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By Diana Diamond

Can you hear me yet?

Uploaded: Feb 12, 2021

Scene —

Ten members of the “Over 50” club, each sitting in front of their computer, trying to participate in a meeting on Zoom.

Janice: “Can you hear me? Can you hear me? No? Can you hear me now? I can hear you. But you can’t hear me yet?

“I hit the unmute button now. Oh, good, you can hear me but now I can’t see you.

“What? You can’t see me either? What did you tell me to do? Oh, all you can see is my initial. Which button should I push? Ah, the video button. Now can you see me?”

Jim, Zoom moderator: “Bob, are you signed in? I can see your name as a participant but I can’t see your face! You, have to click on the video button. Oh, you did? Then why can’t I see you? Did you click the one on the left side of your screen?

“Oh, I forgot to let Steve and Molly in. Welcome, guys!”

Older member: Why do you have to let us in? I used to let myself in.”?
Jim: “Zoom changed the rules. You have to first wait in the waiting room.”

Susan: “Isn’t it time we start this meeting, Jim? I already raised my hand.”

Janice: “I tried to raise my hand, but I used to do it at the bottom of the participants list and it appeared as a blue hand symbol inext to my name. But I couldn’t do that today. How can I raise my hand because I want to say something.”

Jim: “Zoom has changed how to do it. You have to go to the right-hand button at the bottom of your zoom screen and you will see a rectangle saying “‘rase your hand.’ And don’t forget to lower it after you speak.”

Mary: “When I do that, my hand comes up in yellow, and it’s such a light yellow it’s hard to see on my screen.”

Jim: “Blue was easier, but Zoom changed the color.”

Janice: “My hand is still blue!”

Jim: “Mike, stop waving your hand in front of your screen. When I said raise your hand I meant the little hand symbol next to your name. Don’t just wave at the screen because I won’t know who to call on was first. You all have to wait to be called on.”

Mary: “I don’t like rules like that. It didn’t used to be that way.”

Jim: “Joe, lower your screen. All we can see is your ceiling.”

Susan: “Did Bob just leave us? I don’t see his name anymore.”

Jim: “You mean our president disappeared? I’ll call him.”

Janice: “Can I speak while we’re waiting? I have my hand raised.’

Jim: “I got ahold of our president and he forgot to charge his computer. He’ll be back in one or two minutes.”

Bob: “I’m back. Sorry about the computer interruption. Can you all hear me? I can’t hear you.”


Such us life in these days of Zoom.

Zoom is a great new tool. I use it several times a week. It keeps me sane during these days of isolated inanities. But it’s in its infancy, and has steps to go.

I’m a subscriber, and while I get notices for upgrades, which I do, I don’t get any information on minor changes — like changing the “raise your hand” message. I watched some of their learning videos, but the teachers were so familiar with Zoom that they raced through the subject material. And one lesson was televised from behind the teacher and it was impossible to see what buttons she was pushing on her Zoom screen.

What else is wrong. Did you find some problems?

On a positive note, sometimes it’s so much easier to attend a meeting from my family room instead of driving a couple of miles at night to the meeting site. And meeting attendance seems to be up.

While personal meetings are usually much better, I want to thank you, Zoom, for letting me keep in taking touch with my family, friends and business associates.