We live in the pandemic era. That is to say, we live in the era of Zoom video chatting.
For many, the change to remote communication took some getting used to. Wrapping one's head around work from home, college from home, or helping kids do school from home brought a bit of a learning curve.
And, apparently, folks are still figuring the whole thing out.
A recent Reddit thread asked users to recount the funniest moments they've experienced in a Zoom call. But the examples given were not low stakes calls with family or friends. The cringe-worthy bits from school and work calls were the real thrust of the discussion.
And nearly always it came down to one subtle but significant oversight: the mic was left unmuted. Let these stories be lessons for bringing some attention to detail before blurting out who knows what during a professional meeting.
Nothing to See Here
"Just today, this one guy had some unholy screeching coming through the mic from elsewhere in the house. No context, he just had a mildly panicked look on his face and muted himself." -- LaserbeamSharks
"Possibly a cat, a baby, or a parrot. Or a horny fox outside." -- crusadingAquila
No Coming Back From That One
"One of my classmates was talking to someone off screen about how shitty the class is and how stupid our lecturer is. Her mic and camera were both on. She was rambling for about 30 seconds when the lecturer just said her name."
"She just looked over at her screen, leaned forward a tad, then her eyes went wide and she covered her mouth. She immediately left the meeting, haven't seen her in class since."
"This was 2 weeks ago."
Easy Day at the Office
"Someone in one of our huge official department meetings was unmuted. You could hear her bf ask in the background, 'what are y'all doing?' "
"And she said, 'just this stupid meeting, we not doin' shiiiiieeettt.' It was hilarious. She got kicked out of the meeting tho."
"Not exactly 'forgot the camera was on' but forgot their surroundings."
"Webcam starts up, and there's just a massive sex toy on the bed beside where this person was sitting, back behind them."
"I've never felt so badly for an instance of poor forgetfulness."
"Not in school, but a few years ago during online training for my job. Our managers agreed we could do the training at home since it was all remote anyway, and so it was an nice week working from home. During one of the sessions we heard what sounded like porn, then it got louder and louder."
"Finally the presenter says 'OK we see who is unmuted, I'm not going to name names but let's be professional here.' "
"The poor guy couldn't look any of us in the eye after we returned to work."
Hogging the Spotlight
"My girlfriend told me a story of her taking an online zoom Pilates class at the beginning of everything shutting down. The zoom meeting was set up in presenter instead of gallery mode so whoever is speaking is on the main screen."
"She said in one of the poses someone farted and their camera popped up on the screen for everyone until the next instruction. Super awkward."
A Supportive Teacher
"I accidentally did this to my daughter. She was participating in a zoom uni tutorial."
"Half an hour earlier I had started trying to fix our clothes dryer which had stopped spinning and was giving off a burning smell. I took the dryer apart and after looking up several YouTube videos managed to fix it."
"I was so proud of myself I burst into my daughters room and said 'Guess who fixed the dryer......meeeeeee' with my arms spread out wide. My daughter was mortified and said 'Mummmmmmm I'm in a uni lecture.' "
"Afterwards she told me the professor told her to tell me she was very happy that I was so happy I fixed the dryer."
Showing a Human Side
"Teacher was teaching a online class (grinds, which are extracurricular), there was a ton of audio issues and people kept saying they couldn't hear him, eventually he said that we would postpone the class to a couple days later, and that we could all leave the meeting now."
"Of course, I'm pretty sure this isn't the most tech-savvy guy, so he didn't realise that most of us couldn't tell he said to leave (audio issues again) and so we hung around a couple more minutes."
"Somehow, it was a lot more audible when he tossed his glasses onto the table and said, 'That was a f***ing disaster.' "
"I then realised that it was time to go."
"My 7th grade daughter turned on her zoom meeting for her very first class on her first day of school, saw the face of the student who was currently talking, and yelled 'Not Victoria, I HATE Victoria!' "
"I asked her if her mic was muted and she looked at her screen horrified, slammed her laptop shut, ran out of the room yelling 'I quit school!' "
"It was a rough first day."
Hard to Be Mad
"Once my very adorable classmate sang 'happy birthday' so cheerfully while our prof was discussing. She only noticed it when she came back to class and saw our reactions in the chat."
"It was her dog's birthday, she said then apologized for it."
" 'oh shit' to 'awww' real quick :')"
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.