Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

My first order of blog business is to apologize to my loyal readers for the word draught. I know there are a few of you who look forward to learning about the latest and greatest in the world of marketing and I am deeply sorry for my sporadic postings. The good news is I have been spending my time locked in my office writing until the wee hours in order to meet the publishing deadline for my latest book, the long awaited follow up to “Marketing for Dummies.” This one is called, “Put Your Name on It” and my editor anticipates it will hit the bestseller list pretty hard.
Those of you who only read my column during conference calls may not have missed me much, but I think you’ll be interested in a fellow blogger’s website. I ran across it during a conference call with my literary agent last week that ended up lasting longer than most Hollywood marriages. It’s called, “Ihateconferencecalls.com” and those of you who are forced to endure them on a regular basis will appreciate its tongue in cheek approach to a mundane workaday activity. I think we can all agree that conference calls, while mind numbingly boring, are a necessity in today’s telecommuting work environment. We’ve all sat there glassy eyed, waiting to hear our name so we can give one or two lines of input and hoping the dog would refrain from barking during our big moment. And of course there is the inconsiderate boob who relentlessly shuffles papers, eats or pounds on the keyboard, blissfully unaware of how to use the mute button. The most egregious offense of course, is having to listen to one person drone on and on, circling around the same point until your head is spinning.
For those moments, I find a little humor goes a long way in alleviating the pain of the three-hour call, which is why I never dial in unless my Lip-Syncher is plugged in. It’s a mobile phone desktop speaker with selectable synchronized talking lips. It makes the chatter a bit more tolerable and I find that it makes me smile through the tears. Next time you host a big meeting, why not send out a dozen to your fellow attendees—or, if you are hosting, add your company name and a clever message and you’ll be remembered long after the call is over.
Well, I’ve got to go, conference call with my six year old’s teacher. Telecommuting is officially out of control. Remember, when you’re on a conference call and nature calls, the mute button is your best friend.