One consequence of work from home is that all of us now know way too much about how our colleagues live, from filthy “offices” to screaming kids and rowdy dogs. And because some managers are terrible at their jobs and think camera on = working, there are those among us who can’t even get five good minutes alone to let the dog out or drop the kids off at the pool. Unless, of course, you want to bring your laptop in there but … don’t, please. It’s bad enough all our phones are as disgusting as they are because some of us are so attached to them we can’t even hit the can without bringing them along (I definitely know nothing about that, nope definitely not). I digress.
Luckily cameras aren’t required for our weekly Zoom meeting around these parts, but even if they were we’re fortunate enough to work in the kind of environment where you can get away with saying “sorry I was late, I was taking a shit” and not ruin your career over it. I realize you all are not always so lucky.
Enter FreezingCam. It purports to do exactly what its name implies, inserting “connection issues” where none exist so you can take a shit in peace. Or grab a snack. Or yell at your cat for the 10th time to get the fuck off the counter goddamnhowmanytimesdoihavetotellyouthis?!?!. Whatever. Point is, it buys you a few minutes to do what you have to do without the other parties having any idea.
Is it sad that this even exists? Well sure. But good luck trying to reason with a manager who expects you to be tied to your desk like some kind of junkyard dog. Better just to go along with it and do what you can to find your own solution (the obvious one being quit your job, but barring that you have to get creative).
I mean, a cardboard cutout is an option too. Or you could take it to the extreme and do what this guy did, automating his responses with video clips to make it appear like he was not only at his desk and on the call but engaging with questions. Or just quit and find a firm that doesn’t treat you like a criminal in solitary confinement under 24-hour observation but let’s not get crazy.
FreezingCam is rolling out for MacOS devices this month. Windows users can just continue using aggressive forced updates and their bloated operating system for needed breaks, that always worked for me back when I was on PC.