Driving around my new city last friday night, I stumbled upon a Peace demonstration. Lots of people in Hollywood were standing in the warm night, holding signs and chanting things: PEACE!

There were quiet a lot of people. I thought it was a very nice night for a protest. It really was quite warm and pleasant. There were a lot of kids out.

As I was waiting at a red light, I saw a man dressed as the grim reaper, propping up a protest sign and a scythe.

He had a frightening yellow skull mask over his face: the reaper wants peace!

While I watched him, he brought a lighted cigarette to the mouth hole of his mask and took some long drags.

The irony is unbelievable.

Portrait of the Artist as a Video Conference Administrator – PROLOGUE

Last week, I had a request for a conference. Everyone told me: “Oh, this one has to go well. The new CEO is in it.”


I will make sure it goes well. I called the assistant to ask her what this CEO needed for his call.

Will he have a PowerPoint presentation?
Oh no…

Will he have a telephone conference as part of the video conference?
Oh no…

Are you sure? Even if someone can’t make it, and has to call from their hotel room or something?
Well, let me check…No no…No phone call.

Okay. So I have someone on each site, all there a half hour early. Everything is fine, all is perfect, all is well.

But then the participant walks into NY, and his call drops.

Try to reconnect, it drops again. Bad news.

I get on the phone to call into NY’s room and tell them to dial into the speakerphone in the room.

Just told them the number, barely hung up, and the speakerphone rings. It is someone else, telling us the CONFERENCE CALL NUMBER THAT HAS SUDDENLY BEEN CREATED BY THE LITTLE MISS WHO SWORE WE WOULDN’T NEED ONE!!!

Carp again. Now NY has to have the number. But wait, it’s okay because suddenly they are dialed in.

Someone else brought them the number.

Okay, good, they are finally set up. I double-check to make sure things are fine, he says yes, and I slink away.

I am met immediately by another, completely different fire that needs me to put it out. I forget and leave my cell phone at my desk for a moment. When I realize it’s gone, I freak out, rush to the phone, and sure enough, there’s a voice mail.

I run up to the conference room, to ask what’s wrong. The whole thing has fallen apart and they are now only on the speakerphone.

Ugh. The new CEO, the Chief of staff (my boss’s boss) and the CIO are all in the meeting looking at me with contempt.

They tell me that it’s too late, that nothing can be done.
I slink away again.