I Hate Conference Calls

You hate them? I hate them more.

Wednesday; October 17, 2007 4:08 PM Conference Call on site

OnsiteOK, this one kind of caught me by surprise. A colleague, rather than a client, suggested that we have a call. FFS. This is killing me. They are talking about moving a show from one venue to another. They aren’t sure they are going to do it, they are just talking about it. Then, they want to talk about budget — but they don’t have any drawings.

4:09 PM — the call is starting with a “5 or 10 minute discussion” about the possible venue change.

Sometimes I think people from the west coast speak a different language.

It’s only me and the technical director on the phone, everyone else is at the production company’s office.

4:15 PM — I’m dying here. It’s only been 7 minutes. I feel my life passing before me. They are talking about where they are going to store the lifts. Here we go, now they’re talking about dumpster pickup. I gotta start billing hourly for this. Like $1,000 an hour.

4:18 PM — ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

4:19 PM — I spoke.

4:22 PM — So someone had to run to their cell phone, so we all had to hang up and they’re going to call us back. This conference call is held together by THREE WAY CALLING. How pathetic is that?

4:27 PM — We’re back on.

4:36 PM — I just spoke, a lot.  I liked talking.  The sound of my own voice was addictive, and made me want to talk more.  I kept talking.  I said the same thing two different ways.  I didn’t wait for the comments of others.  Help.  I have become the prototypical conference call participant.  I hate myself.  Maybe I should talk about that on the conference call.  That would make everyone comfortable.


  • kathleen says:

    is that a mandalay bay sign behind you? frank is there tonight for a wireless conference (actually the Luxor), he’ll keep an eye out for you.

    Julian starts Montessori tomorrow b/c he couldn’t handle public school. i couldn’t handle the freaking homework. good times.

  • Ruben Kenig says:

    I like the idea of billing per minute for conference calls. If you set a rate somewhere around $5/minute and let the client know in advance it would all be fair and above board.
    You could IM them an ongoing total at various intervals in the conversation.
    “So far it has cost you $125 to have me listen to you flap your gums.”
    That might focus their minds.

  • Greg says:

    Great idea!

    I had often thought of asking for exponential pricing. The first call is $5, the next call $50, the call after that $500, then $5000. My clients already hate me, how could it make things worse?

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