Attending Conference in the Time of Covid

Working from home is saving a lot of time. No commute, no lunch break, no interruptions. So it seemed like a good idea to attend an online conference – especially since I got one ticket for free. While signing up it asked for my work email and phone. As often before I gave my real information. I always did so for many conferences without any issues. Topic didn’t interest me much but I saw no downside in “attending” it. Worse case scenario, I’ll just have it on in background while doing some work.

But it’s like universe wanted to teach me a lesson…

As soon as conference has finished, I started getting emails from vendors. And phone calls. Many phone calls. During “physical” conference times I occasionally did get into touch with interesting people. However, it was only when I found their product interesting and of my own volition. Never before I had conference share my phone number with sponsors. I guess this is a new normal.

I pretty much had every company present at the conference give me a call by now. I must say that most of them were pleasant and understanding when I told them I was not interested / had no use for their product, but surprising number of them were as close as you can get to a spam call.

Companies we never worked with claimed to be calling from “our” account team. There was a lot of persuasion to connect them to somebody higher up. And a lot of trouble hanging up. You see, I am used to “no” meaning no. And I expect the other person to accept it so we can end the conversation on a pleasant note. I’m old fashioned that way.

Pretty much each unpleasant caller had the same tactic. Ignore “no” and pepper me with questions about company I work for. As I refuse to answer a question, ask why and immediately pop another. Damn it, I had spammers that were more pleasant callers than these.

Well, lesson learned…

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