The pause began about 30 minutes into what was supposed to be an hour-long meeting when Marketing Analyst Elise Hall finished sharing recent trends, but then leafed through some papers as if she had something else to say.
“She just trailed off. At first I thought her video had frozen,” shared assistant manager Corey Bell via a surreptitious text, “By the time we realized she wasn’t going to speak again, we’d been silent for too long to pick the conversation back up organically. Please tell my family I loved them”.
The eGrow team is not used to awkward pauses in person, having unconsciously picked up the habit of going around the table in order. But with meetings happening online and no visual cue to indicate who’s next, participants must now speak voluntarily.
“They’ll sit it out for days waiting for someone else to talk” said intern Carolyn Amos, who replaced her Zoom background with a picture of herself 20 minutes into the call and has spent the last two days playing Animal Crossing, “I’m pretty sure we could shared all the reports on Slack, but Corey thought a meeting would be more efficient”.
The call almost ended 33 hours in as Bell opened his mouth to say that if no one else had anything to add, they may as well get back to work. Unfortunately, lead manager Gianni Salluci tried to say the same thing at the same time, and both reverted to silence rather than talk over each other.
While her colleagues stare dead-eyed into their screens, account manager Jeanne Roberts has attempted to cancel the company’s Zoom subscription in the hopes that they’ll be booted off the call after 40 minutes. But with the subscription paid up until the end of the month, Roberts is considering if she can lure a squirrel in through the window and cook it by setting fire to her office shredder.
At press time, eGrow president John Atwood had yet to notice the awkward pause as he’s been talking uninterrupted for 54 hours on mute.