Instead of being invited to meetings IRL, you’re now being called on Zoom.
And most of the excuses you used to use to get out of meetings that could’ve been surmised in an email, just don’t quite cut it in the digital meeting world. And this isn’t limited to your professional life, of course. That family reunion you dodged for so many years is now seemingly unavoidable. “Hey, your cousin Betty has organised us a get together ONLINE! so now you can finally meet the little kiddies.” B*llocks. (Featured image: 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz)
Whatever the occasion you’re trying to skip, you’re going to have to improvise, innovate, and steal from Twitter threads because, honestly, we’re all in this together—if it works for one of us, it could work for all of us—which is why, I imagine, David QC put the call out to the writers of Twitter asking for help.
Writers of Twitter – can you put your creative talents into thinking of excuses for the rest of us to avoid tedious meetings and unwelcome zoom drinks? Old favourites like “I’m sorry, I’ve got a thing that night” and “I’m not in London then, I’m afraid” no longer cut any ice.
— David QC (@DavidMuttering) March 31, 2020
However, I suggest that you take some of the suggestions found here with a pinch of salt as, like all excuses, some will work better than others. And others will get you in a lot of trouble if you can’t pull them off. So, please keep in mind that you might not be very good at lying, and sometimes it truly is better to just suck it up and have the call.
1. An update on a classic.
“S.ry but th. inter..t si…l is v… b.d I do.t thi.k I ca. ma.. .t”
— The Brumster (@BriefThat) March 31, 2020
To upsell your excuse, don’t forget the chocolate bar wrapper or crisp packet to add that crackly effect of a call cutting out. A bit of duct tape on the camera wouldn’t hurt, either. Alternatively, try and master this talent:
Leave your mic on throughout the first meeting. And emulate … https://t.co/U3xi7P3VEn – invitations will dry up, or people will understand non-participation.
— John Bates (@MrJohnBates) March 31, 2020
2. One excuse, two methods of application.
*If one of the meeting people has a dog, consider finding a recording of someone using a “silent” dog whistle for confusing chaos.
— Mawb [eminently reasonable] (@KingMobUK) March 31, 2020
If you really must be in the meeting, you might as well cause wreak havoc. And, if you really nail it, it’s likely that the meeting will have to be rescheduled due to the interruption.
3. Do your part for society.
I’m saving bandwidth for keyworkers.
— suesspicious minds (@suesspiciousmin) March 31, 2020
Our heroic keyworkers are out there on the frontlines doing 14-hour shifts. The last thing they want is to get home and not be able to pass out while watching Tiger King. Think of them at this time.
4. Technologically illiterate.
I blame it all on my hopelessly inadequate technology and/or technological skills – to a certain extent that’s true, but fails to tell the whole story!
— Philippa Thomson (@PhilippaThomson) March 31, 2020
These people still exist and it’s not their fault that their company sent them to work from home without any proper training.
5. Got kids?
I’m still going to use “kids are in a performance that evening”
— Colin Baines (@ColinBaines15) March 31, 2020
Blame the kids. It’s an easy out, and who can argue?
6. Fake it till you make it. Or, don’t.
Accept gracefully, then at the allotted time text ‘Has anyone got in? It’s not letting me join for some reason.’
— Boudicca of Suburbia (@BoudiccaMum) March 31, 2020
You will need poise and perhaps some on the spot improvisation, because some know-it-all will surely call to try and walk you through a solution. Hold firm, my friend.
“As part of my self-care programme I will be limiting my screen time in the evenings. I’m sure you understand.”
— Steve Hallmark (@warburtonchacha) March 31, 2020
If you’re not going to take care of yourself at this time, then who will? And remember, nobody else has the right to tell you when to take your me-time.
8. Too many photos on your phone, can’t delete.
Apologies, not enough storage space to download the app?
— Danielle Stretch 🇪🇺🇬🇧 💚🕊 (@DanielleStretch) March 31, 2020
Let’s be honest, this is a perfectly likely excuse.
9. Since everyone is trying to use the internet at once, it’s bound to happen.
My WiFi is down (sent by text)
— Nick Tesco (@TheNickTesco) March 31, 2020
If you’re after the easy route, blame your router.
10. Stomach bug/something you ate/upset tummy/explosive diarrhoea/etc.
“Sorry, I’ve got the shits” always works for me and doesn’t invite further questioning.
— Martyn Brunt (@Bruntyonabike) March 31, 2020
Never fails, this one.