Working from home definitely has its perks. You can wear whatever you want while you’re working and no one minds a bit if you finish your big report surrounded by pillows in your comfy bed. But one of the most stressful parts of working from home is endless Zoom calls, which can turn out to be a complete disaster if you happen to have an unwelcome visitor or unruly neighbors. Thankfully, these stories capture the worst Zoom disasters so you don’t have to experience them yourself.
Read the Room
When classes had gone online, I had a student of mine logged on who told me that her mom’s boyfriend hit her mommy, she was sleeping in the bathroom and wouldn’t get up. The student said she was scared and had her toddler sister with her under her bed. Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I stayed really calm and told her I was going to help. The other kids started joining, but I told her to stay on no matter what I said to everyone else.
I grabbed my phone and started texting my boss and every other person in our school. Another teacher who I was close with ran into my classroom. She was a champ and started reading to the kids. We called the authorities and sent them to our address on file. However, they were not at the address listed in our contact information.
Another parent got on and told me to mute the girl, as she wasn’t supposed to have a sibling on the Zoom call. The toddler was crying. More people in my classroom were trying to help. I told everyone except for the girl to log off. She was in kindergarten, couldn’t really read yet, and started begging me not to end the call while trying to calm her sister.
This other mother was being difficult telling me how long I was officially supposed to Zoom and all this other garbage. I wanted to scream at her. Finally, the principal stepped into the screen and told her, in a really nasty tone, “Read the room, ma’am! Get off!” Everyone but the first kid and one other student logged off. The other student was a really kind boy.
I told him I needed him to go while the girl kept asking over and over, “Not me, right? I want to stay on. I’m scared.” The other student started comforting her, and we were all frantic. We started asking her where she was, if she could get to a phone, what the house looked like, all that stuff. An officer showed up at our school.
We called DHR. Meanwhile, we heard a man yelling at the student to quiet the baby. I felt complete horror, dismay, and helplessness. We were in a small town. After talking to the student and asking her mother’s name, the officer who came to our school realized he knew the family and might have an idea where they were. He sprinted out while we kept trying to comfort the girl, but she was upset.
Like an idiot, I had set my Zoom for 45 minutes, and time was coming to an end. I told her I was going to send another link, but it cut off. Every teacher and administrator was now in my class. We all felt helpless. A couple of minutes later, we got word the authorities had found her! I fell on my knees and started to cry. The boyfriend had, in fact, beat the mother. He was taken into custody. The mother was in the throes of addiction, so the little girl and her sister went to live with the grandparents in another state.
Story credit: Reddit / pretendthisisironic
Maybe It's Just Tech Issues
While teaching online, I preferred cameras on for the younger classes so I could see if they were paying attention, but mics were on only when it was someone’s turn to talk. Cameras were optional for teenagers. I had a good student who was not responding to questions when usually she would be full of ideas. I figured she was just having tech issues. I wasn’t prepared for the real reason why. It turned out her grandmother was having a meltdown caused by dementia.
The student was home alone with her trying to reach her parents and avoid calling the authorities to respond. One of her parents was a teacher and was in the room with me, team-teaching on campus. They were pulled aside to go deal with the crisis, which was how I found out. It goes to show you never know what’s happening in the background and why a student isn’t responding.
Story credit: Reddit / NeonHairbrush
My wife was on a call delivering virtual training to some new foster families. Her computer was located at the back of our dining room/study, so she had a good view of most of the door from about waist-high and upwards. The door didn’t latch anymore; it could easily be pushed open. My wife had shut the door before she began the call to keep any of the background house noises from interrupting the session.
She was about halfway through when our dog decided to investigate the strange voices coming from the room. The dog knew he could use his head to fling the door open, but the camera was angled in such a way that you could see most of the door, but not the dog as he came trotting in.
So, from the people’s perspective on the call, it appeared as if the door had been flung open with no one on the other side. It was comical listening from the other room as a group of fully grown adults shrieked in terror, and my wife had to explain it was just the dog.
Story credit: Reddit / manwithapencil
I Was Mortified
I was on a Zoom Interview for a very well-paying administrative position at my local hospital. I was doing the interview while my daughter was at school. My husband walked into the room and said, “Well, would you look at the time? Time to suck my wife’s nose!” He said this while he was entirely in the buff and visible to the camera. The interviewer laughed, I was mortified, and a conversation discussing onboarding became an employer ghosting me.
Story credit: Reddit / bzzibee
A Moment of Silence
I was in Zoom class with my supervisor and classmates during my new honors course. My mic was on, but my camera was off. I had to sneeze. I tried to sneeze on my arm, and because of my short sleeves, I ended up sneezing and giving myself a raspberry on the arm. It sounded like I broke wind in the most violent and epic way. I basically sounded like I had pooped myself. There was silence for a second before the lecture finally continued.
Story credit: Reddit / Helpful_Shock2018
Whose Music is That?
My professor was having technical difficulties letting students into our Zoom class. It was about 15 minutes into class time, and I was still locked out of the course. I waited for another five to ten minutes and decided to go downstairs to make some cereal. I had my music playing fairly loud. I was listening to my music when suddenly this yelling came on saying, “WHOSE MUSIC IS THAT? SHUT THAT OFF! TURN IT OFF! OH MY GOD.”
I flew up the stairs and muted the whole computer, knowing the other students likely realized it was me. The professor was such a boomer that she didn’t even know she could mute other people. I was so embarrassed. I still cringe when I think about it. I haven’t been able to listen to that song ever since, which is a shame because I really liked it.
Story credit: Reddit / barmskley
My company was having a training session for new hires. They didn’t require you to have your camera and mic on unless you were the one presenting or hosting the meeting. We were all informed of this beforehand. One woman had her camera and mic on, pointed directly at her, while she just full-on stripped, did things in front of the camera, and even made noises.
The trainer tried to say, “Someone’s camera and mic is on. I’d appreciate it if you would turn them off, they’re not needed,” repeatedly, but she just kept stripping and shaking her chest in front of the work laptop camera. Either her volume was down, so she didn’t hear the trainer, she wanted an audience, or she was just an idiot. Either way, she didn’t make it past the first training day.
Story credit: Reddit / LauraBabora325
It All Happened So Quickly
I was on a Zoom call, and the department lead, a young female who was presenting at the time, was wearing a pair of thick-framed trendy glasses. None of us were muted as it was a pretty interactive informal meeting where lots of ideas were shared. The husband or boyfriend of one of the other team members had come into the room during the call and didn’t realize his partner wasn’t muted.
During an unfortunate pause in the speaker’s conversation, we all heard, loud as day, “Oh man, I’d do stuff to those glasses!” The speaker momentarily paused to process what she had just heard and then just continued on the meeting as if it never happened. I was laughing hysterically and had to mute myself while several other co-workers did the same. It happened so quickly that nobody caught who said it, and since the meeting wasn’t recorded, nobody could figure it out.
Story credit: Reddit / JPMoney81
I had a meeting scheduled right before lunch. I joined on time, or so I thought. When I got on the call, there were a bunch of people talking and dogs barking in the background. It sounded like I had hopped onto some type of family Zoom call. I kept trying to say, “Hello,” but for whatever reason, I could not unmute myself. I freaked out because I had no idea how jumping into someone else’s meeting was possible. Not only that, but I didn’t know how or where to join my own meeting.
Story credit: Reddit / Apprehensive-Roll651
Our instructors would constantly tell us that we weren’t supposed to be driving or running errands while class was in session, but of course, that didn’t stop people from doing it anyway. I was bored during this one lecture and decided to look at what my classmates were doing. One student was in her car driving with the camera facing her.
She unmuted herself to ask the instructor a question, and BAM. We heard a pop and saw glass flying. The camera was tossed around, followed by a glimpse of the airbag and the sound of a horn. The girl crashed into another car at a red light. Eventually, she was fine, but I thought I had just witnessed her demise. What was even worse was that the girl was kicked out of the program for violating Zoom classroom etiquette.
Story credit: Reddit / Definition_of_Tragic
Keep Your Thoughts to Yourself
I was doing an online program, and one of the classes required proctored exams with all students on camera during the entire duration of the exam. Everyone was to stay on mute and use the chat function to message the professor with any questions directly. However, one guy somehow unmuted himself, and out of nowhere, you could hear him losing his marbles over how difficult the exam was.
Story credit: Reddit / velocipedal
We Never Received a Response
I was an assistant coach for a men’s college soccer program. The head coach, goalkeeper coach, and I were on a call with a player from France who was in the recruitment process. It was the first time we had spoken to him directly. There was a slight language barrier, but aside from that, the meeting was going as expected and generally well. Then things got so bad, so fast.
All of a sudden, we saw his bedroom door slam open, and a man began verbally bombarding the young man, screaming at him with growing aggression in another language. The situation escalated quickly, as the older man began physically harming the boy with consecutive swings to his head and face. The call was terminated seconds later.
We never fully understood the situation, its reasoning, or its context. We tried many attempts to contact him via phone and email, but we never received a response. The school went as far as to contact the local French authorities to report the video.
Story credit: Reddit / nranieri-cc
Crossing Paths with a Bear
I used to work for a fairly high-end glamping company near Yellowstone. My days off included Tuesdays, which was also the day we had an important weekly management meeting via Zoom that I was expected to join if I happened to have a signal. One particular Tuesday, I was hiking up high on the Continental Divide at around 10k feet. I had plenty of signal to call in and join the meeting while enjoying a sub sandwich and a brew in a beautiful large meadowy saddle.
I called in on my phone when suddenly, a grizzly bear passed through about 150-200 yards below me. It never smelled me, but I was pretty certain it must have smelled my sandwich and came looking for it. Fortunately, it just passed along and out of sight in the opposite direction of where I was headed.
Story credit: Reddit / kristoHIKES
My division was having a department-wide recognition meeting with the director of the department and all the executives to thank specific teams and staff for their accomplishments. So many people didn’t know how to turn on their mute, and there were constant interruptions of phones going off and people taking outside calls. One guy decided to go off saying, “I’m in this terrible meeting. Woo-hoo, you got an award congratulations! Give me a break!”
All the while, they kept talking on the phone. It was so loud, he was speaking over the director. It was complete chaos. The director was trying to get him to shut up and was yelling at our tech crew to get a handle on everything. Everyone saw who it was. I assumed he got written up pretty badly for it.
Story credit: Reddit / Random_Cat_007
Too Many Details
I was in a massive Zoom meeting for work when suddenly, we heard the sounds of someone trying to calm down a screaming woman who was wailing about her car being hit by a truck. She was screaming how everyone was gone and that she couldn’t find her husband’s head anywhere. We had been either hacked into as a sick joke, or we had our lines crossed with the radio communications of a nearby EMS unit.
Meanwhile, you could see everyone’s faces drop in horror during the call. The company sent out a big apology email later, saying they were looking into what happened, but I never heard more. It was the most horrible, nauseating thing I had ever experienced.
Story credit: Reddit / ImAdamnMermaid
We Never Spoke of it Again
I was online onboarding a new employee who was in a different city. She was in her bedroom at home, and during our conversation, she told me not to mind the background noise as her mom might be going in and out of the room. No problem. Her mom walked in and stood in the back of the room, completely in the frame, and stared at the computer for a minute.
It was odd. She then proceeded to take off all her clothes while maintaining eye contact with the call the entire time. My face was so red. I didn’t quite know what to do. My colleague tried to move her head and body in order to block her mom in the background, which didn’t work. I told her the onboarding was about done. I never understood what was going on, and we never spoke of it again.
Story credit: Reddit / buybeetsinbulk
A Gracious Host
My sister was getting married. Because of the pandemic, the venue was limited to only 100 guests, so she had a massive Zoom call for her wedding. There were dozens of friends and family on the call. I was walking around with a laptop, engaging with the people in attendance to make the Zoomers feel as integrated into the festivities as possible. The meeting wasn’t password-protected, and some trolls managed to find the room and started playing inappropriate, racy stuff for everyone.
That was interesting. It took me quite a while to track down the lady who was actually hosting the meeting on another laptop because she obviously wasn’t paying any attention to what was happening.
Story credit: Reddit / rex8499
I was in an online science class and playing Brawl Stars. My teacher was presenting something. I clicked the button to Zoom into the presentation. When she was done, I was zoned out and clicked the unmute button instead of the Zoom-out button by accident. I said something about someone teleporting away, and she was like, “Please get off of whatever game you are playing and don’t get back on until after school.” She was really nice about it, but ever since then, I have never used my phone in class.
Story credit: Reddit / Lil_Viknn
There was this one girl in class who was always seeking attention and generally annoying. During a Zoom class, her mother barged into the room and started yelling at her to get her stuff done, meaning to work on her homework. I guess her mom thought she was just playing on her iPad or something. The girl had forgotten to mute herself. The yelling went on for about 30 seconds longer, and it was loud.
Hence, we all learned her lousy home life was the reason why she was so attention-seeking at school. It was truly eye-opening.
Story credit: Reddit / ElaineCS
A Practical Demonstration
At a lecture for one of my classes, the lecturer asked all participants, other than those presenting, to switch off their cameras and mute their microphones during a practical demonstration. This older guy was Zooming from his bedroom and muted his mic. However, he had incorrectly assumed that he had stopped sharing his video feed as well.
He then proceeded to lay on his bed away from his laptop and started pleasuring himself in total full-frontal glory. People tried to call him, but the volume on his side didn’t seem to be working. The lecturer ended up having to terminate the session, while we all simultaneously laughed our heads off and almost died of embarrassment for him. The guy was gone from the course the next day.
Story credit: Reddit / CouldMarderACarvery
It Changed How I Saw Them Forever
I was on a Webex call. At the time, Webex didn’t let you know who left a call; you would merely hear a “beep” sound when someone left. If multiple people left at the same time, you would never know who was actually gone unless those remaining continued talking. The client contact asked for certain people to stay on the call I was on.
They proceeded to badmouth absolutely EVERYONE who had left the call. Little did they know that a couple of colleagues, including myself, had stayed on and recorded the entire 20-minute tirade. It was awful. I was working overtime, crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s, and the stuff I heard about myself made me question my ability. I never saw them in the same light again.
Story credit: Reddit / CVipersTie
You've Got the Job
I had a job interview via Zoom and was a bit surprised that, contrary to what I was told beforehand, I was faced by six people, instead of one or two. It made me a bit nervous, so I completely forgot that I wasn’t using my usual headset that only picked up what I said. Instead, I was using my webcam’s mic, which also picked up everything else that was happening in the room.
After a few words of introduction, I decided to pour some tea from my thermos into my cup. It had a really slow pour. Hence, there were almost ten seconds of splashing, while the six people interviewing me looked increasingly irritated. It took me a while to realize that I was the reason for their weird looks. Not only that, but it must have sounded like someone was peeing on the floor. Oddly enough, I still got the job.
Story credit: Reddit / gemengelage
Our school’s policy was that we had to have our cameras on or else it was counted as an absence. My professor was making us do an assignment, so we were all writing. I looked up for a second and saw the top of everyone’s head except for one other person. That’s when my professor’s husband entered her room in nothing but tightie-whities. She noticed, and they both freaked out. The other student and I were the only ones to see it.
Story credit: Reddit / TheSamethingAllOver
Stay On the Call if You Have Any Questions
It was in my senior year of college. I was living on campus while my girlfriend was a commuter student. Both of our classes were online, so she would come to campus every day, and we would join our respective Zoom classes while sitting together and cuddling. We were sitting in the school kitchen while I was on a Zoom call with my camera and mic turned off.
The kitchen was empty, so we started making out. We had been making out pretty intensely for a while until I heard my professor calling my name fairly loudly on the call. I froze and could literally feel my soul ascend from its mortal shell. I slowly turned to my screen. It turned out my mic and camera were still turned off, but the class was over. The professor said he would stay back to take questions. Since I was the only person left on the call, he thought I had stayed behind to ask him questions.
Story credit: Reddit / strangerintime
Call For Help
I was on my weekly team call when I unmuted my mic to ask a question. Suddenly, multiple shots rang out at the apartment across from me. I said, “Holy cow, those are gunshots,” and hit the floor. All my team saw was me throwing my headset off and frantically rolling off my couch. Supposedly my microphone picked up my calling for help.
Story credit: Reddit / nerdgirl37
My boss called me for some trivial stuff while I had insane stomach cramps and kept me on for 40 minutes. Luckily, I didn’t have to have my camera on as it was a voice-only call. So, I muted myself, took my laptop into the toilet with me, and unleashed the most unholy diarrhea I’ve ever seen. I would occasionally unmute myself for the odd, “yep,” “okay,” or “no worries.” I just prayed he couldn’t hear the bathroom echoing.
Story credit: Reddit / SlickAstley_
An Unforgettable Show
A coworker had logged onto a meeting early then left to go and get some water. Without realizing it, her spouse had walked into the room in their birthday suit, not knowing that the camera was on. They then proceeded to bend over and pick up something off of the floor, giving everyone in the meeting an unforgettable and terrifying show.
Story credit: Reddit / MrFishpaw
Turn Your Mic Off
My dad’s cousin was getting married and streamed the ceremony over Zoom because of the pandemic restrictions. My family got on the call, and we immediately muted ourselves, just like everyone else did. A few minutes later, a much older woman who we thought was the bride’s grandmother joined. Of course, she did not mute herself.
It was a little annoying to hear her talking and, not to mention, listening to the background noise before the ceremony, but it was no big deal. The wedding started, and even though there weren’t many in-person attendees, they were still doing the typical ceremony stuff. The groom’s parents walked him up, the handful of bridesmaids and groomsmen that were there walked out, etc.
Then the bride walked out. It was kind of hard to see her over Zoom, but even with the low video quality, you could tell she still looked beautiful. However, as she passed the camera where the Zoom call was being streamed from, the older woman on the call spoke up. She said the worst thing possible: “Oh, she looks big!” My mom immediately gasped in horror, and the rest of our jaws dropped to the floor.
We could see other people on the call having similar reactions, but this old woman was completely oblivious to the fact that everyone had just heard her. Thankfully, the bride didn’t seem to hear her. The old woman made a few more snarky comments during the ceremony, but none quite as appalling as that first one.
We still weren’t sure if she was the grandmother or not, but she made a Zoom wedding a lot more interesting for all of us. And for the record, the bride definitely did not look big, so I don’t know what the old lady was talking about.
Story credit: Reddit / MilkMachines
I remember I was in the middle of math class when all of a sudden, we all heard loud barking and faint screams in the background. My teacher kept going back and forth, checking up on what was happening while, at the same time, trying to get back to solving math questions. At one point, our teacher broke down in the middle of teaching and revealed that her kitty got mauled by the dogs. It scarred me to this day because of how loud it was and how everyone was freaking out.
Story credit: Reddit / lalavieenrose10
Who Was That?
I had an oversized monitor, so I could see even the smallest of faces very well while on Zoom. There was a guy in a shirt and tie who seemed normal, but he kept making some very unusual facial expressions. At one point, he clamped his hand over his own mouth. Then, suddenly and very briefly, the back of a woman’s head popped up.
Most people tried to pretend that they didn’t see anything, but there was one guy who kept asking whose head that was and why they were listening to our meeting. He kept going on and on, and the rest of the people became more annoyed by that guy asking questions than about what they had seen with the other guy.
Story credit: Reddit / Wisdomofpearl
During a mandatory group meeting, an introverted coworker found out via text that her aunt had passed. She interrupted the host to relay this to us, obviously because it impacted her, and she needed to share this. She stated how she was very close to her aunt and how her passing was very unexpected. My fellow Zoom folks reacted very oddly.
Her statement first got awkward-pauses. Then, after some short condolences, people circled back to the agenda in no time. They proceeded to pick up where they left off so naturally, with this devastated person still sitting in the meeting, unsure of what to do. It was as if we were so normalized to bad news that we couldn’t take more than a minute to show an adequate amount of empathy and ensure this person was ok.
It seemed dehumanizing. I cut the speaker off and told the coworker, “Hey, this meeting will always be here. But, unless you’d rather stay on, please go be with your family!” At that point, she broke down in tears, thanked me, and said, “I am sorry I can’t be here, guys,” and left. I was happy I could do that for her.
Otherwise, that poor gal would’ve just sat through an hour-long meeting holding back tears from her profound loss. I was just shocked that I was the only one in such a large group who showed her any proactive empathy. It was terrifying to see how transactional Zoom meetings can get.
Story credit: Reddit / colormemantis
Who on Earth Are You?
We were all on a TeamSpeak meeting with a couple of our guild members who were from South Africa. All of a sudden, there was a lot of shouting and noise coming from one of their microphones. It was muffled, but you could clearly hear stuff like, “Who on earth are you?” And, “Get out, get out!!!” The sounds were followed by two shots and then silence.
He was just left there in TeamSpeak. We were all shouting. The other guy from South Africa didn’t know anything about the first guy, so we were all just powerless and left with his ghost on the application. By the following morning, he had disconnected, and we heard nothing for about a week. He eventually just appeared again online one day.
He told us how his house had been broken into, the culprits got rid of his two guard dogs, and the firing we heard was just into the ceiling in order to make him compliant. The worst part was he told us that it wasn’t the first time this had happened. He ended up giving the other South African guy his details in case it ever happened again so we could call the authorities.
Story credit: Reddit / meltedrubixcube
Working From Home
Work from home had just begun, so we were all online, including the junior and senior partners on the firm. We were on a meeting call when we suddenly heard one of the partners taking a pee. Everyone listened to the sound of the waterfall in the toilet, followed by a flush, then the hand washing in the sink, and finally, the door closing.
Story credit: Reddit / frenchfriesdestroyer
Class is Canceled
My professor was teaching us when she said, “Hey guys, this might sound weird,” and suddenly fell back and passed out. It was really scary. A few seconds later, her husband came in and started yelling, “Darn, darn, darn!” He saw the Zoom class, said, “Class is canceled,” and ended the meeting. She emailed us later explaining that she easily passes out, although it had never before happened while teaching.
Story credit: Reddit / PuzzleheadedPain6356
In Real Time
We were on a Zoom conference call with our marketing agency. We were by far their biggest client, but our relationship had become strained as they weren’t delivering results. The purpose of the meeting was for them to introduce our new account director and present the results and action plan back to us. Our marketing manager was giving them a real hard time.
The new account director shared her screen but inadvertently shared her Slack messages on the screen as well. She and their whole team were talking trash about us in real-time as they were presenting. This included calling our marketing manager, whose actual name was Karen, “a real Karen.” They said, “I bet she’ll ask to speak to the manager,” and added that they would have to stop lying to us soon.
Karen let them keep it on the screen the whole time and told them at the end. The account director cried.
Story credit: Reddit / SnooDoughnuts308
He Barely Made it Out
A company I worked for was thinking about purchasing a data center. We were in a Zoom meeting with the center when a bank of industrial Uninterrupted Power Supply units caught on fire, and the fire suppression systems began going off. The tech who was in the room tried to put out the fire, which he couldn’t. He was out the door before the chemical systems that removed all the oxygen from the room deployed. He barely made it out. The company didn’t buy the data center, but they did hire the tech.
Story credit: Reddit / Isstvan82
Out of State Visitors
My sister’s middle school had a class that got Zoom bombed. There were multiple people who joined. One was a couple getting busy with each other, and the others were yelling insults and other vulgarities. Luckily it wasn’t my sister’s class. According to the authorities, the culprits were from out of state and probably didn’t even know anything about the school to begin with.
Story credit: Reddit / __BigBoi__
As If Nothing Had Happened
I had a kid in my English class who was blind. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he was the only one with a camera on. The teacher was chill if we didn’t want our cameras on while online. Suddenly, he started touching himself in front of half the class and the teacher. The teacher kicked him from the class without saying anything and continued on with the lecture as if nothing had happened. The poor guy probably didn’t even know. It was a very jarring English class.
Story credit: Reddit / Sparklebugsy
I attended a Zoom wedding, and one old couple didn’t know you had to self-mute the microphone. Just prior to the wedding beginning, the wife of this couple was offscreen and yelled, “Toilet paper, I need toilet paper quick!” Then, just after the wedding ceremony finished, the same lady said, “That was the most boring wedding talk I’ve ever heard.”
Story credit: Reddit / Nouveaucola
He Took it Pretty Well
It was the second day of training at my very first job ever. I had just graduated and had used Zoom for all my university classes; however, my company used Microsoft Teams for work, and I was not familiar with that platform. On my second day of training, we had an important meeting with the vice president of the company.
The vice president kept babbling about things that I didn’t understand because it was only my second day. So I was just messing around, and I right-clicked him. I saw three options—mute, spotlight, and pin. So I was thinking, “hmm..mute? That sounds IMPOSSIBLE. How can a person who is on their second day of training be able to mute someone, let alone the vice president?”
I thought about it for a bit and said, “Oh, it would definitely mute it on my side only!” So I clicked it, and it worked. I muted the guy from my side. I tried to right-click it again to unmute it, but it didn’t work. A couple of seconds later, I heard people typing in the chat and also speaking up, saying, “Hey, vice president, we can’t hear you.”
He unmuted himself and said, “Somebody just muted me. That’s hilarious!” At that point, my heart was beating fast. The meeting had 150+ people in it. I typed into the chat, “Sorry, didn’t mean to do that.” I then tried to unmute myself to apologize. I realized that when I told my co-workers, “Yeah, I definitely didn’t mean to mute him,” that the unmute button had worked, and everyone heard me say that. The vice president then jokingly told me, “You should’ve muted yourself, not me.”
Overall, he took it pretty well, but I thought I was fired for sure.
Story credit: Reddit / Shampoo
Figure Out How to Mute Before the Meeting
There had been massive fires in my area, and the fire department had set up a Zoom meeting to give a state of affairs for residents who had been evacuated. It was a public meeting. Some dudes came on and started saying utterly offensive and disgusting things for over TEN minutes. They uttered every bad word, insult, and vulgarity you could imagine. Whoever hosted it didn’t understand how to mute people or how to read the comments telling them what was happening.
Story credit: Reddit / LittleWhiteBoots
Quadruple Bypass Surgery
I was in London on a Zoom with about a dozen other folks who were spread across the United States. During the call, I received some pretty shocking news. I suddenly felt a cold sweat come on along with a lightheaded sensation, then a searing, burning pain in my chest. I had suffered a massive heart attack. I apparently managed to say, “I need to go,” before pushing my chair back from my desk and collapsing.
Thankfully it was still working hours, and the office had people in it. So my teammates were able to get me into a safe place, grab my nitro spray, and call an ambulance. I ended up having quadruple bypass surgery not long after, but it all eventually turned out well. Had it been an hour or two later in the day, the office would have been empty, and I probably wouldn’t have made it.
Story credit: Reddit / matdotcx
Laugh it Off
I was on Discord with my friends and hopped onto a work call early. I forgot that I had switched calls and walked away from my desk with my headset on to go get a snack before the meeting. Someone called my name. I thought I was still on Discord and it was a gaming friend, so I blurted out, “What the heck? Since when do you call me by my real name.” I didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late.
It was not a gaming friend. It was the CEO. I realized my mistake a second later and mentioned that I had been sitting in a call with friends while working and apologized. Luckily I had a decent relationship with him, and he laughed it off and never brought it up again.
Story credit: Reddit / ChocoboToes
Sitting In Shock
I was on a Zoom call for work right after the pandemic started. My wife and I were both working from home. The schools and daycares were closed. We usually divided up our day so that one of us was working and the other was taking care of the kids. However, one day, we both had online meetings at the same time, so we turned on the TV and told the kids to just watch TV until one of us was done.
I had my headphones on so that I wouldn’t be distracted, and at some point, I saw my wife quickly get up from her chair. When I looked at my screen, at the window where I could see myself, I saw my 3-year-old behind me frantically clawing at her throat, trying to cough. She was choking on whatever snack she had been eating.
My wife was too panicked to do anything and was just screaming. I hopped up, leaned the kiddo forward, and just started smacking her on the back. Luckily she coughed it up, started crying, and I gave her a big hug. A minute or two later, I sat back down to my meeting, put on my headphones, and then realized everyone else in the meeting was just sitting there in shock because they had witnessed the whole thing.
Story credit: Reddit / mejok
I was on a monthly conference call with my company’s biggest big wigs. Most of us were in the conference room, but some people, who were at an alternate location, had dialed in separately. The room had just gotten quiet, and a voice on the line announced, “I hate this stupid meeting!”
The gentleman closest to the room’s phone unmuted himself and calmly said, “I believe we have a hot mic.” He then puts us back on mute before bursting out laughing. Even the curmudgeons in the room lost it. All in all, it ended up being one of the less torturous meetings we had.
Story credit: Reddit / mystikalyx
Such an Annoying Voice
I was in the middle of a discussion-heavy class when I had a question that turned into a two to three-minute back and forth with the teacher. Just as they were redirecting the conversation back to their PowerPoint slides, one of the girls in the class wasn’t on mute. Someone in their room said, “That guy has such an annoying voice.” I cringed, but it was going to get so much worse.
The girl responded, “I hate hearing him talk. Every time he opens his mouth, I’m just waiting for him to shut up.” The teacher reminded everyone to mute themselves, and the girl got wide-eyed and muted herself. We could see her tell her roommate about it and then laugh, but they didn’t apologize or anything. There were a few moments of silence, and then the teacher moved on. I stepped away from my computer for a bit and barely ever said anything the rest of the semester.
Story credit: Reddit / BK_Hazard
I was on a Zoom call with a friend of mine. Towards the end of the call, his voice stuttered a bit, and he just fell over and out of the frame. He wasn’t on headphones, so I started yelling his name, hoping to be loud enough to get his wife’s attention, who was in another room. I wasn’t getting anywhere, so I actually ended up calling another mutual friend to see if he knew the wife’s phone number.
If that didn’t work, my next step was calling the emergency services in his town. Thankfully, my friend woke up and sat up in his chair. He was still lightheaded, and I desperately told him to get his wife and go to a doctor. It was the single most terrifying Zoom I had ever been on. I was glad I didn’t have to watch my friend bite it that afternoon!
Story credit: Reddit / 1kevgriff
That Poor Bird
I was one of a group of managers who were leading a boring team briefing to about 60 colleagues on Teams. It was summer and warm out, so I had my patio doors open to my garden while I sat on my sofa with my computer on my lap. When it came to my part of the briefing, I turned my camera on. I was droning away, trying to finish my bit as quickly as possible.
I wanted to turn my camera off, mute my mic, and get back to watching the cricket game on TV. Before I could finish, I suddenly heard a commotion. There was a loud squawking sound, and in burst my border terrier, who had somehow ambushed a seagull and leapt onto my lap to show me his feathery prize. The call descended into a chaos of laughter and random comments like, “Is that a seagull?!” And, “Oh, that poor bird.”
My favorite was, “I bet he couldn’t do that to a swan!” Unsurprisingly, I had to dip out of the call to clean the mess.
Story credit: Reddit / fearsomemumbler
I had a friend who was a special ed teacher. He was playing the harmonica and briefly turned his back to the computer while online. A student had turned down the volume on his computer and thought my friend was simulating something completely inappropriate. So, the student recorded a brief clip of an inopportune moment and almost got him fired for inappropriate behavior and harassment of a minor. There was an investigation, and he was cleared, but it was pretty traumatic.
Story credit: Reddit / LeeSheltonsHat
This is Boring
I was on a Teams call with my company directors and some support staff. When I would have both the bathroom and office windows open, the draft would cause the door to pop open. This happened as I was in my call, so I leaned back without looking and pulled it shut. Only it didn’t shut because it hadn’t opened because of a draft.
My stepdaughter had opened the door and had stuck her head through the gap. She burst into tears. Everyone on the call felt sorry for her. I had to carry on with the meeting while she sat on my lap. I continued to give her hugs until she felt better. Once she did, she loudly announced to everyone, “This is boring,” then wandered off.
Story credit: Reddit / Agent_No