Unlikely Conversation 4 Teleconferencing......

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Perhaps this is how not to undertake an international teleconference?

At the appointed hour and minute to the nearest nanosecond I dialled the pre arranged number.

“Welcome to the Three C’s Corporate Conferencing Centre. At the tone please state your name.”

“Martin”

“The Host has not yet convened the conference. Please wait. If you are the host please enter your PIN now followed by the star key.”

I wasn’t the host.

Two minutes passed.

“The Host has not yet convened the conference. Please wait.   If you are the host please enter your PIN now followed by the star key.”

Like I said…..I wasn’t the host.

A further three minutes passed.

“The Host has not yet convened the conference. Please wait.   If you are the host please enter your PIN now followed by the star key.”

I wasn’t the host.

Eventually……

“The host has now convened the conference. Delegates joining the conference are…

“Martin” came my voice, though not from me personally, just the recorded version I’d said about ten minutes earlier after the tone.

“Bradley” intoned a broad Canadian accent, similarly previously recorded.

“Is that you Bradley?” I enquired tentatively.

“Yeah” came the Winnipeg drawl……”Who else we got on board right now?”

“Just me at the moment.”

“Well I hope the rest get their asses in gear damned soon. It’s three o’clock in the mornin’ out here.”

More minutes passed.

Then….

“Delegates joining the conference are…..

“Jock”

“Who’s that just come in?” asked Bradley.

“Jock” answered Jock in a Scottish accent at precisely the same moment as I answered “Jock” in an English accent.

“Jock Hamilton?” Asked Bradley.

“No” replied Jock in a Scottish accent. “The other Jock is Jock Hamilton. I’m Jock from Hamilton. The other Jock’s surname is Hamilton….. I just happen to live there.”

“So who are we waiting for now?” Bradley asked impatiently. “Well I hope the rest get their asses in gear damned soon. It’s eight minutes past three

in the mornin’ out here.”

“Jock” said Jock…..”Not me, the other one.

“And Leroy” I said. “He’s not called in yet.

Another five minute   pause ensued.

Bradley broke in. “Guys it’s now thirteen minutes past three in the morning out here.”

“I thought Leroy had arranged to meet the other Jock in Potters Bar.” Said Jock to me, but Bradley overheard.

“It’s ok for you for you guys to meet in a nice comfy bar, “ retorted Bradley….” “and   anyway who’s Potter…..I didn’t since his name on the invite list to this call?”.

I tried to explain…

Potters Bar isn’t a bar and there’s no-one called Potter…….Well that’s not strictly true there are probably thousands of people actually called Potter and many more described as potters because they make pots.”

I heard Bradley snort.

“It’s a place….It’s in Hertfordshire”…… continued Jock (not Jock Hamilton but the Jock who lived there). He obviously thought that he, as a Scotsman, in the telegraphic presence of an Englishman and the telegraphic absence of another Scotsman and an Irishman was far better placed to inform a Canadian about the geography of England than an Englishman.

A voice.

“Delegates joining the conference are…..

“Jock”

“Mornin’ Jock.” said Jock.

“Mornin’ Jock.” said Jock.

“Mornin’ Jock.” said I

“Mornin, Martin.” said Jock

“Who’ve we got on the line now then?” asked Jock (surname Hamilton)

“Jock, that is the other Jock, you, me and Bradley.”

“Oh Brad’s on the line…..Mornin’ Brad.”

“Hey guys” came the now irritable Canadian reply……Bradley hated his name being abbreviated… “Can we cut out the bleeding good mornings and get on to the business…. It’s now half past three in the mornin’ out here and about cold enough to freeze the peg off a winni.”

“Where’s Leroy?” asked Jock. (the one who lives in Hamilton) to the Jock (surnamed Hamilton).

“I thought he was meeting you at Potters Bar…..?”

“Well he’s not here.”

“ Where’s “here” I asked.

“Potters Bar” came the reply.

“Well we can’t start without Leroy.” said one of the Jocks, ( I can’t remember which.)

“He’s got all the notes and stuff.” said the other Jock….(at least I think it was.)”

“This is getting’ down right ridiculous.” moaned Bradley. “ It’s gone half past three in the mornin’ out here. It’s not only cold enough to freeze the peg off a winni but the mercury’s fallen so low that itinerant dogs are just as likely to get frozen to lamp posts.” We wasted almost a goddam’ hour…..Hey, who’s payin’ for this call anyway…?”

“The conference host usually.” I said.

“That’s me.” ……from Bradley.

“I’ll try and get Leroy on his mobile, “ I said.

In order to try Leroy’s number I had to hang up on the conference call.

A voice.

“Delegates leaving the conference……Martin.”

I dialled Leroy’s number from my mobile’s contacts list.

I got through to his voicemail.

I left a message imploring Leroy to phone into the conference call number and explained that Bradley was getting very hot under the collar albeit that the rest of him was apparently cold enough to freeze the peg off a winni.

I rejoined the conference call, via the number, and the “delegates joining” routine.

“I’m back guys” I said. “I got Leroy’s voicemail and left him a message.”

“Let’s give him five minutes].” I said at precisely the same second that Jock Hamilton said “Let’s give him a minute or two“ and Jock (from) Hamilton said “We’d better wait about ten minutes then.”

A voice.

“Delegates joining the conference are….”

“Leroy Patrick James Seamus O’Shaughnessy.”

Leroy always used his full name.

“Where the hell are you ……Where have you been” or words to that effect were simultaneously asked in two Scottish and one English accent.

“France” came the reply. “Tryin’ to remember how to drive on the wrong side of the road,   Completely forgot about the hour time difference…. Is Bradley still on the line?”

“No”, replied Jock Hamilton…..”He hung up whilst Martin was trying to contact you. He said something about flying over to the London office to see us in person. He called this conference call idea…well I won’t tell you exactly what he called it , I’ll leave that to your imagination….. but he was not a happy little maple leaf………”

“He also said that it was cold enough to freeze the peg……”

“Off a winni” Leroy completed.

“We’d better make ourselves scarce for a few days then” I ventured.

“I know just the place.” said Jock from Hamilton…” It’s called Potters Bar.”

“In Potters Bar as in Hertfordshire?” I asked.

“No” came the reply….”In bonnie Scotland, in fact in Hamilton.

A voice……

“Delegates leaving the conference……..

“Jock.”

“Jock.”

“Leroy Patrick James Seamus O’Shaughnessy.”

“Martin.”

Cue dialling tone…….

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