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Don't throw the cat.

Don’t throw your cat.

I know we’re living in difficult times and you have many problems facing you.

None of those problems will be solved by throwing your cat.

The other morning, I was sipping a cup of coffee while reading about six newspapers, which is the way I start my day about 360 days of the year.

One headline caught my attention. “Commissioner forced to resign.”

That woke me up. I’m a commissioner, and while it’s not the best job in the world, I’m not eager to be forced to resign. I read the article, looking for some tips on what not to do.

It seems a guy was attending a Planning and Zoning meeting from home, using a video conferencing device, and his cat jumped up on his lap. He held the cat up to the screen and introduced it to the rest of the meeting attendees. Then he threw it off camera, took a drink of beer, and used a few words not generally used in meetings.

This is, I admit, unacceptable behavior.

In his defense, there’ve been more than a few Planning and Zoning meetings when, had alcohol been available, I’d have been tempted to have a bump. Or twelve.

I may have tossed a cat or two, but not when there were witnesses.

I don’t think I’ve ever cussed in a meeting, at least not to excess, but that’s only because I have very good filters – I’m used to not saying out loud what I’m thinking. With a beer in my hand and a cat gnawing my ear lobe, there’s no telling what might come out.

I’ve taken note of a few “oops” as people learn about working from home. I’m lucky in that I’ve been working from home since 1976. I have an office with a door that shuts, which puts me one up on the woman who was in a video conference and her entire team couldn’t help but notice her naked husband walk past her open door on his way to take a shower. Also concerning was the woman who took her phone into the bathroom with her and set it down in front of the toilet.

Pro tip, people: “Mute” does not shut off the video.

Another woman was fooling around with the graphics on her computer before the meeting and changed her image to a potato. Then couldn’t remember how to change it back.

Yeah, I don’t know why. People do dumb things. Luckily, she was the boss, so being fired wasn’t an option.

Another advantage I have working at home is that I don’t have kids.

Okay, I do have kids, but the baby is 36 and lives 180 miles away, so I’m not too worried about her disrupting a meeting - unlike the woman who was in the middle of a meeting when her young son walked into the room, saying, “Look at my penis!” and hit the button on a fart machine.

We’re going to get through this. If you’re working from home, put your pants on, don’t drink during meetings, remember what mute does and doesn’t do.

And don’t throw the cat.

Copyright 2020 Brent Olson

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