My Telework Tool Tally

Today’s Tuesday, April 7, and I’ve been working from home almost entirely for some three-plus weeks now. (VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger began our company-wide work-from-home on March 14; and my advisory office inside a DoD agency went “strongly-encouraged remote work” not long after.) So far this week alone, on just Monday and Tuesday, I’ve had the following virtual meetings:

5 Zoom (Enterprise)
1 Zoom Government (CAC-enabled, FEDRAMP-cloud hosted)
1 Google Hangout
1 MS Teams
2 VMware Horizon virtualizing Skype for Business
1 Ubiety
1 GoToWebinar
1 WebEx
2 Phone conference calls (one coordinated/scheduled via Calendly)

I can live with any of them, though of course quality varies, including within the meeting. Users hunt for mute/unmute buttons and other controls, with no consistency across the platforms – it reminds me of the ancient days learning different bold and underline commands in WordStar and WordPerfect 🙂

Admittedly like most people my favorite feature is the Zoom virtual background; and while I haven’t gone to as much trouble as some of my friends in Palo Alto and elsewhere who have deployed home-office green-screens and photoshopped fancy memes, I’ve been having bipartisan fun switching between these two this week:SitRoom Shepherd



It’s worth noting, perhaps, that while several of my Zoom “enterprise” meetings and both of the conference calls were internal corporate ones, all the rest included government colleagues, i.e. officials at one or another U.S. government agency – typically with the Defense Department or Intelligence Community. In a few cases they were participating from inside their regular offices, but the majority of them were working from home.

And we got a lot done! But there will be social reverberations. To quote Shakespeare via Aldous Huxley, “O brave new world…”


12 Responses

  1. Luv your Zooms! Been struggling all day to set up the app unsuccessfully. I wanna impress my granddaughter how I climbed Mount Everest, alone and ungloved. But before you quote Shakespeare in ‘Tempest’ and Huxley on ‘Brave New World’, perhaps read the entire context of their plays. Neither one is supportive of the phrase. One is ironic, the other is desperate. Neither is optimistic.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. WordStar and WordPerfect – for some reason I saw you as a Navy DIF user🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. + 1 “call” via telephonic communicator (“phone”).

    “It’s still the same old story…as time goes by..”


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

    [Working from home? You’ll relate to these Zoom fails and memes …]


  5. Thanks for the virtual meetings. As a gov employee, I find the home school vs other business interesting. At home, a few weeks back, I was infrequently utilizing zoom etc. But now the whole family is in school or business meetings many times, every day. I had said this may be a game changer to many, what are your views of tech enhancements post Corona?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Lewis,Love your virtual background. Am impressed with the number of virtual meetings you’ve had.  I have discovered that there needs to be a leader who calls on people who want to speak with a formalized protocol, a referee, if you will. We are just getting organized with civic virtual meetings. So far, I was the only member of the public at the most recent City Council meeting.  I had to resist saying loudly, ” I’mmm baaaack.”  Been functioning as a city watch dog. I have had medical virtual appts, not easy due to delays in audio reception. Perhaps it’s time for a new laptop!Last week, my dog had a vet exam with me 6′ away in the vet’s parking lot.  Really feeling that big brother is watching almost everything.  I refuse to wire up my neurological system, however!Cheers and stay well, as strangers in this strange land, SandraSent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note9.


  7. OK, Lewis, now that it’s September 8, how do you feel about working at home and staying somewhat confined to stay safe; logging in to meeting after video meeting; and backgrounds creativity? We’re getting better at knowing to unmute, but are we having fun yet?? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maryann – Kind of funny to consider that this exchange (comment and reply) is merely another virtual-comms channel; it’s the equivalent of the old answering machine I think, where one can “call screen” and answer asynchronously at one’s leisure – versus the immediate demand of the video meeting, and I am getting more and more unscheduled video calls now! Crazy. As for backgrounds, the novelty has worn off for me and I’m back to “There’s my wall.” 🙂


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