Zoom calls aren’t for everyone. Sure, they’re a convenient way to touch base with your coworkers. But sometimes, they can go on forever.
And other times, they’re hard to hear based on faulty audio (or perhaps that one coworker who just doesn’t know that they can mute their mic). The husband of Cara Fields found a great, subtle way to make his wife’s Zoom meetings more fun. He photobombs them.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a photobomb is a prank when someone intentionally sneaks into the background of a photo. Or in this case, video. It’s typically harmless. And usually, it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with some Photoshop editing, in case you’re ever photobombed by strangers.
It’s unclear as to how Cara’s husband Matt thought of the idea, but it’s definitely a good one.
Cara shared the photos on LinkedIn. “The colleagues I’m meeting with always see him before I do,” she said. “Never a dull moment in this household!”
So far, Matt has dressed up like Batman, Waldo, and a cowboy. From what Cara told Bored Panda, the cowboy seems to have been one of the earliest photobombs. He started out by appearing with items he already had in his closet, but then friends and family who were in on the joke sent him some other costumes for future photobombs.
The prank itself is harmless. And in fact, it’s often a lot of fun. It makes Zoom meetings all that more fun for Cara’s fellow workers. According to her LinkedIn profile, Cara is currently the director and marketing chief of staff at Elanco, which is an animal health company located in Greenfield, Indiana.
“He has always loved wearing ridiculous things in public to embarrass me,” Cara said to Bored Panda. “So when I converted our dining room into an office where my camera faced the dining room table, he saw a virtual opportunity to embarrass me.” Her husband, by the way, is also working from home during these times.
However, it’s unclear if he keeps on the funny costumes all day, or if it’s just when he knows that Cara’s about to start a Zoom session. The best thing is, Cara never knows what to expect. Even though she’s probably seen the Hawaiian shirts he started out with, friends are becoming more and more involved.
In a way, it’s pretty sweet. It’s a way for Matt to connect with his friends in a way that nobody would have thought of mere months ago. “Friends started mailing him Halloween costumes,” Cara confirmed. “I’m told that more costumes are in transit!”
Cara has admitted that it’s really boosted the morale during her meetings. He’s also giving her coworkers something fun and new to look forward to every day. “My colleagues love this,” Cara said. “It’s so strange to see a team of people laughing while you’re presenting, and then realizing something ridiculous is going on behind you.”
She’s also building up really sweet memories with her husband. The big question is, what’s going to happen when they run out of costumes? Where are they even storing all of these costumes? And does he ever repeat characters? Once you get started with something like this, it’s hard to figure out when it’ll end — especially since nobody knows when it’ll be OK to resume things as normal.
Cara knows that while it’s goofy, it can be just what people need right now. Mental health is something we all need to be on the watch for, these days especially. Having a laugh can be incredibly therapeutic. “It has definitely helped people remember to stop and laugh during these times,” she said.
Cara and Matt aren’t the only couple out there who are working from home together and certainly not the only ones to poke some fun at each other while on Zoom. But there are also a lot of people who are so new to the software and the concept that they’ve accidentally embarrassed themselves when chatting with their peers.
One of the best Zoom fails was when a boss accidentally turned herself into a potato during the call. It’s very funny. But the best part of all is that she didn’t know how to turn the feature off. How could anyone have paid attention to a phone call like this without cracking up?
There’s also the couple who forgot that their homes aren’t as private as they used to be. While she was on a Zoom call, he walked in without wearing pants. But it’s his reaction to this blunder that really makes the video worth watching on repeat.
And of course, Zoom offers up fun background opportunities if you don’t have a husband who will dress up in costume during your calls. But since Zoom is also used for friendly happy hours and family chats, that may be problematic. Let’s hope nobody’s boss is taking things too seriously during these awkward times.
If you have an understanding work environment, perhaps a costume is a great way to have fun. Or you and your coworkers can hold costume parties every Friday to help lift everyone’s spirits. We’re all trying to survive this the best way we can.
And aside from following the advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and doing our best to socially distance ourselves, laughter is so important right now. So think about all the fun things you can do to liven up your Zoom chats. Just make sure that if you plan to turn yourself into a potato, you practice how to turn back to normal before your meeting goes live.