Have you ever found yourself in the wrong room? Maybe at school, in the early days of secondary education, when you had to find your way from one classroom to another, depending on the subject written into your timetable.
At the Grammar School I attended, all the classrooms on the ground floor were labelled G followed by a number, while those on the first floor carried the suffix F and those on the second floor were...yes, okay, I realise I don’t have to spell it out.
It’s amazing that I still, occasionally, managed to find myself in the wrong room - one might imagine the sheer logic behind the labelling was perfect in every way.
When I went to work for Kent County Council in the early 1980s I was always finding myself in the wrong room, depending on which set of stairs I took. I still dream, occasionally, of wandering around my former school or erstwhile workplace, looking
for the “right” room. I’m sure those people who can interpret dreams would have a field day with some of mine.
This afternoon I managed to find
myself in the wrong meeting room without even leaving my kitchen. You have to admit that is impressive, even for one such as I.
It was Family Zoom time - 4 p.m.
in the afternoon. We used to “meet” at 5.30 but it turned out that didn’t really suit anybody, being the time everyone started thinking about cooking their dinner. To be fair, 4 p.m. would doubtless have been too early in the days when the
sun shone for longer and most people had exciting things to do with their afternoons, like long walks, or cycle rides, or driving to Click and Collect. I usually send out a friendly message on a Saturday morning, reminding everyone of Family Zoom and
asking if they might be free. I try not to sound too desperate to see everybody because I have always considered desperation is not A Good Look. I love it when the responses ping back: “I’ll be there!” “Let’s do it!” Or,
more often, simply: “Yep.”
Today Mr B decided to decline the invitation to participate on account of his aching back so I set up the IPad in the kitchen
where my prattle wouldn’t interrupt his enjoyment of the tennis on TV. At precisely 4 p.m. messages came flooding in - nobody, it seems, could get into my meeting room.
Now, before I move on, I had better explain a little for those people who haven’t yet experienced the perils and the pleasures of Zoom which is a kind of on-line meeting room. But without walls. Or, as far as I can tell, a ceiling. The host (in
our case, that’s me) establishes a meeting ID and a password. No, I’m not going to share those details just in case our next Family Zoom turns into a virtual rave, with hundred of uninvited guests. I can just hear some members of my family getting
excited at the prospect.
The host receives information about people who have entered the virtual meeting room and is given the option of admitting them.
Oh, the power! Except that this afternoon I was sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen waiting for people to seek admittance - but nobody was turning up. I felt like Billy No Mates, albeit virtually.
“Apparently it says you are in another meeting!” messages the Youngest of the Darling Daughters - which explains a great deal. I have obviously managed to set up an alternative meeting without even trying. It’s
like a meeting of the Apathy Party - only the organiser turned up. I am alone in an empty meeting room, talking to myself because there’s nobody else to talk to.
Fortunately I manage to find myself in the correct meeting room and normal service is resumed.
I think I got away with it.