had to walk my dog or make a run to the store.

          1. Not a Girl Boss*

            I put on a cute outfit when I ran out of clean yoga pants, and it was nice. But then I went to do laundry and realized I didn’t have a single dirty bra, and that was a nice plus. I hate the stupid bra bags.

            Also, this has made me realize how little I care about looking good for my husband vs for coworkers, haha.

            1. Third or Nothing!*

              My husband prefers me wearing legging over skirts…he calls them magic pants. ;P

        3. SpecialSpecialist*

          I got three new dresses for my birthday last month and I haven’t been able to wear any of them yet! First it was too cold and now it’s why bother… :D

          1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            But you are ALLOWED to bother if you WANT to wear something nice! Being frumpy-comfy is not compulsory : -)

        4. Jay*

          I started wearing work clothes at the end of last week instead of yoga pants and leggings with Uggs mocs. Not hose and heels but nice pants, cute tops, and actual shoes. It helps me feel more like myself and also gives me a better “work is over” signal when I get up from my desk and change at the end of the day.

          I never wear makeup and my hair has only one setting – at least right now. A few more weeks without a haircut and I will have to figure out what to do with it.

          1. delta-cat*

            I do find that putting on work-appropriate clothes helps me get into the right frame of mind for working from home. (But then, my office has a dress-for-your-day dress code which means that my usual work attire never ever requires things like heels or hose. A pair of plain black pants and a nice-ish sweater will do.)
            Of course, I have the additional wrinkle of being pregnant, and having bought mostly work-appropriate maternity clothes, so it’s not like I have a lot of other options!

            1. MayLou*

              I honestly don’t have any clothes that are specifically work or specifically not work suitable. Partly because we don’t really have a dress code (I suspect if we did it would say “make sure you wear clothes”) but also because I just wear the same things for all activities except sleeping. I’ll put on a sports bra if I’m likely to be jumping around, but otherwise my wardrobe is unchanging. I do appreciate not having to wear shoes though. I often took them off in the office anyway, and then had to put them back on to walk to the printer or the kitchen.

              1. Jay*

                Our dress code doesn’t allow jeans for patient-facing employees. Doesn’t allow leggings either. I ignore the leggings rule in winter (always with boots and long sweaters) but follow the jeans rule because it feels unprofessional to me to wear jeans when I see patients. I am old. So jeans are my day off/weekend wear. My feet are too cold to go without shoes – it would have to get a lot warmer than the current mid-40s.

          2. Timothy (TRiG)*

            At least four women I know have shaved their heads and shared the pictures on Facebook.

            1. AnotherAshley*

              Make it 5… I busted out my clippers a few days ago. I thought I would last more than 2 weeks but in all fairness, my next (pushed back) hair cut was 2 days into stay at home orders.

        5. DataGirl*

          I had to come in to the office for the first time in weeks today, and was overwhelmed by all the clothing choices when not just ‘leggings and t-shirt’.

        6. Mimi Me*

          I put on outside clothes for the first time in several days….but still no bra. I won’t be putting one of those on until I *have* to.

      3. Sara*

        I am clearly a crazy person because I’ve been wearing a regular bra and jeans every day. But also some sort of sweatshirt, so I’m not completely off.

        1. The Original K.*

          I find it uncomfortable not to wear a bra so I’ve been wearing one, and I’m also wearing jeans every day. Today I even put on a shirt with buttons … but that’s after wearing the same sweater for three days.

          1. Just J.*

            I actually put on make-up yesterday and did my hair because I got sick of seeing my “housebound” look in the mirror all day.

            1. Rusty Shackelford*

              I did that after my first couple of makeup-free days. Now I’m back to no makeup.

              1. Azure Jane Lunatic*

                I try for bold lipstick on video calls (normally I’m a no-makeup or lipstick only person) to make it easier to see what I’m saying. Some of my friends who depend partly on lip-reading say it’s helpful.

          2. Nessun*

            Me too – comfort requires the girls be safely contained! But yoga pants and t shirts are good enough for the top layer. Heck, I’m not sure my bosses all remember to comb their hair.

            1. The Original K.*

              My friend says she was surprised by how many senior folks at her employer (Fortune 100 company you’ve heard of) gave up pretense immediately. There are apparently lots of grizzled unshaved dudes on her video calls.

              1. Not a Girl Boss*

                I wonder if I work at her employer. Our CEO sent out a message from his home to the whole company with a solid 1/4 inch of stubble.

          3. Buni*

            Seconding the bra-for-comfort. I never have to be on camera so my self-imposed bare minimum each day is 1) deodorant, 2) bra and 3) Clothes in Which I Did Not Sleep, i.e. it’s fine to take off the pyjamas I slept in and put on…a clean pair of pyjamas. I only put on jeans to leave the property, and as I’m officially High Risk (got my govt. letter!) and shouldn’t be going out at all I’m limiting myself to twice a week.

            1. College Career Counselor*

              I am familiar with the “Work Pajamas” of which you speak. Someone called an impromptu Zoom meeting this morning, so I had to take some time to dunk my head under the shower and put on a nice shirt.

              1. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

                I have also been wearing “work pajama” bottoms most days. I sleep in a nightgown, but change into a pair of flannel pajama pants once I get up (I have lots of pairs of pajama bottoms because I use them as an extra layer under slacks in the winter and they go on sale for very cheap around Christmas).

                Since I usually wear patterned tops, I have been enjoying the delightfully tacky outfits I can now put together with, say, plaid on the bottom and paisley on the top. So far, I’ve remembered to put on Boring Pants for video meetings in case I need to get up, though.

          4. allathian*

            Same here. My posture is horrid if I don’t wear a bra and my boobs are big and pointy enough that they reach more than half-way to my navel when I stand up without a bra on… I’d rather have them tucked in my bra.

        2. ThatGirl*

          yeah, putting on a bra, jeans and a t-shirt helps me feel more human – I’m not doing makeup or accessorizing, but it still helps put me in work-mode.

          1. UKDancer*

            Definitely. I feel a lot more professional when I’m dressed rather than in nightwear and it marks the difference between work and rest.

            As I’m working from home and it’s chilly this usually involves jeans / slacks and a smart jumper. It’s too cold for t-shirts in London at the moment in my view.

            1. Media Monkey*

              totally. unless you are prepared to run the heating all day it is freezing. i am currently wearing a vest, a tshirt and a jumper with jeans and 2 pairs of fluffy socks. we have an anything goes dress code pretty much though!

        3. Person from the Resume*

          I have been wearing a regular bra everyday for me because I’m not comfortable without one. However my regular everyday bras are sports bras without underwire. I have never found an underwire bra to be comfortable.

          Also all of you wearing sweats and hoodies must be up north. I’ve been wearing shorts and t-shirts exclusively for at least a month now. Last week I switched to sleeveless t-shirts because it’s very warm spring weather hear now.

          * I’ve worked from home for five years now. We never do video calls. Thank goodness because he have enough bandwidth trouble just trying to do audio and a shared screen. (“You’re choppy.” “We can’t understand; you’re breaking up.”)

          1. Jennifer*

            I’m in the south and it’s actually been kind of cold here the past few days, at least for us. It was 40 degrees when I woke up today.

            1. Cal*

              Same. I’ve also been wearing hoodies a lot just because my Tennessean self feels frozen at 60 degrees this time of year. …

            1. Nessun*

              Yes!! It’s like a personal affront…can’t do anything, can’t go anywhere, and to top it off its -18 celsius and they say the month of April will be more of the same. Ugh…thanks Canadian north.

              1. Llama Face!*

                Heighdy ho, neighbour! Fellow Canadian here. I think we’re like the depressing version of hobbits- we get second winter instead of second breakfast*.
                *Okay fine maybe I have both ;)

          2. Jay*

            37 when I woke up this morning. Black slacks, fuzzy sweater, silk scarf, ankle boots, socks.

          3. not that kind of Doctor*

            yep it’s cold enough for sweatshirts here but once it warms up I’ll have to put on a bra again.

          1. Filosofickle*

            I refuse to buy any pants anymore that do not have good pockets. I have one last pair of sweatpants without, and they may be retired soon. Even athletic leggings must have pockets! For regular cotton leggings I have to make an exception so I bought a few tunic/dress things that do have pockets to wear with them. No outfit can be without pockets.

            1. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

              Because most of my pajama pants do not have pockets (I have since discovered that men’s pajamas usually do, so I am even more annoyed about this and will probably replace them next winter), I’ve been wearing a scarf tied around my waist to keep my keys, phone, and pedometer in. I am a flannel pirate!

            2. Third or Nothing!*

              Athletic leggings absolutely MUST have pockets! How else can you carry snacks and Nuun tablets?

            3. allathian*

              Me too. I’m not exceptionally anxious in other respects, but I do like the feel of my keys in my pocket at all times. I gave up on purses years ago, around the same time I quit wearing makeup. I carry two credit/debit cards from my main and secondary bank and my driver’s license in my cellphone wallet and my keys in my pocket. I do have a backpack though, either a small one for my computer glasses and sunshades and misc. stuff or my computer backpack for when I need to WFH after the day at the office or when I’m planning to WFH the next day. Now, of course, I’ve been WFH for 3 weeks straight.

            4. ItHasPockets!*

              Oooh do you have any leggings with pockets or tunics/ dresses with pockets you could recommend?

              1. Employee of the Bearimy*

                I recommend Svaha dresses and leggings. They’re just a bit too casual for me to wear for work on a regular basis, but in the summer I wear them on casual Fridays all the time.

        4. Res Admin*

          I have too. It helps me get into “work” mode when I am dressed work appropriately (albeit a bit more casual that usual).

        5. DataGirl*

          I’ve been making myself shower and dress every morning, even if it’s just leggings/jeans and a t-shirt. I need to keep some sense of normalcy. And I’m not comfortable without a bra of some sort, although I’ve been doing sports bras more often than normal.

    2. Drew*

      Guy here, so the bra/no bra question doesn’t affect me, but my boss asked me today whether I was growing a coronabeard or was just too lazy to shave. I told her I haven’t decided yet.

      1. Amber T*

        The amount of normally-clean shaven colleagues I’ve seen sporting the “why bother” facial hair is quite astounding. Also how rapidly it changes… one coworker (whom I’ve only seen clean shaven) joined our first video call with a full beard and mustache, then shaved completely the next day, then two days later was back to the full beard and mustache.

      2. not that kind of Doctor*

        My husband is growing a “quarantine beard.” He hasn’t decided yet whether it’s more or less hassle than shaving.

      3. Skeetpea*

        I’ve been tempted, but the hair is half-grey while the beard is all-grey so probably not.

      4. Jennifer Juniper*

        Drew, I’d shave if I were you!

        That is an obvious comment on your professionalism formed as a question.

      5. Indigo a la mode*

        I’ve been affectionately referring to these as “plagueoff beards,” a la the NHL tradition of not shaving in the postseason.

    3. Quinalla*

      Hopefully no one did with that many on the call!

      I too have been enjoying not wearing a bra, I’ve only been wearing a sports bra for exercise, otherwise nope. I have missed wearing dressier tops, I might dress up for the virtual happy hour we are having with my family this weekend, might be fun :)

      Most of my calls do not have video anyway as we are usually sharing the screen which goes better without video, but everyone is so dressed down, unshaved, etc. that it is pretty hilarious. Except the president of our company, he can’t help himself and is still dressing in a suit and tie even though our dress code is jeans and business casual top unless you are meeting clients. Some of the old guard including him does not get or like casual dress for work, but luckily they at least get that most of the rest of us love being able to dress more casually or the rest of the old guard has strong-armed them.

      1. not that kind of Doctor*

        My department – accounting – refuses to even turn on video. But you can bet the Marketing team looks turned out!

        1. FloralsForever*

          I, too, am on an accounting and finance team. If they asked for video, I might have to start looking for a new job. (joking but well… LOL)

          But I have never talked so much on the phone in all my life!

    4. Workerbee*

      The following will not work for every person, so please adapt or ignore as you deem necessary.

      I haven’t worn a bra of any kind for at least two years, and an underwire for longer. For me, it was a combo of thinking the bra industry is just like any other and not really in it for me, and that wearing/not wearing does not seem to affect personal elasticity, as it were. Though I also no longer care about ascribing to a single ideal of breastliness, either.

      And I just really, really disliked wearing them.

      I get away with the societally-driven how-could-yous by investing in popover tops—a blouse-like shirt with a floaty layer on top—typically with patterns instead of solid colors to mask the fact that I stick out whether or not the stereotypical “Must be cold out, heh heh” is in the air. (Yes, I’m more than a little weary of artificial expectations, sad old jokes, the lot.)

      For non popovers, I still mostly stick to patterns and pay attention to clinginess factors and fabric. A lot of our clothing is understandably structured to wear a bra beneath.

      As a division from the pattern rule, black button downs actually work for me too, especially if they have chest pockets.

      Dresses can be the easiest in some cases.

      And judicious use of scarves or cardigans, long or short sleeve wraps, and other things you can pin or magnet in place work very well.

      The above might all sound like a lot of effort, but I think it may only be so in the beginning stages. I know what to look for and what not to waste my money on at this stage.

      Kohl’s tends to have a selection of popovers and I just ordered a patterned one last week. Couldn’t resist after being stuck inside. ;)

      1. Mid*

        As much as I dislike wearing a bra, I have some…ahem…body jewelry that makes it VERY obvious when I’m not wearing one, or even when I’m wear an unlined bra, so alas, I have to wear a bra in public. It’s not that I care about people seeing my nipples, it’s more than I don’t want them to know about my choice in piercings.

        1. Dragon_Dreamer*

          I *hate* wearing bras, but at my chest size, I have to. :( No underwires, though! The last one I wore ended up giving me an inch deep puncture. THAT was a fun ER visit to get removed!

      2. fiverx313*

        same really… i hate bras. i wear a sports bra for the gym now (well i did when the gym was open) but that’s it. and i use most of the same strategies.

  87. House Tyrell*

    I’m sure this is too far down for anyone to see, but a coworker didn’t understand her video was still on, brought the phone with the video call on it into the bathroom, set it on the floor propped up against the wall, and dropped her pants to use the restroom… we saw everything and it was so awkward for all!

    1. Another Lurker*

      Wait – really? The video that went viral? You were on that call?

      Or, heaven help us, has it happened more than once?

  88. lmary*

    I was the awkward person on a zoom call. I tried to take off my sweatshirt… and my shirt came along for the ride. Picture that scene in Fleabag, if you’ve seen the show. Luckily I had a sports bra on and I was not the center of attention at that time, so even if anyone saw it wasn’t TOO scandalous. Nonetheless, it was embarrassing and I am glad to not see my coworkers in person for a while.

  89. nm*

    I work and am taking a few courses at a university that has gone online for the semester. We’re using blackboard collaborate for those who are familiar. It turns out that when a professor is screensharing, *everyone* in the call has access to a “stop screen sharing” button. One of the students saw this button, and understandably thought “oh, this means I must have started sharing MY screen by accident. I will stop that now” and pressed the button. This closed the whole session and app, and the professor lost the unsaved notes he was writing on his tablet as well! We all became more careful where we click once we realized that could happen!

  90. Catabodua*

    We did a group Zoom “happy hour” last Friday, where a co-worker decided it was the best time to eat hard granola-ish cereal while not muting himself.

    I finally asked him to mute, he asked why, and I said I’m not interested in hearing you slurp up your cereal.

    He seemed surprised, and then suddenly shut off his camera.

    1. Catabodua*

      Oops – hit enter too soon – So, he turned the camera off, but still didn’t mute himself.

      Another co-worker then semi-yelled “X, MUTE YOURSELF!!”

      I couldn’t help but laugh. It was like a toddler thinking because he closes his eyes you can’t see him during hide and seek.

  91. Flying Fish*

    I’m doing telemedicine visits.

    During one visit I coughed.

    My patient jumped and recoiled in horror before it registered that they could not catch anything from me.

    1. TiffIf*

      I was reading a book the other day and it mentioned tens of thousands of people streaming through a reception hall and I immediately recoiled in horror, and the realized–oh right this is a book, that takes place on a fictional planet in a galaxy far far away. No one is going to contract Coronavirus.

    1. Nancie*

      If anyone surprise-demanded video on a call, they’d get an eye full of my rainbow-panda kigu. Though it’ll be too warm for it soon.

  92. Djuna*

    I mentioned this here before I think, but my cat (Bodie) has developed a tactic for ending meetings. If he thinks they’re going on too long and I make the mistake of talking, he jumps into my lap and very deliberately puts his paw over my mouth.

    This has now happened so often that people are using it as a signal to end meetings. My boss ended a team meeting as soon as she saw him migrate from my shoulder to my lap, “Uh-oh, Bodie thinks this meeting should be over!”

    His other favorite place to hang out is inside my hoodie while I’m wearing it, zipped in with his head poking out. This makes him very happy and people think it’s cute (because it is!) but also gives him easier access to deploy paw-over-mouth silencing. Between that and him stealing my chair every time I stand up, I can’t win!

    1. Miraculous Ladybug*

      Bodie knows that the most effective meetings don’t drag on! I feel like he deserves a promotion.

    2. BrightLights*

      Bodie is my favorite.

      My cat, affectionately known as Moose as he’s enormous, tends to join calls around 1 or 2 PM. Most of the time he just sits nicely. Sometimes he orients himself so that my coworkers can admire his spectacular pantaloons and tail. And sometimes, like today, he decides that it’s his turn to sit on the warm place, and hits F5 on my keyboard so that the MS Teams app refreshes and I get kicked out of the call.

  93. I'm Over It*

    We have one team member who has a reputation for being…. I don’t know, words aren’t coming to mind. I’ll just describe the latest episode:

    On a Zoom call. We all have video on. Nuttyducky (named changed) knew he was on video, as he had explicitly said something along the lines of “oh good my webcam is working, hi everybody”. In the middle of the meeting, he pulls his t-shirt up to his nose and wipes his nose on his t-shirt. Then, he stuffs the shirt up both nostrils with his fingers and really gets up in there. Then, he pulls the shirt out to reveal two wet spots from said nostrils. So at that point, he reaches up and rubs at the wet spots with his palm, all over his chest. Then he continues to just sit there saying “yep” and “sure that sounds good” as though nothing was amiss.

    But you know what, considering some of the things this guy has done/said in the past, I’m relieved that’s as bad as it’s gotten. He’s the one we’re all expecting to show up naked, then share his screen to reveal a porn site. It’s bound to happen sooner or later with this guy.

    1. I'm Over It*

      Oh, and I thought I should point out – this guy’s in his late 50s. Old enough to know better.

      1. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

        I think anyone old enough to be hired without running afoul of child labor laws should know better than to use the shirt you’re wearing for nasal adventures in public. That seems like the kind of thing that you’d get told not to do during your single-digit-age years.

  94. Raquel*

    I have 4 kids & husband is on calls all day. Here are a few “favorite” moments from the past week:
    – 14 yr old yelling I AM THE PENIS MASTER at his twin brother in the background & bonking him on the head with a dog toy while husband was presenting
    – we’re potty training our 2 yr old & I was in the middle of washing out a particularly awful poo. I was also mildly hungover & started retching
    loudly while I was washing up in the sink outside husband’s office oblivious to husband presenting to his 2 teams. He quickly got off the call but not before he heard the overseas team asking if everything was alright (my bad)
    – 14 yr old twins decided to “surf” down the stairs on a large cardboard box & loudly slam into a wall. Husband’s office is under the stairs and he was understandably annoyed at the noise during a call where a colleague was resigning

    1. Blueberry*

      Oh no! I am simultaneously sympathetic and laughing my head off. I have one 14 year old in the house, I can’t even imagine trying to deal with two at once.

  95. DAMitsDevon*

    We were doing an office hours session by Zoom for the agencies we work with last Friday. I guess someone wanted to log into the session, but wasn’t home yet, because we heard a lot of noise coming from one of the people in the session and I saw someone getting on a bike, and then starting to ride the bike before they realized they weren’t on mute and on camera. They muted and shut off their video after about 30 seconds, but I don’t think Zooming and biking is the safest thing? Luckily, they did not get hurt, and turned their camera back on about 15 minutes later when they were back at home.

  96. LunaMei*

    My coworkers keep getting treated to whatever randomness comes out of my child’s mouth. Today she let everyone know that she “tooted” several times. She always waits until I have to say something and unmute my mic.

  97. Pyjamas*

    This was me. My “significant other” was teaching his first online class at the age of 65 and I was acting as his unpaid tech assistant. I logged into the class session in case there were any boondoggles, and was listening on audio with my mike muted. Meanwhile I started scanning a chapter from a required text, which the students had purchased but had left in their dorms when they left for their spring break and were unable to retrieve because vid19. Well, I had to disembowel that textbook to get a good scan and I was literally wrestling with Dickens (a scholarly edition), pulling the pages out of the glue binding. It took some force and I must have been grunting because one of the students piped up to say there was feedback issues with my
    mike. Somehow I’d turned the mute off and hadn’t noticed. Heaven knows that they thought I was up to, grunting and muttering to myself. So mortifying. Meanwhile my SO has taken to online classes like a duck to water.

  98. TheOtherMother*

    I was on a large Zoom meeting (over 200 people) last week where everyone was muted but cameras were showing everyone unless they blocked their camera. At one point one person’s significant other walked into the room for a chat then the two kissed right in front of the camera.
    Immediately, after that happened, the person running the meeting changed the settings so that only the hosts slide show could be seen. I prefer this anyway. Unless it’s a group meeting where everyone is expected to participate, there is no reason to have settings on that shows everyone’s face and what they are doing while listening.

  99. Cake Wad, Professional Social Distancer*

    I’m on a Zoom meeting right now with someone whose video background is a photo of the toilet paper aisle at the supermarket.

  100. Constance Lloyd*

    We had a company wide meeting with HR and an exec from a company we were merging with. Someone wasn’t muted, so a woman kept reminding everyone in the chat box to mute their mics, but the background noise persisted. We trudged along, until about 10 minutes into New Exec’s speech when we learned the person with their mic on was that same woman… when she declared to someone nearby, “WOW. He is just a GOD AWFUL presenter.”

  101. Massive Dynamic*

    Oh well this is timely. My “office” is my kitchen table at the moment and I just got a work call, which I stepped away to take quickly so as to not interrupt my seven-year-old’s school zoom meeting going on right next to me. But I momentarily forgot about the giant hole in my sweatpants and totally just flashed all those kids my underwear.

      1. Massive Dynamic*

        Yes, I strive to maintain a minimum dress code standard in these troubled times, albeit a low standard!

  102. Pobody’s Nerfect*

    Two of my coworkers on video conference regularly pick and wipe their noses and rub their eyes about a dozen times per hour. I just want to scream at them “have you not heard that you’re not supposed to be touching your nose and eyes?!!” It’s disgusting.

  103. Dragon_Dreamer*

    Not work call related, but webcam. I ordered a webcam at the beginning of the month, before the price gouging started. It shipped Friday. Tuesday, while I was home, I got a notification saying that it had been delivered, and “handed directly to a resident.” Problem was, no one had even approached the driveway.

    (Background side note, I’ve been having Issues with packages with my name on them getting mis-delivered by Amazon Logistics since I reported a driver in 2018. I caught her throwing my packages out of her truck window. Everyone *else’s* packages get delivered safely. I’ve taken to putting my mother’s name on all Amazon packages, but I forgot this time.)

    Yesterday, after I’d put in yet another complaint about the driver to Amazon, and was despairing of ever finding another webcam for $40 any time soon, there was a knock on the door. It was one of our neighbors who lives about 1/4 mile away, and in her hands was an opened Amazon package. It seems that the driver had handed MY package to her teenage son! The kid had decided to try and hide it, but was quickly caught. He had no good answer when she asked him where it had come from, and then she found the shipping packaging in his room.

    So now I have my webcam (undamaged, yay) and I’m pretty sure that kid is grounded for a LONG time. I hope the driver gets in trouble, too. I did let Amazon know what happened and asked them to reverse the refund.

    1. Dragon_Dreamer*

      And thankfully I was able to use it today, too! MUCH easier to show my professor my work in real time so I can correct mistakes, than have to scan, email, wait, then scan again.

  104. Colin*

    We have a monthly Town Hall that all employees call into lead by our CEO. This was done over Zoom for all employees, and 100+ people were on the call. Folks are expected to mute themselves and are not muted automatically.

    The meeting started at noon, and our CEO started saying she was going to give folks a few more minutes to join. About a minute into the meeting, while we are waiting, another person joins. Because she did not automatically mute herself, she appeared on everyone’s screen. She was joining the call from a cell phone and she first sets the cell phone down on the table and then says “Yeah, I’m on mute so don’t worry”. She starts off pretty relaxed saying “oh yeah, I have this meeting for my job.” Someone off camera asks “are you sure you’re on mute?” and she responds yes.

    At this point, people start to pipe in telling the person that, in fact, she is not on mute. But she can’t hear us, or doesn’t’ know we are talking to her.

    She then proceeds to go on a profanity-filled rant about the company to someone off-camera, claiming that working at the job is a F%#$ing nightmare, and that she was going to f%$#ing quit. People on the call are now FRANTICALLY telling this person that she is not on mute. She then comes back to her phone, looks at it, and says “yeah, its definitely on mute”, and walks away again. People continue to scream “please mute yourself” until finally she seems to get that she wasn’t on mute.

    She just clicked mute very nonchalantly and turned off her camera. I’m not sure if she just didn’t care, or if she thought maybe we only heard background noise and not, what I imagine to be, her resignation speech!

  105. Introvert girl*

    We have a video chat 3 times a week. My dog started joining me on these calls. After a while he’s become part of the team. Two other dogs of other teammembers started to join us as well. Every time we have a call, I’m always curious about who will join next. Will it be a cat or a hamster?

  106. Introvert girl*

    My dog is joining me for my therapy video chats. This actually makes me more comfortable to speak with her. This week her cat decided to join us.

  107. Pathfinder Ryder*

    My manager’s four-year-old daughter comes and joins him sometimes, sitting quietly next to him and occasionally whispering to him – he’s introduced “my team” to her and we’ve all waved merrily. Yesterday she was in a Tinkerbell costume :)

  108. Jules the Goblin*

    My company already has a lot of remote workers, and the switch to 99% of us being remote hasn’t been too bad. There have been the typical audio snafus like someone eating cereal and not muting their mic, kids chattering, piano lessons in the background, etc, but it’s all been pretty tame.

    Thankfully we don’t have many video conference calls, except my final meeting of the day where for some reason the VP of Ops likes to be on video. Everyone else has kind of taken this as an unspoken request to be on camera, so I just have to make sure my hair and clothing are presentable by 3pm :P

  109. BrightLights*

    Simultaneously awkward and amusing: my coworker’s two children, ages 5 and 3, streaking stark naked through her house, screeching about doing the “nakie dance.”

    Awkward because I felt for her in that moment, but hilariously funny. Because that’s what happens when you work from home and you have a 3 year old and a 5 year old.

    (Most of my company works remotely regardless of what’s going on in the world, so this was pre-COVID – the kids were supposed to be getting dressed for school.)

  110. char*

    Less awkward and more funny: one of my coworkers has a webcam with some sort of feature that lets it automatically track faces, with the result that the camera zooms in and out dramatically every time he moves. His status updates have become very cinematic!

  111. qvaken*

    My manager asked each member of the team to move our camera around and show her our work-from-home set up. Each of us took turns showing our keyboards, monitors, chairs, and so on. One of my teammates unintentionally showed her large and impressive alcohol collection that she appears to keep within reach of her desk. We’re an easygoing group, so we all had a good laugh about that one.

    1. Sally*

      Some of the people at my job have posted photos of their WFH setups on Yammer, but I share my office with my friend who is a music teacher, so it’s crowded in here. I decided not to show everyone my setup, so I would not like it if a manager sprung that on us during a video call!

    2. BrightLights*

      A former colleague who’s since moved to another area of the business had deliberately set up his home office within reach of the bar. Hanging on the wall behind him was an art print of a whiskey glass.

      I miss that man.

  112. Rev Helga*

    My favorite video right now is the video of pastor trying to do a virtual church service Nd his cat starts drinking the water and knocks over the communion cup.

  113. LMM*

    Worst I ever saw was a woman who spilled water on her shirt and then, apparently unaware that she was on video, whipped off the shirt and changed it. She was not wearing anything underneath it.

  114. Jake*

    A VP at my company, in a meeting with a pretty big client turned to his wife and said, “this is the biggest waste of my f’ing time.”

    It got very silent for a few seconds, and the client took it like a champ and pretended it never happened as I was texting him asking him to stop as quickly as I could.

  115. MissAgatha*

    My boss was doing a training on Teams. He was also recording it for posterity, so untold generations will get to see his 5 year old run up and wave a hot dog in his face toward the end of the video. :-D

  116. Womens Rea*

    Oh man I hope I’m not too late for this! So, a couple of years back Former Job was having a conference call, with video, with the entire staff. One staff member was traveling and was clearly giving her presentation from bed. Not super professional, but not terrible. After she finished presenting she put herself on mute, stood up, and took off the covers to answer someone at the door. At this point she accidentally revealed that SHE WAS NOT WEARING PANTS OR UNDERWEAR – and the entire staff could see that on screen. I was totally shocked and totally embarrassed for her. I’m pretty sure she didn’t realize it happened because no one ever spoke to her about it.

    Also last week on a staff meeting at New Job, someone (on audio only) was peeing during her presentation. In conclusion, don’t forget your pants, y’all.

  117. There’s probably a cat meme to describe it*

    On the person who fell asleep (https://www.askamanager.org/2020/03/gross-webcam-behavior-leaning-on-coworkers-for-emotional-support-and-more.html#comment-2905716):

    For effect, I’ll add that the 300-seat auditorium immediately descended into a susurrus of outrage and stifled laughter, smattered with a pinch of panicked texters and people suddenly leaving the room to make urgent phone calls (colleagues of Ms Dozer, trying to get her attention… to little avail… ‘cause… she be nappin’).

    Throughout all that, the CEO just ploughed on through their dry, boring AF presentation, totally oblivious to the Real Feels playing out on the enormous screen behind them – while also incidentally demonstrating their degree of talent for ‘reading the room’.

    To be fair, being stuck in that room for an hour was like being a Labrador in a drought, forcibly inhaling a cardboard box of stale shortbread. So I still applaud Ms Dozer for living her best life and opting out.

  118. JessicaTate*

    I’m late to this, but… I was on a large group meeting discussing response to the Covid-19 crisis, and one very smart and competent woman in the group had just finished up saying something very cogent about the current topic. And just as she reached for the mute button, we see a toddler come rushing up to her and shout with joy, “Mommy, I pooped!!” I roared with laughter. It was perfect.

  119. Teach*

    I am a fourth grade teacher. I am holding online “office hours” 9-11 daily and many students are logging in for the entire time just for the company, I think. One day at 11:55 I get a notification that a new student is logging in. It’s actually his mom, holding her phone. She is still in bed. She is wearing a nighty. It has slipped down. Her entire breasts are visible – nipples and all. I don’t think she knows we can see her. There are about ten other kids logged in, but they probably won’t see or notice if they don’t click on her thumbnail. How to let her know without getting their attention…. I just froze. White knuckled it until 10:59:59 and then closed the room as fast as I could. I haven’t heard about it so I think no one saw but me……

  120. Scarrie Fisher*

    I am guilty of being weird on a Zoom call—but not inappropriate. I recently (and suddenly/unexpectedly) got promoted and put in a different department. I know a few of the people already but it’s actively growing and there are several new team members. So, obviously, we must do icebreakers. We did breakout rooms and had to show our group the thing in our house getting us through quarantine and when it was my turn I said, “I’m sorry, but I am just incapable of doing these in earnest, so I will show you the weirdest thing in my house.” And then I proceeded to walk across the room and brought my…. baby mannequin into frame and introduced him to everyone.

    1. Fluff*

      I love this. Off to find the weirdest thing in my house. Now how to apply this to in person ice breakers….hm…

  121. Fleasus*

    A few months ago, while I was in the middle of a video call with several senior leaders and one of my company VPs, my daughter burst into the room, completely naked, jabbering excitedly. She was very much in view of the camera; I don’t think I’ve ever switched off my video feed faster. Either nobody noticed or they felt bad for me and have never mentioned it. But at the time I was mortified

  122. winter*

    In a company-wide meeting someone started making very… interesting sounds. I saw who it was because I was just scrolling through the attendees to mute any disturbances. Another colleague identified it as working out, which was kind of a relief.

  123. Fluff*

    Late but recent – I work in healthcare and I am often talking to myself to work things out in my brain – lots of logistics, ventilators, etc. I was on a webex with a group of nurses, docs, and we were discussing ventilators (breathing machines). Not realizing that I was actually talking to other people my kid walks by, rips the loudest fart and yells “ventilate that!” while doing a butt shake. OMG I wanted to die. Lots of laughter. I have heard that this phrase is now being used throughout the wards. And yes, that would be my prissy daughter who parked that now infamous fart.

  124. Yes I am that old*

    Mine is from a long time ago, back in the 1990s. I worked in a remote design office and we had a weekly video call with the main office. Now recall that this is 1990s video tech: poor quality, no graphics, screen share not yet invented, etc. It was a special box sitting on top of a TV pointed at our conference table. Our office layout had separate offices and the conference table was in the common area outside the offices. The meetings were usually rather boring and we would have preferred to stay in our offices working – but, video.

    One week we got this bright idea… someone brought in a Polaroid camera and took a picture of all of us sitting at the conference table from the point of view of the video box. Then we got a stick and tape and carefully mounted the photo in front of the video camera. The meeting began, we turned up the volume so we could hear from the offices, and we waited for them to notice. They never did!

  125. Princess Scrivener*

    Also late, finding it hard to keep current on AAM. We have regular team zoom updates for morale, and we sang “happy birthday” to a teammate and ended up cry-laughing. All our internet speeds are different, so we had almost a dozen versions of the song in hilarious NON-unison.

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