In this hectic era that we live in it’s gotten impossible to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Finding a time when everyone is available, especially if you have more than two participants, is harder than solving a Rubik’s cube puzzle. Hence, the popularity of the phone conference call. In the old days these sorts of calls were hard to set up. One person took charge and had to sequentially contact all the potential participants. Nowadays it’s a lot easier because there are services that have ‘800’ numbers that each participant calls into a the appointed time. To gain access to the conference the participant just enters a ‘meeting code.’ Everyone is responsible for their own attendance; the moderator is responsible for paying the bill to the phone company. And these days the cost isn’t that much.
Another thing that’s better is that the conference calls are easy to set up. In fact, Genesys, which is the service that our firm uses, allows each attorney to have a unique meeting number that is assigned to them, which means that a conference call can be set up at a moment’s notice. Imagine you are out of the office and you want to set up a call. You blast out an email with the call-in number and your meeting number. You can even have your cellphone set up with an auto-dial for your meeting so that you just have to push one button and the pertinent information gets automatically transmitted. The only thing I’d have to manually enter is the ‘matter number’ that the call should be billed to.
In 1986, Paul Simon wrote a song called the Boy in the Bubble wherein these lines appeared: "These are the days of miracle and wonder. This is the long distance call." I’d change that last line to ‘this is the easy to set up long distance conference call.’ It’s not miraculous or wonderous, but it’s pretty useful, especially if it’s easy to set up.