It could be that what I’m about to write is a repeat of what I wrote a month ago. Too bad. It’s what’s alive.
I’m often a Zoom host on Evolutionary Collective calls. Today there were 24 souls online … and me. It’s a responsibility. People are depending on me to get things right so they can spend a quality thirty minutes with a partner in a breakout room.
The first thing I noticed was that my cursor was sluggish. I needed to take various actions, such as closing the “Screen Share” banner as the call began. It already was taking effort to move the cursor. I remember one time when the cursor wouldn’t move at all and I was left floundering. But that session didn’t have 24 folks waiting to get involved.
The fear started coursing through me but I had a job to do. So what if every move I make with the cursor feels like slow motion? “Produce the result, Bruce.” I could feel my lips tighten as I struggled through this, that and the next thing. But so far so good.
Once the participants are in breakout rooms (which I somehow organized without incident), there’s a sign that shows up onscreen every ten minutes giving new instructions for the next segment. I typed the message a few seconds after the breakout rooms opened and went on to other tasks.
I reopened the message window close to the ten-minute mark to find that my message had disappeared. Not only that but this showed up: “22222222222222222222222222222 …” and it was growing by the second. I went to the end of the 2’s and slammed down the backspace key. Nothing! The 2’s kept zipping madly. I scrolled down to the moving end of the 2’s and tried again. Yes! They started disappearing but there was a long way to go. When they’d all disappeared, I started typing the standard message. I tried inputting “The person just speaking …” but it came out as “Th%% p..9erson *ust s*pe3akin …” Owwie. I erased all that and typed very slowly. The correct message appeared from my fingertips. I clicked “Broadcast” and off it went to the breakouts, about two minutes late. But I did it!
At the twenty-minute mark, I was ready with a new message that I had entered so delicately. And off it went into the rooms. “Ahh … this is working.”
Near the end of the meeting, my job was to paste a web address into the Chat window, so that everyone would have access to it. Before the meeting I had copied it, all set for pasting. But now, when I clicked “Paste”, there was nothing there! I tried to remember the sequence of characters, and started typing. What was supposed to be “https” turned into “httpps” … so no one could click the link and get to where I wanted them to go. But my heart was in the right place.
Actually my heart was in the right place the whole time. And it may very well be that no one on the call noticed anything was amiss. They got to practice with their partner – easy peasy. It was anything but from my end but what counts is their end. Wayda go, Bruce.
P.S. For those who read my post yesterday, still no birdies. But tomorrow is another day.