European Tour players were every virtual workplace stereotype imaginable during their failed attempt at a conference call. Here's what you missed...
With lockdown restrictions in place around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual conference calls have become a part of everyday life. Yet despite best efforts, often those meetings are far from seamless, and a new breed of workplace stereotypes has been born.
In our latest video, nine European Tour players tried to stage a meeting about the upcoming BMW PGA Championship, and it went down just as chaotically as you might expect: As an advert for every pitfall of the video conference call.
Here’s what happened, and how social media reacted, as Martin Kaymer hosted fellow golf stars and BMW Friends Of The Brand Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Gary Player, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood for #TheConferenceCall.
A valiant but fruitless effort to host as everyone tries to talk
Martin Kaymer did his best to corral his fellow Tour Professionals after a messy start of people joining at different times, but distractions and varying levels of attention to the cause meant a constant barrage of talking over one another. Unsurprisingly, they barely even broached the surface of the first of the key points he had outlined, and the German eventually gave up.
The bad connection
Padraig Harrington may have had the best background to boast of with a cabinet full of trophies, but it was clear that he is one player who is going to have to invest in a better broadband connection for the next call.
Putting someone on mute
The beauty of the modern day meeting is undoubtedly the ability to physically silence someone by forcing them on mute. Unbeknown to Gary Player, who was busy giving a silent monologue throughout the entire meeting, Kaymer took it upon himself to get the meeting back on track by utilising this function.
the way you can see Player talking in his little box the entire time is just genius— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) June 16, 2020
Forgetting to put yourself on mute
It turns out that the typically polite demeanour of Justin Rose might just be a façade after all as he fell foul to one of the easiest mistakes to make on a team conference call: forgetting to put yourself on mute and being overheard saying something that you shouldn't.
The one who doesn’t contribute at all
Every conference call has that one person who doesn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to the meeting, and Lee Westwood showed he had more time for his peloton bike than he did anything else – but let’s face it, it was probably a bit much to ask him to take time away from his lockdown obsession in the first place.
The one who changes to a virtual background
Is a conference call even a conference call if one person doesn’t change up the background of their screen? The culprit on this occasion was Henrik Stenson, who was trying to keep everyone ‘entertained’ with jokes about his sudden change from home office to the Coliseum.
Absolutely amazing!! Literally LOLd when @henrikstenson changed the background 😂😂😂— Bryan Bros Golf (@bryanbrosgolf) June 16, 2020
Distracted by a fly
Taking isolation a step further than necessary was Colin Montgomerie when he opted for his car as the place of choice for his video call, but even that wasn't a confined enough space to escape the dreaded fly getting in. As expected, he handled it very calmly.
The embarrassing screen share
Is Martin Kaymer vain? We’re not here to judge, but the two-time major winner was the unlucky one to suffer a big screen-sharing faux pas when he had to navigate past a screen saver of himself and his own Wikipedia page to get to the meeting’s agenda.
The impossible task of the minute taker
He may have been tasked with the impossible job of taking minutes for a meeting that was at best chaotic, but did nobody tell Sergio Garcia he doesn't have to type so loudly or need to record every single thing? Luckily he did figure out how to mute himself better than Rose, although we'd still like a copy of those notes.
Kids interrupting the call
We all saw the famous video of a child interrupting a BBC News video call back in 2017, but it's now become a much more common reality for those juggling work and kids being out of school. The European Tour players are no exception to this rule, and Tommy Fleetwood eventually had to exit early as he gave in to requests for apple juice from his son Frankie - but not before he got his (very expensive!) hairdryer out to make sure his much talked about locks looked the part.
So much goodness to discuss here, not the least of which is Tommy Fleetwood’s $400 Dyson hairdryer(!). https://t.co/LLc0HP9iFP— Stina Sternberg (@StinaSternberg) June 17, 2020
And finally...The one who forgot to get dressed
A perk – and a risk - of working from home is the ability to wear a far more casual wardrobe, where there’s little chance of anyone asking you to prove you haven’t paired a shirt and tie with pyjama bottoms. That being said, if you momentarily forget your video is on when you stand up (Henrik Stenson we’re looking at you), you may just suffer the ultimate conference call embarrassment.