The meeting was on an afternoon Zoom call. I was part of a group who’d be getting interviewed for a segment that’d be put on a virtual pride event in 2020. So, the other interviewees were all contributors one way or the other to the media force that seeks to tell the right stories about queer Nigerians.

So you can imagine how much of a prestigious group it was – and I was very pleased to be among them. I was very nervous to be on that call, and as a result, I’d worked extensively on what my responses would be on the issues we’d be discussing.

I was also nervous because this was going to be my first ever Zoom call.

“You’ll be fine,” my boyfriend at the time – who also lived with me – told me, as I agitatedly tapped away on my phone screen, navigating the processes of opening a zoom account that morning.

“I don’t even know how this whole Zoom thing works,” I complained.

He chuckled. “It’s easy na. They’ve emailed you the link. So you just click on the link and it’ll lead you straight into the room. And on your screen, you’ll see the guys you are on the call with. Simple as that.”

I breathed in and breathed out. Simple as that, eh? Very well.

“Oh, and make sure your background is nice,” he said, while glancing pointedly at the windows that needed some cleaning behind me.

“Noted,” I said with a laugh.

When the time for the call came around, I was ready. The conversation was something I’d often talked about with my friends. The issues were on the experiences of my community. I knew this stuff. I was good.

And as it turned out, I needn’t have worried so much. My points were articulate. The host was genial and engaging. And the other interviewees were interactive and interesting. I even knew one of them personally. The call was a breeze.

After nearly an hour of conversation, one guy was talking. So, I sat there, on my bed, looking on, my back to the nice view of my bedroom wall –

And my boyfriend walked in.

“Hey babe, what’s up? Have you eaten yet?” he hollered.

Flinching a bit from his interruption, I did what I thought was the right thing everybody does when they’re on a Zoom call but want to attend to other things:

I put my phone face-down on the bed.

What they can’t see won’t hurt the call, I thought.

Then I responded to my boyfriend. He said something back. I said something else back. Then he came to the bed and took me in his arms. We kissed and kissed and kissed. There was moaning and gasping and more kissing.

However, when he pulled away long enough to pull off his singlet, a clear indication that he was now in the mood for something heavier than heavy petting, I suddenly remembered my call.

“No, no, no, not now,” I protested with a laugh. “I’m still on my call.”

“Really?” he said with a groan. As he got up from the bed, I picked my phone back up. The room had disappeared and my screen was just my Zoom account.

“What happened?” I asked no one in particular.

“What do you mean?” he turned to ask.

“Something must be wrong. I’m not on the call any longer.”

“They must have ended it.”

Really? How long had I been away, making out with my boyfriend? I mean, sure, just before he entered the room, the host had sounded like we were getting to the end of the call. But just like that, the call was over?

Feeling befuddled, I swiped away from the Zoom app and sent an email to the host.

‘My apologies,’ I wrote. ‘I wasn’t aware the call had ended. I was attending to something, and when I got back, you guys were gone.’

Moments later, he wrote back.

‘Yeah, we all HEARD the something you were attending to. Next time, please mute your call.’

Mortification flooded my entire being, hot as lava, as I read his reply. What they can’t see won’t hurt the call, right? What about what they could hear? And I thought I’d solved all my problems by putting my phone face down.

My first ever experience with Zoom. What’s yours?

Written by Pink Panther

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  1. Hadari
    October 19, 13:50 Reply

    How can you expect not be heard?

  2. Mikkiyfab
    October 19, 14:46 Reply

    Jezzzz 🤣. Sorry about that, I can only imagine. Well I have never had such experience or even pray to do. The first time I was to use zoom and also Google meet. I installed both apps days prior to the meetings, tested them both using another phone (I think my sister’s. Can’t remember whose Sha) knew and got acclimatized with the icons and their uses.

    Which is what I mostly do everytime. I just try to plan ahead and get used to things before using them publicly( especially public relational items.)

    Really sorry about your first ever experience.

  3. Black Dynasty
    October 23, 08:53 Reply

    Lol damn, at least it wasn’t on video.

    My mind wouldn’t let me rest with confirming and ensuring that the mic and camera are off.

    Yours was at least better than my friend, who handles major international firms (think Nike, Gucci etc). Him and his team were on a call with a high level team of one of those firms. His direct report was presenting and he answered a question but forgot the mic and was busy booking a staycaytion. Lol the person he was booking with was giving attitude and he responded very bluntly with insults 😄.

    Meanwhile his team was messaging him privately on zoom and WhatsApp to turn off his mic…. he thought it was work stuff and figured he’d get back to it after sorting out his booking.

    10 minutes later (he was still having a back and forth with the hotel), he realised his other phone was buzzing with messages continuously… he looked to see who was messaging and to his horror realised what happened.

    Lol oooh he froze! And went mute for a few seconds before putting off his mic and said nothing. Lol thankfully he’d resigned from said firm and was serving his notice period 😄.

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