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Paying too much attention to the background

I do not have strong feelings about people using virtual backgrounds when they’re on video for meetings. I don’t like them myself as I find all the weird artifacts and ghosting around the edges to be distracting. I also have a home office and I don’t mind my coworkers seeing what’s in the background.

That’s me, though, and I know plenty of people don’t have the luxury of a separate space in their home, or don’t care to have people they work with seeing their real background. That’s totally fine with me—everybody should do whatever they’re comfortable with.

There is a particular virtual background that a number of my coworkers use. It is not one of the ones that comes built into Teams; I think someone created it and then it has gotten shared around. They took a picture from a desk in one of our on-prem offices so that when you set it as your virtual background, it does a pretty good job of making you look like you’re sitting in an actual company office.

However, whoever originally took the picture accidentally captured the top of someone’s head sticking up over a cubicle wall. In nearly every meeting I join, at least one person features this guy in the background:

I get a laugh out of this image every single time I see it. Who is this fellow, the Teams-meeting equivalent of the Wilhelm Scream, immortalized in probably hundreds of meetings a day across the company?

We’ll never know.

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