In today’s pandemic-burdened world, the word “Zoom” has taken on a whole new meaning. No longer is this form of onomatopoeia used only to refer to the sound of a speedy vehicle passing by. Today, Zoom is very well known as the video conferencing software program developed by Zoom Video Communications.
The free video chatting service is widely used by people from all walks of life to keep in touch with those who they would otherwise see in person. The pandemic, of course, has made social distancing a necessity. In place of the traditional face-to-face encounter, a Zoom meeting is the new norm for business meetings, classrooms and just about any other form of in-person encounter it can replace.
Zoom meetings don’t always go as planned.
People are still getting used to the proper conduct necessary to engage in professional Zoom meetings. Some business people, rumor continues to have it, dress only the top portions of their bodies thinking their lower halves won’t be seen on screen. As you can imagine, this has led to some embarrassing scenarios.
And as Houston, Texas’ ABC 13 Eyewitness News reports this week, a west Texas attorney was replaced by a cat during a recent Zoom call. You see, Zoom enables users to use certain filters that can change their on-screen images during video feeds. Apparently, when Rod Ponton logged on to a recent meeting, the cat filter was turned on. So, instead of his face, Judge Roy Ferguson was staring at a cute little talking kitten.
The meeting took place this past Tuesday.
During the recorded Zoom call, Judge Ferguson alerted Ponton of the situation. “I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” he informed the lawyer. “I’m here live, I’m not a cat,” Ponton responded. The hilarity of the situation prompted the court to post a 42-second clip of the Zoom meeting to its YouTube page. Check it out HERE!
Evidently, the incident was considered humorous enough to share publicly. After all, we could all use more feel-good stories these days, couldn’t we? Judge Ferguson even took to Twitter, this week, to share some words of wisdom about how to use Zoom correctly.
The judge offered three tweets.
“If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the Zoom Video Options to be sure filters are off,” he tweeted, “This kitten just made a formal announcement on a case in the 394th.” Judge Ferguson didn’t stop there. He also utilized his Twitter account to express his gratitude and respect to Ponton for the way he handled the oddity.
“These fun moments are a by-product of the legal profession's dedication to ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times,” read Ferguson’s second tweet, “Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!”
Ferguson then went so far as to encourage others to circulate the funny video of the Zoom meeting. “Media outlets, you may use the video. It was recorded during a virtual hearing in the 394th DC of TX, and released for educational purposes,” he wrote in tweet number three, “It is crucial that this not be used to mock the lawyers, but instead to exemplify the legal community's dedication to the cause of justice.”
On behalf of the Allegiant Experts team, we hope today’s feel-good story has brightened your day!