Hi, can we set up a team meeting for Wednesday?
Sure, Zoom, Teams, Skype, Cisco Webex, BlueJeans Meetings, or that one that the company installed yesterday that nobody knows how to work?
No, wait, that’s been buggy lately – how’s about Zoom?
Elizabeth doesn’t know how to use Zoom.
And on we go until a platform is decided upon.
Then the meeting starts and inevitably goes something like this:
Sorry Elizabeths of the world, I’m not singling you out. Your name just happened to be on the meme.
Even if everyone can see and hear each other, and manages to make it through the meeting without doing something embarrassing, there’s a chance that it’s going to drag on, which is somehow worse than when you’re stuck around a boardroom table.
Then there are the utterly pointless meetings that gathered you all together to discuss something that could have been dealt with via email.
Enter Zoom Escaper, a new app that allows you to exit meetings by creating fake sounds.
The Guardian explains that it’s a tool that plays sounds so unbearable that the other people on the call will be begging you to get offline.
“My hope with Zoom Escaper is that people use it to escape Zoom calls and do less work,” says Sam Lavigne, the app’s creator.
“I’ve been thinking about how sabotage might work in a digital context, especially one where the means of production are also personal devices that mediate your social life.”
The app provides you with a library of irritating sounds so that you can curate your exit.
It can replicate the sound of a bad connection – like a modern day, tech upgrade of the old “rustle a sweet wrapper against the receiver” trick – only, instead of fake static sound, this is all broken-up words and incomprehensible speech.
Some are more customarily frustrating sounds, like an echo you can’t get rid of, making you sound like you’re stuck in a time warp, annoying everyone on the video call who can no longer understand you and want to know whether you are, in fact, Zooming while stuck in a well.
You can also imitate those endless Zoom fails that we’ve been reading about by making it sound like you’re on the loo. That’s, unfortunately, the only truly revolting sound, although if there had been others, it might have offered Jeffrey Toobin an alibi.
Here’s a tutorial from Lavigne:
If you’re keen to leave in a way that is not only encouraged by your coworkers but also elicits their sympathy, there’s the disturbing sound of a man crying loudly in the background.
While it won’t work on the myriad other apps out there, it’s a start.
Just push to meet on Zoom and you’re on your way.
Give Elizabeth a private tutorial, if you have to.
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