Daily Archives: August 13, 2020

A Virtually Impossible Meeting (Covid Story #8)

woman having video call
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

Hello, Tessa!

Hey, Allen! How’s it going?

Great! How are you doing?

I’m doing all right. Just a lot going on.

I know. So… is everybody all right? I mean, there?

Yeah. Why?

You, uh… have your face mask on.

Oh, that. Damn. I just came from the store. It’s gotten to the point that I get confused. It’s like—am  I in a… well… friendly environment? OR am I in enemy territory?

Enemy territory?

Yeah, I don’t mean, like, people are in the produce aisle hiding behind fake plants while they’re wearing combat helmets. I just mean, you know, things are crazy!

Yeah, I get it.

Where is everybody? I thought this was a mandatory meeting.

It is. As was the meeting this morning at 10:00 a.m., the meeting at 11:30, then the lunch meeting. Yep, mandatory.

Hey, Allen! Tessa! What’s up?

Not much, Dan. What’s that behind you?

That’s my background, boss. You like it?

What is it? It looks like some kind of ship from outer space.

Yeah, Tessa. It’s a new feature. It’s called Beam Me Up, Scotty. Where is everybody? Hey, I hear Newman wrote an OpEd for the paper. It’s called: Why a Pandemic Now?

What does that mean, exactly?

Well, Allen, I guess he’s pissed. His wedding is on hold, his cruise is on hold, and his sewer backed up costing him a fortune.

What’s his sewer got to do with anything?

Nothing, Tessa. He’s just pissed so he’s blaming everything that’s happening on the present situation.

They’re not printing his article, are they?

Yeah, Allen, I guess they are. The paper said they needed a different slant on all the bad news. I don’t think HE meant for the column to be funny, but the editors thought it was a scream.

That’s great. All the shit going on right now and Newman is complaining about his sewer and a cruise he can’t take.

Well, Tessa, you might do the same if—

Hey, you guys! Where is everybody?

Hey, Heather. See you made it back in to work, today.

What are you talking about, Dan?

Well, last night at Vanity Bar and Grill? You were a little… crazy.

Okay everyone. I think we have enough staff to start the meeting. Dan, do you have those numbers—

Hey everybody! How’s it going?

Hello, Sam. We were just getting started.

Hey, sorry. I had a meeting that went a little longer than it should have. Have I missed anything?

Just the fact that Heather is here after—

Dan was about to—Dan? Where did he go? He literally just said something to you, Heather.

I don’t know, Allen, but I think I see little green men going into his spaceship. Maybe he was abducted.

Not funny, Tessa. Okay…  We’ll just move on. Tessa, please report on your findings regarding—

Well, Allen, my most recent report indicates—

Okay, okay, sorry. Wait, I’m not sorry. Jesus! Have you ever been in a conference with that guy Carter? He’s from the Omaha office. He can drone on and on…

Hello Matt. We were just going over Tessa’s report. Tessa? Can you continue?

I don’t have a copy of the agenda. You never sent it to me. Wait, found it! Sorry, I threw it in the Amalgamated Products File – that agenda was lame.

Tessa, for some reason you’ve changed over to mute. No one can hear you. I’m pointing to the mute button, do you understand?

Sorry Allen, I haven’t eaten since this morning with all these meetings. My brain is a little foggy. Can you hear me now? I hear some kind of smacking noises.

Sorry, I was hungry. Dashed over to the cabinet and got some chips. We can eat during this meeting, can’t we Allen. You’re not one of those virtual overlords, are you?

Dan, can you stop making those smacking noises? They’re gross!

Where’s Tessa?

Sorry, I grabbed a protein bar out of the cabinet. Dan’s making me hungry with his chips.

Dan, you’re back. Can we go back to your numbers on the… Cynthia, when did you load in? Is that a cat?

Yes! This is Horatio! Say hi Horatio!

Cynthia, please stop waving the cat’s paw and put him down for a minute.

OMG! Who’s that?

What? What? What?

Did anyone just see that Chat Box text? The one that says it’s time to party?

Wait! Did you see that? Who is that guy?

I don’t know, but what is he wearing?

A mask. A real honest to goodness mask! Like Batman or something! And a cape!

Okay, okay.  Apparently, we’ve been Virtually Bombed. Hey, whoever you are, you need to leave.

I’ve got this, Allen. Just give me a second, dude. I have my mouth full of chips. There… –Hey, fella, I just took your photo. You’re toast. I just happen to have advanced face recognition skills on this baby.

Sorry, Allen, I have to get the door. There’s a package of frozen tilapia from that really good market along the coast and if I don’t get it—

Go ahead, Matt. Get your tilapia.

Dan! I’ve made you a sandwich!

You’re living with your mom?

Yeah, why, Heather?

So, that’s why you left Vanity early. Your mom gave you a curfew!

That’s not why I left early. I had an early morning today. Needed to be at about two dozen meetings starting at 7 am.

Is that someone cutting your hair, Sam?

Yeah, I asked my hairdresser to stop by. Sorry, Allen, I had to grab an appointment with her whenever I could. She’s really popular right now.

Okay. We were discussing Dan’s numbers. And Tessa, you are up after Dan with your report. Heather, are you on another meeting right now?

Umm. Not sure what you mean, Allen.

You have one of those decorative mirrors behind you. I can see your propped up I-Pad.

Oh, that? You’re right. That’s just a meeting for “Marvelous Yummy Gourmet.”

“For what?”

Marvelous Yummy Gourmet! Geez! Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of them? They are only the fastest growing prepared food product distributorships in the whole world! I’m a dealer. I have parties? So, we are having our weekly regional meeting right now and—

Shut it down.

Shut it down? Allen, I can’t just leave my team hanging!

Heather, close your I-Pad now or—Whoever is sitting right by a train right now, can you mute your computer?

Oh, sorry it’s me! I just moved and I live by trtpgbmlkjwzx…

Okay, I can’t understand anything you’re saying. Mute your button, man!

Hey, Allen? I have another meeting in about five minutes. Can we speed this up?

Yeah, me too, Allen.

Allen, my mom thinks you’re cute.

Okay. Let’s reschedule.