Pitching technical difficulties

Live from The Peak’s virtual meeting, it’s Thursday afternoon!

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A bored team on Zoom, watching their boss get their hair done while staring blankly at the screen
ILLUSTRATION: Jill Baccay / The Peak

By: Hailey Miller, Staff Writer

On a not-so-typical Thursday morning that quickly turned into an afternoon, staff members of The Peak sat down like any old day for their weekly online pitch meeting . . . but this time, with no Editor-in-Chief (EiC) in sight. 

Pitching shenanigans are supposed to start promptly at 11:30 in the morning, and end around noon, as they do any other Thursday. But, as you can probably tell, this wasn’t exactly close to any other Thursday. Us staff writers and editors eagerly logged in to our work accounts to get our pitch fix on and scoop up our must-have weekly quotas! To our surprise, we were greeted by a screen full of blank boxes with everyone’s names except for one. The most important of them all . . . drumroll please . . . the EiC! For someone whose job revolves around pitching punctuality, our boss clearly had more important priorities. 

Nevertheless, like the good employees we are, we waited. We sat in silence. Devices muted, screens turned off. We twiddled our thumbs, staring at blank spaces of walls and windows to pass the time. Of course, none of us were bold enough to turn on our mics and ask where Ms. Boss was, or even poke her in the group chat, like she always does for anyone who needs a little reminder. What a silly goose!

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of silence, she showed up . . . on her phone, with the crappiest reception possible. And where exactly might she be joining the virtual meeting from, you ask? Well, none other than the hair salon, obviously! With bleached hair and her head still in the sink, us staff couldn’t hear a damn thing from her phone speaker as she began to justify her whereabouts and the superior importance of getting her hair done before heading off to this year’s student journalism conference that weekend. Okay, little mermaid! I guess, in that case, we’ll let it slide since she’s gotta look snazzy with some nice, new hair to show off and stand out as she represents our entire work crew at the national conference. And, I mean, we are talking bright red hair, people! 

So, the EiC  was late to her own meeting after spending countless hours in the salon chair with enough technical difficulties to give a vintage computer a run for its money. She was so muffled, we wondered if her phone was being rinsed in the water alongside her hair. Once she figured out we couldn’t hear her, the entire meeting was, therefore, dubbed to be typed in chat. 

So, anywho, we are now on a tight schedule, and the meeting’s barely started. As is every old Thursday, the EiC can’t get by without a burning ice-breaker question to kick the meeting into gear. By this point, we’re all half asleep but had to answer a question so bizarre we hardly remembered it as it left her mouth. Then comes the sports editor’s time to answer, but once again, we hear . . . silence. Dead air. A blank screen. Nothing in the chat, either. Do we not get the dignity of a response from . . . anyone

Our news editor barely finished the last sentence of her weekly pitches and had to dip out faster than it took to get the meeting started since it went so far overtime it clearly ran into other pressing priorities. We had taken it upon ourselves to attempt to turn our mics on to speed up the process, but between technical difficulties and audio cutting out, this hot mess express went from bad to worse in one click of a page refresh. 

Half the pitches weren’t even brought up in what turned out to be a very unproductive meeting since the EiC’s muffled, half-working phone could not type out list after list of pitches. Did we actually have section editors or were they blank screens? Was our EiC replaced with a 15-year-old rockstar who forgot she was, in fact, our boss? Fashionably late, as always! What a diva. 

Between figuring out who should speak up, to who should unmute, to who couldn’t even see the screen or use the chat, and finally, to those of us who just sat there in silence, this meeting was a shipwreck from start to finish. The chaos ensued from the late minutes of the morning to the overtime we didn’t get paid for far into the wee hours of noon! We were truly in the trenches. Maybe next time we’ll send her a little poke in chat!

The EiC of The Peak was found running away from the pitch meeting, clutching the editors. Will we ever see her again?

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