Conference call

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Conference Call Anatomy

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According to the first law of work entropy, it is logically impossible for a conference call to start on time.

Outside the German-speaking world, the probability of anyone dialling in to any conference call even a moment more before it is scheduled to begin is as close to zero as makes no difference. The likelihood of any two being perfectly on time is slimmer still. Since, as Büchstein wryly noted, “one cannot meet alone”,[1] the point at which a conference call can become ontologically quorate is, necessarily, a non-trivial period of time after its scheduled start.

This heuristic does not hold in the German-speaking world, however.

German speakers will happily join a conference call minutes or even hours before it is due to start purely to experience the cleansing effect (früheankunftfreude of being der warteschleifenmusikopfer — the first to plunge into an icy bath — or indeed to avoid the stigma (späteankunftschande) of being the last invitee to join — a taboo that applies even where all attendees have dialed in before the appointed time (an eventuality which, outside German speaking world, is all but logically impossible).

See also