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In the interest of cultural understanding

Yesterday was the "big day" for football fans - the afternoon England match.

This started while I was in a meeting, a video and teleconference with about 7 people attending, including a rotating roster of people who come in and present to the group.

About 5 minutes before kickoff we finish with person X and then skip ahead to person Z because "everyone who was scheduled to speak in the afternoon has for some reason cancelled." We call person Z to tell him we're starting early and he needs to call in now. On my side, the screen we've had the powerpoint presentation on suddenly gets turned into a live video feed from the soccer field. In the video feed from our office on the other screen, the two people sitting in that room suddenly move much closer to the laptop they've got on the desk. The woman in that room has already told us that people keep walking by and waving to her as they head across the street, that the office is like the Marie Celeste.

The guy finally gets dialled in and proceeds to read every line off of his slides for 20 minutes while my side keeps fidding with the TV (at one point freaking out when the computer goes into sleep mode and the display is suddenly replaced with a picture of a cute white dog), while meanwhile the other people we can see on the conference do a "wave" at the same time we hear loud roaring from the employee lounge outdoors. The whole thing is a huge farce; absolutely nobody is paying attention to the guy making the presentation (and he can't see us.)

The last person to speak is the man we can see on the TV, and I say, "Hey, let's see if we can get through this one quickly." We do his report "by exception" only and finish in five minutes - with no questions from anyone on the line. He runs away, the woman left behind actually reviews the action points from the meeting, then we clear out. I wind up sitting in the lounge where about a hundred employees are gathered watching TV and wind up watching through the end of the game, not realizing there was still almost an hour to go, totally bored 20 minutes before the end. But there, I did actually watch some World Cup. Now I can go back to saying I really don't care about sports - because I well and truly don't - but I did watch for a while. I think I would have gotten lynched if I hadn't, actually, especially five minutes before the end when I desperately wanted to get back to my desk and do something useful.c


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
I also occasionally look at big games partially for the freak-show aspect and partially to see something a large part of the planet finds exciting. I haven't found them very interesting.
Jun. 24th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
the group stage is the one time during the World Cup when the schedule is written well in advance. why wasn't the meeting rescheduled? or is that a cultural difference in itself?
Jun. 24th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC)
Oh they wouldn't dream of rescheduling the meeting. They're very uptight at the post office.
Jun. 24th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
I can't abide the football- a bunch of overpaid bad actors playing one of the least interesting sports (not that many are interesting to watch).

So, I took the opportunity to actually get some work done without excessive amounts of interruptions.

Such a silly national religion here.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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