Working From Home: 35+ Zany Zoom MishapsBy Abigail T
Thanks to the pandemic, everyone’s been working and studying from home for a long while now. A year ago, nobody even knew what a Zoom was, and now we’re using it as a verb. People hop on the Zoom, people are Zooming, people Zoom in with family and friends for a quiz night. With this new adjustment we’ve made to digital meetings and socializing, there are bound to be fails and mishaps. Thankfully, we can always capture these failures on our phones or with the screen record feature on our laptops. Zooms-gone-wrong is the core of pandemic entertainment, and thanks to Twitter, we now have an endless resource of hilarious fails. Scroll on for a good laugh as you join these 45 people on their chaotic Zoom meetings.
Disclaimer: photos used in this article are for illustrative purposes only. They are not in any way associated with the corresponding Tweets or the discussion in the article.
In school, you were never allowed to eat during class. When you reach university, some schools are actually okay with eating during lectures. When you’re taking your lesson from home, though, no one’s there to stop you. Crisps and a beer during Psychology 101? Why not?
Some people just don’t have the decency to mute themselves when they’re eating. It’s unsolicited ASMR that we’re personally not into. To have to listen to someone munching on breakfast during a 9 am class is something everyone can live without.
Zoom meeting schedule
We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve uttered the words “Can you hear me now” on a Zoom meeting this year. A good portion of online meetings is spent waiting for other people to sort out their technical difficulties or trying to fix our own tech issues.
This is honestly a very accurate Zoom meeting rundown. We can’t say online meetings are particularly effective because there are a lot of things that go wrong beforehand and during. All we can’t say is we can’t wait to go back to meeting in person!
It seems like Zoom appeared at the same time the coronavirus did. Before then, we’d been using Skype and FaceTime for all our video calls. Zoom does take a bit of getting used to, and it can get pretty awkward when you’re left in a meeting room with another person…
You would think the big red button that says “Leave Meeting” is obvious enough, but when you’re in a panic, you won’t notice it until it’s too late. We’ve been there before—awkwardly smiling, slightly sweating as our eyes scan the screen for the exit button.
A virtual lie
One feature of Zoom much appreciated by many is the ability to use a virtual background. It fools people into thinking that you have your life together and live in a really swanky place. But more importantly, it just hides the pile of dirty clothes on your bed in the background.
The thing with virtual backgrounds is that sometimes your fingers can slip and accidentally deactivate it. It also just follows movement as detected by the camera. Sometimes if you shift too quickly, the background can disappear and reveal the lie you’ve been trying to hide.
It being the 21st century and whatnot, we’re really witnessing a rise of the machines. Zoom isn’t the only thing we’ve adjusted to. Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and other smart home devices have enabled us to live in a world that was once only described in science fiction.
Imagine the horror! These devices really have a way of making you feel like you’re not alone, and not in a good way. This person is living in a sci-fi meets horror reality, and we sincerely hope they’re doing okay.
This is our number one nightmare: saying something when our mic is still on. It’s become a genuine phobia now, and whenever we need to mute ourselves in a call, we would double and triple-check that we are indeed muted before saying anything.
In a regular in-person class setting, this girl may still be heard and called out by the teacher. At least in a Zoom class, she can quickly apologize and leave the meeting without having to be berated any further!
The struggles of WFH
WFH is now an abbreviation we’re all too familiar with. As we’ve all discovered in 2020, Working From Home isn’t as exciting and relaxing as it sounds. There are so many other factors around us that make working from home extra challenging, depending on what we actually do for a living
The first day of WFH already proved to be difficult for this dad. Power issues are inconvenient because it also messes with the internet connection. If you’re a teacher and you have to pre-record lessons, the sound of construction outside can be an annoying hindrance. And, of course, while you love your daughter, her intruding in meetings is never a good look.
Laced up from the waist up
Us ordinary folks aren’t the only ones having to adjust to pandemic living. Celebrities are also taking meetings and doing talk show appearances over Zoom. Seth Rogen is just one of the many celebs who has taken to Twitter for a little Zoom meeting confession.
We immediately retweeted this because same. If you’re reading this and saying that you’ve never taken a Zoom meeting laced up from the waist up, you’re lying! You’re probably dressed in a suit from the waist up and in boxer shorts from the waist down right now.
No one’s gonna see
Hands up, who here has rolled out of bed and straight into a Zoom meeting during the pandemic? If your hand’s not in the air, you’re lying. One of the perks of online meetings is not having to dress up for anyone because everyone knows you’re at home.
Sometimes you’re so comfortable at home you forget that you’re still presenting yourself to actual people on the other side of the screen. It actually does test society’s standard on what is considered to be presentable. As long as you’re up and ready and can deliver good work, does it really matter if you didn’t cover that zit on your nose?
High school reunions are awkward in person. We don’t know why this person decided to attend a reunion over Zoom. Being quarantined is truly making people desperate for human connection. Where’s the escape button? Oh right, you can just leave the meeting.
Imagine having not met a group of people for a decade and then suddenly being forced into a Zoom room with them. Awkward lulls in the conversation are worse over video calls than they are in person. This sounds like an awful situation, and we hope this person removed himself from it immediately because we would have.
Have you met my cat?
Zoom meetings are now a space where you can show off your cat to your coworkers and fellow students. It’s almost as if the cats are just part of the conversation now. They’re the comic and stress relief of the meeting.
Of course, dogs have also made appearances on conference calls. If anything, Zoom calls really reveal which people in the office are cat people and which ones are dog people. It’s pitted the canines and felines against each other.
A little offensive
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Or at least that’s what we’ve been told. Apparently, for some bosses, their time is so precious that they can’t entertain dumb inquiries like the one Megan posed in the Tweet below.
Luckily with Zoom calls, you can simply leave the meeting. If this conversation had happened in real life, Megan wouldn’t have been able to just log off. She would have had to stand up and leave the physical meeting room, and that’s just disrespectful.
Is anyone there?
You know when professors throw a question to the class and wait for students to respond? Sometimes if you’re lucky, you’d have those really participative students in your class who carry the load. Other times it’s just an awkward silence as you wait for somebody, anybody, to answer.
Apparently, this awkward silence is made even worse on Zoom lectures. It kind of reminds us of Dora the Explorer. “Does anybody know the answer to the first question?” Awkward pause. Professor blinks. Professor proceeds to answer his own question.
The thing about Zoom meetings is that when you’re the speaker, you can’t mute your mic. And so your classmates, students, and coworkers will be able to hear everything going on in your house. That includes your dryer whirring in the background, your baby wailing in the nursery… and your farts.
It’s a good thing technology hasn’t gotten as far as transmitting smells through the screen. Otherwise, the class wouldn’t have just heard the fart; they’d have been able to smell it too! For now, just silently stifle your laughter and pretend you didn’t hear anything.
Cats and dogs aren’t the only pets making their Zoom debuts. For one particular student, it’s his pet parrot. He has an Indian Ringneck, which apparently can get pretty loud. One day he fell asleep during Zoom class with his mic unmuted, and his parrot took over the conversation.
Parrots are really intelligent creatures. We’re kind of disappointed that this guy’s parrot didn’t say anything else but “Hello” and “What you doing?” Imagine if it had cracked jokes or said something offensive to get its owner in trouble!
Crazy hat day
Just because everyone is working from home doesn’t mean you no longer have to maintain a good work environment. If anything, working from home makes maintaining a positive work environment necessary for everyone’s mental wellbeing. The pandemic definitely challenges your creativity to keep things light at work.
This crazy hat Zoom meeting is definitely one way to do it. It’s a fun way to have everyone do something new when they’re stuck at home, while of course, still focusing on the work. We’d be down to do this, or even one meeting where we’re all dressed up as our favorite cartoon character!
It’s a hard knock life
Moving our lives to Zoom isn’t just difficult for us adults. It’s also taking its toll on the kids. They’re also having to adjust to online learning, submitting homework online, and not being able to spend recess with their friends.
Forgive the kids if they whine a little here and there. You know you would complain if you could! The pandemic has tested everyone’s ability to adapt and adjust. It’s not easy for anyone, so give everyone a bit of understanding where you can.
We love the creative and fun features of most conference call software these days. From changing video backgrounds to hilarious filters, there are ways to still make your online meeting entertaining and bearable. One boss figured out how to do so on Microsoft Teams.
We’re absolutely doubled over and clutching our sides just looking at this photo. Imagine trying to conduct a serious discussion and having nobody’s attention or respect because you literally look like a potato. This is the kind of boss we’d ride with.
The early bird gets the worm
Give our teachers and professors a little grace too. It can’t be easy for them to adjust an entire curriculum to fit an online delivery. It makes complete sense if they occasionally slip up and schedule a class for, like, 3 am.
It’s one thing to have your professor mistakenly schedule a class for 3 am. It’s another thing to be an international student taking classes from home and actually having to wake up for a class at 3 am because of the time difference. Trust us; we’ve been there. It’s not fun at all.
Sometimes the universe just works against you with impeccable timing. For this student, she unmuted her mic on Zoom just as her mother started yelling at her. Well, at least now the whole class knows that her dinner’s ready and her mom’s hungry.
This is really embarrassing, and we feel very sorry for Kelsey. But on the bright side, at least she doesn’t have to face the ridicule and the laughs in the hallway the next day. She technically doesn’t even have to “show up” in class. She can just turn her camera off and not face the embarrassment.
Once you’ve done a few Zoom meetings, you’re going to get the hang of it. There are just some things that are present in every online conference call, whether it’s a work meeting, an online job interview, or a class.
This is basically the complete list of Zoom phenomena. We can honestly say we’ve experienced all of these things over the span of a year, and we’re so over it. Bring back face to face contact so that we don’t have to worry about our internet connection anymore.
Let it rip
Oh, kids. They really are the comic relief in the darkest times. They’re so easily entertained that anything can make them laugh. Sometimes they just can’t gauge the situation, though. Unfortunately, their timing is almost always off, and almost always when we’re in a meeting.
This is a little embarrassing for poor Alison. We can’t imagine the torrent of apologies that must have come out of her mouth after the whoopie cushion ripped. Her son might have been laughing his head off, though. Maybe that’s what really matters.
Early to the party
When you arrive to a real-life party early, you can help set up the food and move all the tables aside. You can help choose the music to play. When you arrive early to a Zoom meeting, you kind of just awkwardly sit there.
You would think that things moving online would help the socially anxious. In a lot of ways, it only makes things worse. Waiting around in a Zoom room for other people to join the meeting is the equivalent of waiting in the bathroom when you arrive at a party too early.
Perhaps the first rule of Zoom meetings is never let your toddler near your equipment. Kids are very curious at that age and will touch anything they see. As was the case with this person, whose kid accidentally video called his boss.
Imagine the boss’s confusion when he answered the call and saw not Matt but a literal child in front of the camera. This feels like the kind of stuff you only see in comedy movies. Thanks to COVID, it now happens in real life too.
Here’s a note to all the teachers out there doing a livestream or recording a video to post on YouTube. Make sure nobody in your house is watching anything or playing any music in the background that can be copyrighted!
The poor wife must have been really flustered that her webcast suddenly shut down. This is also the problem with working from home. You can’t quite get away from each other and are subsequently just stuck with the content that other people in the house are consuming.
Everyone gets an A
If there’s anything we can take away from the pandemic, it’s that educators deserve a big pay raise. The amount of things they deal with is insane, from adjusting to presenting a curriculum online to making changes according to new government policies.
We can’t blame teachers if they also feel like giving up occasionally. This one chose to give up and be kind doing it. Imagine only having to show up to the Zoom meetings to get an A. this year was probably the easiest year to ace class.
A family of screamers
A lot of factors can affect the way your Zoom meeting goes. Your internet connection and your laptop’s ability to withstand all those hours of video calls are just two of those things. The biggest factor, though, is probably how much the people you’re living with respect your time during those meetings.
Sure, work sucks. But at least when you’re at the office, you don’t have to deal with your family’s constant screaming. You may be sitting in a cubicle in a boring job, but at least you have your own space.
Don’t forget to change your background
Sometimes you log out of a Zoom meeting with your friends in the evening and then rush into a Zoom class the next morning. That’s only normal. Some may say it’s the equivalent of turning up to class hungover. But you should always remember to change your background image.
This kid forgot to take down his anime background photo for class. One of his classmates captured this image just in time to catch the kid looking absolutely mortified and the teacher looking less than impressed. There’s nothing wrong with liking anime; it’s just that turning on your video to display this background is a bit jarring!
The best Zoom background
If you didn’t know that you can use a video as a Zoom background, you’re welcome. Backgrounds aren’t limited to photos; you can set video only backgrounds as well. This guy took this particular feature of the software to the next level.
He had an entire episode of George Lopez on during his class, thus proving to everyone that you can still distract the class even if it isn’t taking place in person. This might be entertaining for a while, but his teacher was forced to kick him out of the meeting room in the end.
This may save you your job
Zoom has a feature where you can message one particular individual during a group call. You would think you’re safe to use this chat. You can talk smack about your teachers and have an entire conversation with your bestie during class. But be careful!
While the interface may make these chats seem private, they still get recorded in the chat log. If your lecturer or boss downloads the chat from the call for any reason, they’ll be able to see everything you sent, whether it was to the general chat or to a specific person!
Working from home does have its perks. You can be in loungewear and work from the comfort of your bedroom. You get to manage your own time between meetings. You also get to have your pets around to keep you company while you work!
Sometimes pets can be distracting, though. They crave attention just like a human child would, and if they don’t get what they want, they will meow. They are both a stress-relief and a distraction at the same time. You just have to know when to cuddle them and when to give them tough love.
Be careful what you say out loud
Ah, the microphone becomes a Zoomer’s worst enemy once more. Some schools and universities implement a pass/fail policy to give a bit of grace to students during this difficult time. Like most students, this one took the policy as a green light to stop putting in as much effort.
It’s her business how she approaches her education and her grades. But to have her professor hear her saying that she’s basically given up on the course gives us secondhand embarrassment. We hope this doesn’t make her professor decrease her grades out of spite.
We’ve mentioned feline distraction, where our pets are the reason we’re unable to focus on a meeting. Now comes the fatal distraction in the form of other people we live with. When we have a meeting, and they don’t, they have the capacity to make our Zoom call go awry.
Whether Garrett is this person’s husband, brother, or roommate, this is still a hilarious thing to happen. It’s still fatal because she was in a meeting with her VP – that authority is no joke! But at least the VP was genuinely concerned for her instead of annoyed at her.
There is nothing quite like the struggles of university students who are taking up a very practical course during this pandemic. Comms or business majors can very easily catch up on the curriculum via online lectures. But things are a bit more difficult for other courses.
How are science majors supposed to learn without going to the lab? And how are fine arts and film majors supposed to finish their final projects without coming into the studio? University students suffer the worst from this move online.
Gradually giving up
Admit it. You put effort into the way you looked for the very first few Zoom calls last year. You dressed up, even put on a bit of makeup, maybe did your hair. After a week or two, you probably began to slack a little.
This Tweet was from the beginning of lockdown. How do you take your Zoom calls now? Do you get up in bed, reach for your laptop and immediately join a meeting? Have you stopped using a background image because you’ve stopped caring about what your coworkers can see in the background? Because same.
I love the Zoom
The thing about working from home is that to other people in the house, it just looks like you’re sitting in front of your computer. No one really ever knows what you’re doing if they see you from far away, and this is where it can get bad.
This wife probably thought her husband was just sitting around. As it turned out, he was in a meeting, and worse, his mic was on. At least by saying “I love you” into the mic she was also spreading love to the other participants of the Zoom?
This Tweet right here is providing the world with wholesome mother content. Sure, moms can be annoying with their constant documenting of their children’s life. They can sometimes invade a space when you don’t want them to. But trust older people when they say that you’ll miss all of that when you move away.
With the way the world is at the moment, we’re sure your coworkers would actually appreciate seeing your mom so excited and proud that you’re working from home. Enjoy everything while it lasts because you’ll never know when you won’t have it anymore!
Where do you live?
Have you ever met a coworker and immediately made an assumption that they live in a nice place? Have you ever been curious to know what your boss’s house looks like? Well, with Zoom meetings, you get an inside look.
After getting a glimpse of your boss’s immaculate home office with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, you’ll probably be tempted to ask for a raise. But first, you have to be sure that it’s their actual house and not just a Zoom background.
Who’s a good boy?
To everyone reading this who has pets, you’ll understand this person’s trouble. Almost everyone has a speaking voice they specially reserve for their animals. It can get a bit awkward if you use that voice around humans, especially in a Zoom meeting.
This guy probably looked offscreen to talk to his cat and made the entire Zoom call think he was talking to somebody on the team. Talk about awkward! It was such a big Zoom call as well. As we’ve seen throughout this list, forgetting to mute your mic is fatal.
It sucks to have to look at your classmates and coworkers in tiny little boxes in a grid on the screen, but that’s just what pandemic living entails. It also means that someone could be staring at the rectangle with your face on it, and you will never know.
This Twitter user brought this creepy possibility to our attention, and now we can’t stop thinking about it. We sincerely hope nobody’s creeping around staring at other people on their Zoom calls. It’s bad enough to have to worry about that in public, let alone in your own house.
That awkward moment
“Alright, everyone. Thanks for the good work today, have a good evening,” says your boss. One by one, you see your coworkers log off as their faces disappear from your screen. You frantically look for the “Leave” button while trying to still smile.
Saying goodbye never used to be as awkward as it is now in the Zoom era. We’re really missing the time when leaving doesn’t involve any form of a button. Just say bye and walk the other way. Oh to long for simpler times.
A struggle for all ages
Whether you’re 8 years old trying to get used to going to school at home or 38 years old moving your cursor around Zoom trying to figure out how to use it, the pandemic is a struggle for all ages.
It can’t be easy for anyone to adjust to these online lessons and meetings. But after doing this for a year, everyone has gotten the hang of it. It’s almost like the whole world learned to do the same thing together.
Just plain embarrassing
Again, an unmuted mic can be a person’s downfall. Doesn’t matter if you’re in class or in a work meeting or just a virtual quiz night. If you or anyone else in your house accidentally says something that shouldn’t be heard when your mic is on, it’s fatal.
It’s not just things people say, though! For this person, an audible fart was not only audible at home but also in the homes of the 15 other people she was in a meeting with. We’re embarrassed with her.
Because basically everyone in the world is now using the internet to video call every day, network connections have been pretty bad. It creates extra-long latencies between when we say something and when the other person hears it on the other end.
Latency and lag often disrupt Zoom meetings. It gets really frustrating because it makes it seem like people are talking over each other. The worse the internet connection is, the worse the lag. Just new pandemic stuff we never had to deal with when we could meet in person.
No, social anxiety does not decrease with the implementation of social distancing rules. Zoom calls, or any video or voice call in general, are arguably still considered social interactions. They elicit the same level of anxiety as any in-person contact does.
Making sure you have the right start time is a genuine concern. Just like you can walk into the wrong lecture or seminar on campus, you can also accidentally join the wrong Zoom class, whether you got the Meeting ID wrong or just joined the meeting too early.