We have this teleconferencing app that announces when someone dials into or out of a meeting. "Hideo has just joined the meeting" the automated robo-voice soothingly declares. It is a bit disruptive though, as the announcement cuts off all conversation in the interim. This is especially so when attendants arrive late or leave early. I usually don't miss a beat when these interruptions occur, but today was different.
I work frequently with a marketer called Hope. When she dropped off of the line to attend another meeting, she had a different effect. "Hope has just left the meeting." Even the robo-voice sounded like it was at the end of its rope. Are things truely Hope-less? Are things so bleak? And must you, auto-attendant, remind me that all we are is Dust in the Wind? I paused mid-sentence and found myself a bit despondent. But then, a colleague IMed me a YouTube video featuring a Indian toddler doing 80's dance moves (think: Breakin' 2; Electric Bugaloo ." Synopsis: A developer tries to bulldoze a community recreation center. The local breakdancers try to stop it). I put the phone on mute, enjoyed a chuckle, and life moved on; despite the fact that all hope had left the meeting.