WcW014: It’s not all bright lights and glamour


© Ron Chapple Studios | Dreamstime.com


Web Conferencing Week

So, if this were really a weekly feature, we’d be on number 052 or something, and this is only number 14. Thus, why not two in a row?

The poor sap fallen asleep over his laptop in front of his desktop PC in the illustration doesn’t resemble yr (justifiably) humble svt in the slightest, but it’s what I’ll look like in a few hours.

No, I won’t suddenly get 35 years younger, grow back a lot of very dark hair and become vaguely Asian.

But, I’m working very late tonight, and very early in the morning. Sigh.

As I’ve often noted in this space, I support the enterprise web conferencing application from an end-user perspective. A vendor once described me most flatteringly as the manager of the end user experience for my technology.

So, in addition to working with the other, more technical, members of the team (server administrators and system architects); developing curriculum and reference materials; teaching nearly 4,000 fellow employees in the past six years to use web conferences  by attending my training web conferences; besides all that, I’m the guy who gets the call when users have critical conferences that require my professional expertise.

Got the call a few weeks ago: we’re doing an important meeting three times, because the sun never sets on our global enterprise: once for the Asia-Pacific region, once for Europe and once for the Western Hemisphere. 8amCEST, 1pmCEST, 6pmCEST. We’ve had trouble with the web conferencing tool in the past, please help.

I endeavor to honor requests like this. But, of course, I’m sitting in the U.S. Central time zone.

8amCEST (Central European Summer Time) in, yes, central Europe, the origin of the meetings, translates to 1amCDT (U.S. Central Daylight Time).

1pmCEST is 6amCDT.

6pmCEST will be the only reasonably convenient (to this U.S. based employee) session, 11amCDT.

Tonight, or rather, early tomorrow morning, is the night.

So, and this is after a typical workday that began at 7:20am this morning in our Northern Illinois office, shortly I’ll set up my laptop, verify a good VPN connection to the network, test the server and then wait it out until 1am, a little more than three hours away as I write this. Got my cell phone (loud) alarm set for 12:45am just in case the above photo is destiny.

Then, after the first session, I’ll head to bed for my beauty sleep (never worked before, but there’s always hope), dreaming peacefully for the long, quiet hours until the alarm goes off at its usual 5:10am (maybe three hours if I’m fortunate).

Hopping out of bed, I’ll have time to shower and dress and be ready for the 6am session; thence to the office for the odd team meeting and the 11am session. And in the U.S. afternoon, I’ll be assisting another group with their four-hour session, this time in person, in a large conference space.

And can I take the next day off, in compensation? No such good fortune, as I have a commitment to assist yet another team with their critical meeting, again, in person.

What is ironic about all this is I am a champion night owl. Lots of nights, admittedly weekend nights, where the opportunity, if not the reality, exists for sleeping in, I’ll still be reasonably wide awake at midnight, 1am, and later. Tonight though, I HAVE to be awake at 1am. Not nearly any fun at all!

I am not complaining about all this, because I really love my job (in these parlous times EVERYBODY who has a job MUST love it!); no, really I do.

But, where else can I vent, except to you, faithful reader.

So, thanks for providing me the opportunity to pull aside the curtain, when most people pay no attention. After all, I haven’t had to support a conference in the middle of the night since last October. A couple of times a year is no big deal.


It’s it for now. Thanks,


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One Response to WcW014: It’s not all bright lights and glamour

  1. […] today was that Thursday that actually began at 10:00pm last night, flowing seamlessly from Wednesday, and save for about two hours between the end of one meeting at […]

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