My Zoom Meeting Background story isn’t pretty and I’m not sure it’s funny. We all remember learning to zoom during the pandemic. For many, including me, it was new. I’d done a few online meetings but was not very experienced. I had much to learn, how to set up Zoom, where to point the camera, set the volume, and what to wear. We all made mistakes. Some were hilarious. I made a few. The most embarrassing was my background. I don’t think embarrassing is the right word, but it’s the best I have.

My Zoom Meeting Background 

First I played with artificial backgrounds, then in the summer I liked being outdoors with the woods behind me, but most of the time, I was in my home office. My background was my library. I had four floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with books. I lined up most of my book’s spine out but placed some of my favorites showing the cover.

The largest section of my library was science fiction. As a teen I read Heinlein, Asimov, Sturgeon, Brunner, and more. One of my favorites was and is Phillip K. Dick. If you’re unfamiliar with him and his work (I almost went for the cheap joke), you’ve more than likely watched screen adaptations of his work such as  Blade Runner, Total Recall, The Adjustment Bureau, Minority Report, and The Man in the High Castle.

A True Find! 

Thirty years ago, I found a first edition hardback copy of The Man in the High Castle in a used bookstore in St Louis. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, it’s an alternate history where the Allies lose WW2, Japan and Germany occupy America except for a free zone in the mountains of Colorado. The Man in the High Castle lives in the mountains and writes an alternate history where the USA and its allies win WW 2.

The problem I had in the Zoom meeting was that I displayed the cover of this book, which has a large red swastika. I don’t know how many sessions I attended where my background included a swastika, but it was several before someone asked me about it.

About That

When asked about the book, I went on and on about the book and its author. Eventually, the person who inquired said, “Ok, I wondered why you displayed a swastika.” I said, “Oh shit.” I no longer display it showing the cover. It’s lined-up spine out.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

If you enjoyed this you might like, Breaking the Streak.

And there’s a book of humor

Want to read a collection of humor pieces? Writing I Think I’m Funny: and it gets me in trouble all the time has been a labor of love. Of the 47 stories in this book, more than 30 are true tales from my days on this planet. Most of those make it clear how my warped sense of humor gets me in trouble.

Photo by Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash