Are You On Mute? Why The Hell Not?

Here are the Top Five reasons I swear by Mute during conference calls. In my experience, it is better to fumble to unmute and apologize politely, “Oh sorry, I was on mute,” than to recover from one of these.

1. Less is more Listen and think before you speak. On conference calls, we tend to talk over one another completely missing the other’s point. “Sorry, you go.” “No, what were you saying?” It can turn into an awkward virtual wave off at a four-way stop; the only possible outcome is a verbal collision. Wouldn’t it be great to be asked once in awhile what you thought instead?

2. Semi-automatic Phalanges We are all guilty of multi-tasking, but you don’t have to showcase your typing prowess. There have been times it seemed as though I had a front row seat to a Manpower typing test (I think you know who you are!). Do they still even do those? If so, I can’t help but wonder what my WPM would be these days.

3. Food Glorious Food Seems a tad unprofessional to hear the beep of the microwave as last night’s spaghetti reheats, to be talking with a mouthful, or experiencing a food orgasm during a lunch hour call. Also not the best idea to leave them to wondering if the Diet Coke you just cracked open is actually a “cold one” with its expressive hiss of CO2 escaping as if to say, “Hey, it is noon somewhere”.

4. Unpredictable Office Mates Mine, George, can go from a dead sleep to a Homeland Security Advisory Red Alert at the distant sound of the UPS truck trundling down the road. Mute is a must in this house, especially around 3 p.m. when my (seemingly daily) parcels arrive. Three cheers for online shopping!

5. Melodic Tourette’s For me just a few spoken words can evoke a Sondheim classic. However, you need to know your audience. Maybe they would prefer my rendition of Chrissie Hynde’s “Back on the Chain Gang.” Better left to wonder, and save if for a night out with friends.

Okay Homies, leave me the reasons you use mute in the comments or tweet your embarrassing/funny stories where you wish you had been on mute #workingfromhomeblog

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