Not sure if I've mentioned before, but I hate conference calls. Ninety-five percent of the time they are a complete waste of time, and even when useful information is shared, I'd still prefer an e-mail exchange because then you have a record of it. I specify useful information because I don't really care what the weather is like in New York today or what someone I've never met in person is doing this weekend.
The worst thing about conference calls is the beginning. I don't know if it's just my company, but every call I'm on starts with roll. I have to admit even when there are four people on a call I detest saying, "Hi it's Amy" after a moment of pause in hopes that noone will talk over me. But on calls with more than 10 people I think roll should be outlawed. It takes forever and is absolute insanity. An experience I had last week:
Me: Hi this is Amy
Call leader: Great, hi Dave.
Me: Amy from Internet Marketing is here.
Leader: Hi Jennifer, and did someone else join?
Me: Amy? From Internet Marketing?
Leader: Hello Angela, how are you?
Well, I didn't really hang up, but I wanted to... "Leaders" who habitually squawk, "Hi who else joined?" should be barred from organizing calls - or fired. Ten minutes into the call we haven't gotten anywhere and I want to crawl under my cubicle and cry.
I'd really rather not talk on the phone ever because I sound like a 12-year-old, both in terms of voice and ability to put coherent thoughts together. I'd much rather take the time to write an e-mail and then proofread several times to decrease the chance of sounding like an idiot. Now why can't the business world adapt to my special needs? Is that too much to ask??