IM an idiot.

We use instant messaging quite a bit at work, and it really does save a lot of time. You can get questions answered quickly when you're on the phone, and it is really handy for those important 'back channel' conversations while stuck in long conference calls. Here's an example. A year or so ago, a friend of mine and I were in the same meeting. The Project Manager was an idiot. We were expounding on that fact. It went something like this:

My Friend: "If this dickhead says 'synergy' or 'drill down' one more time, I'm going to break my pencil off in his neck."

Me: "Yeah, I hear ya. What makes it worse is that he doesn't know what 'synergy' means. He keeps talking about it like it's a bad thing."

My Friend: "I dare you to talk like Smoove B."

Me: "Don't dare me. I'll do it."

My Friend: "I dare you."

Me, talking out loud like Smoove B: "We will have 2 servers -- one at each location. There will also be redundancy."

[Then we both hit our mute buttons instantly, so we could laugh silently until tears ran down our faces. Yeah. We're professionals.]

My point here is that due to this multitasking, you may have several windows up on the screen at any given time. You could be IM-ing three different people, while simultaneously writing an e-mail and participating in a conference call. Additionally, you're usually having vastly different conversations in each. You are multi-tasking your ass off, and one slip can cause you to type something into the wrong window. Let me give you another example.

Please note that under no circumstances did this happen to me yesterday.

In one window you could be, say, talking to an upper-management type about encrypted SMTP routing, and whether the ASP you are outsourcing to expects a secure connection for X12 application messages.

In another window you can be talking to a coworker about his new 55” HDTV.

The conversation could possibly unfold thusly:

Upper-Management Type to Not Me: “So what you’re saying is the application is currently generating mail messages that are sent via SMTP, but they’re not encrypted because they never leave the network.”

Not Me to Upper-Management Type: “Yes, exactly. We have a forced route from the gateway that will conditionally deliver the message directly to their Exchange server when it sees something come in from that domain.”

Co-worker to Not Me, in another window: “I just bought this TV."

Upper-Management Type to Not Me: "So did Tony's network diagram look accurate to you?"

Not Me, replying to Co-worker, but inadvertently typing in window belonging to Upper-Management Type: "DUDE! That thing is fucking AWESOME!"

Upper-Management Type to Not Me: Um, OK.

[conversation ends]

So you can see where things can get confusing. If you're a moron.


  1. Did I tell you about the time I sent an IM to my boss that I meant to send to you because you both have the same first name? It amounted to "Oh great, rosebud next to me got a new pc, she's already complaining"

    There is that nanosecond after you hit "send" where you are thinking No no no no no no.... it is the worst feeling.

    I'm just glad it wasn't a REALLY nasty remark about the one who sat RIGHT next to you.

  2. Holy shit, Troy, did you read Mark's blog today? Hilarious...lol...I wish they were all this funny though :-(

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. [had to repost - I misspelled hell - heel and it made the story stupid]

    One time a coworker was catching total hell from the wife on the phone. I meant to write to the guy sitting beside me (who could hear the shit storm piling up on XXX). I accidentally wrote to XXX!! I said, "Wow, XXX is really going to get it when he gets home." I didn't realize what I had done until he wrote back "What?"

    Oh and Friday a coworker (female) wrote to me and said, "Can I call you." Since I IM like I speak I wanted to write "shore" - but I wrote "hore" by mistake. Fortunately for everyone involved she took it pretty well - because she's a hore. Just Kidding - she took it well because she's awesome.

  5. on the meeting speak, good idea. i'm gonna start being ali g from now on. you should start using the word 'socialize' to get the point across that you'll be 'spreading the word' to... everyone.

  6. This is so effing awesome because one time I meant to write to Scott but I wrote to Maureen "I think Maureen is retarded" and then she wrote back to me "Hey that's not nice" so then I pretty much just explained to her why I thought she was. After that we got along famously.

    Another time, one of the few times I've actually gotten to be on a conference call with Sarah I told her via sametime that I bet she couldn't come up with a word I wouldn't use on the call. Maybe she can remember the words (she gave me several) but I worked them into the call and then we both muted and laughed our asses off.

  7. Hey! I'm visitor 900. (I hate you.)

  8. John I'm so pissed. I was just telling someone else about that the other day, and I can't remember any of the stuff we came up with for you to say. Goddamn that was funny, though. They were the most ridiculous and sometimes inappropriate things ever. Holy shit good times.