I haven’t done one of these posts in years. Honestly, I thought I had covered every aspect on how to be a decent human being. Like, you could read my posts and be the most thoughtful person on Earth, if you remember the steps.
Then today, I received a Teams meeting planner…for today….at lunch….and it ran over by 15 minutes. I have written in the past how seriously I take my feeding times (aka breakfast, lunch and dinner). I approach chow time with the same intensity of getting a suspicious mole looked at. If you interrupt the nourishing process, you run the risk of a throat punch, a life-threatening wound or both. I wish I wasn’t like this, but I am.
It was after that (and on my way to order a 36″ Jersey Mikes sub) I thought that there are a lot of ways you can be rude on Teams. Now that so many people work from home and use Teams, I thought it might be helpful to go over what you should and shouldn’t do. Let’s get started.
Don’t Call Someone on Teams Just Because They Messaged You
I use to get up, shower, do my hair and makeup and be ready to roll on Teams. Now I’m lucky to brush my teeth and run a comb through my hair. What I’m saying is, I don’t want people to see me look like death so please don’t call me. If you do, please know I’m not turning on my camera and that’s so you don’t have to endure my mug at 9 am.
Don’t Expect People to be on Camera
Similar to the above, just because you love seeing yourself on camera doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same. Give them the option to only have their audio on. This is especially true on days I have enough baggage under my eyes to go to travel to Europe.
How to Look Better on Teams
In my opinion, not only does the Teams Camera make you look heavier, but it ages you by about 100 years. There are times I’ve hung up and said to myself,
“Dear God girl, you need some Botox or something!”
I decided to do something about it. I bought an inexpensive selfie light to clip onto my laptop. Then I bought a laptop stand to elevate my laptop/camera so it was looking down on me. That’s a far better angle for you in lieu of looking down, into the camera, sporting 5 chins. You’re welcome.
Mute Yourself, Especially in Large Meetings
There have been a few times people have forgotten to mute themselves. This has been especially evident when they’re in the office and you can hear everything around them. I don’t know if they just forget or leave the mic on, just in case they want to talk.
Don’t Say Negative Things Only to Discover You Forgot to Mute Yourself
Similarly to the last one, just don’t say things that you wouldn’t share with everyone. This is a good habit to get in to, should you forget to mute yourself. If someone says something dumb, don’t say it was dumb out loud; keep that shit in your head. I am notorious for talking to myself and letting myself know how dumb something just was. I once called someone a dumb ass under my breath and thank God I said it low enough because I had forgotten to mute myself.
Keep Your Teams Profile Picture Classy
A person I used to work with had his profile picture of him clearly in a bar, holding a beer. Another chic used what could only be described as a glamour shot with too much cleavage. I’m not saying you have to stand in front of an American flag like a U.S. senator for a professional photo shoot but make sure you’re not holding a red solo cup at girls night. Also, don’t use your children or pets as your profile pic.
If it’s brought to your attention that no one can hear you, like you’re fading in and out, don’t:
A. Continue to talk as if it’s everyone else’s problem, not yours.
B. Not move to another room, disconnect, etc. The point is this: don’t continue with the same connection, thinking it will improve. It won’t and you’re annoying people.
Read the Room
If at the end of a meeting, the meeting leader asks if anyone has questions, you’re allowed 1 brief question, that’s it. Don’t be that person that holds everyone up on the call because you have 25 questions. More importantly, before asking your question, ask yourself if it would be beneficial for the group as a whole or it’s just your own curiosity.
With all my “How to be a Decent Human Being” dissertations, the overall theme is self-awareness. In my opinion, oblivious people are the absolute worse and usually makes life for everyone around them a pain. Just be mindful of your fellow humans.