The Opposite of Zen (or When Fingers Become Sledgehammers)

by Joseph Kwon in


If you work in a large office, chances are you've been there. Frantically rushing to dial into a conference call as the leader. The faster you go, the sloppier you get, increasing the likelihood you will misdial the phone number, conference code or PIN. Then, you get the dreaded robot message, "The number you have entered is not valid. Please try again..."


Second try. Rushing even more this time you hit a wrong number. Robot message. Is this really happening?!

Finally, on the third try you gather your wits, slow it down, and success! Congratulations would be in order, except because of the impromptu Riverdance your fingers just performed, you are just hoping the participants are still there.

However, there IS a better way.

Your mobile phone has a "pause" key which causes a wait of about 2 seconds while dialing. Two pauses equals 4 seconds, three equals 6, etc. By using the pause, you can program your conference call number as a contact in your phone so the conference code and PIN will be dialed for you at the proper moments. It takes a bit of trial and error to get the timing right, but this is time well spent. So you put in the phone number, a pause(s) (represented by a comma), the conference code, pause(s), and then the PIN.

For example, my fake "Joe's con call" contact would look this (I've redacted the PIN):

+1(201) 333-2923,,,13842109#,,,*,,XXXXX#

This link explains how to use the pause for several types of mobile phones.

Depending on your desk phone, you may be able to work a similar solution, but alas, mine does not support pauses.

No more Riverdance and let the Zen dialing begin! EZPZ.