The Perfect Life #48: Zooming Towards a Breakdown

The Perfect Life #48 by Dr. Perfect

Dear Dr. Perfect,

I don’t know how much longer I can remain employable due to the existential terrors of work meetings. 

There I am in a zoom meeting, not doing the work that is stressing me out, me stressing out about waiting to stress out about the stress I will experience once I can focus on the stressors of the work I am paid to do, and we are informed that this meeting won’t last longer than two hours, and then there’s an outline of the topics, including an introduction, but before we get to the introduction, there’s an introduction to the introduction, and the speaker then lets us know that this meeting will relieve us about the concerns we might have about “maximizing our utilization of updated modalities for exploring new technologies in determining the most creative outcomes for production,” and despite having a PhD in this field with 30 years of experience, I have no fucking idea what any of this amorphous discourse is about, and I don’t want to live in this world anymore, and then people in the chat get excited about this meeting.

How can I survive?


Someone who’s had enough 


Dear Desperately Seeking Something,

I’m not entirely sure what it is that you do, but it seems important. You are having meetings, after all. Zoom meetings. 

Slow down, take a deep breath, and have yourself a nice night tub. That would be a warm bubble bath accompanied by dimmed lights, flickering candles, and Eddie Money playing on your transistor radio.

You could even throw a good book into the mix. Vanquish all thoughts of work meetings and let your mind drift to happier times upon your childhood sled, Rosebud

The last time I got so stressed out that I could scream was during the annual National American Advice Columnist Program (NAACP) convention. I had reserved a booth and everything, only to be told at the last moment that they couldn’t accommodate both me and my twenty interns. 

These columns don’t publish themselves. There’re overhead costs to consider, syndicates to deal with, pencils to sharpen, letters to proof, and bottles of Dom Pérignon to fetch. 

I can’t do this without them, which is exactly what I told those jerks at the convention. But the problem extended beyond accommodations. One of my interns just happened to be an escaped convict living under a new identity. Something about him being the Long Island Strangler, when I just knew his hard work was too good to be true. He was an excellent copy editor, whose assumed name, “Bob Newhart,” didn’t ring any alarm bells. How was I supposed to know?

The reasons for the insurmountable pressure gnawing your insides out are obvious. Meetings suck. Some dope asks another one about some report or the status on some nuclear reactor, and before you know it, the spotlight is on you. 

Panic thrusts you into survival mode, where all synapses fire at once, leading to the inevitable agreement with whatever is said on the call. But before you know it, you’ve agreed to write a twenty-page report on your specialized field as an addendum to the company’s quarterly report. Cautiously navigate the waters before diving in. 

The fraudster complex is common in any profession. Naturally, I don’t possess this trait, but I understand its peril. Picture everyone on the call in their underwear. Though, in light of recent stories about one seasoned CNN pundit masturbating during a Zoom call, maybe not. Instead, picture them wearing funny hats.

That turns you on, too?

The meetings have diminished any chances of contacting intelligent life beyond our galaxy. Dan Aykroyd was right, they’ve been listening to our Zoom calls for years now. Those space snobs want nothing to do with us. Can we blame them? 

At most, we get a few low-flying UFOs or UAPs captured on grainy black and white video from an Air Force fighter jet.

Ho-hum. Stop the press.

Meanwhile, Pentagon officials stand there with their dicks in the wind, and… well, let’s talk about something else. They’ve already got a file on me. 

You need to decompress. I suggest a weeklong vacation, hiking the Appalachian Trail. I did it twice, and I felt better about myself afterward. Out there, it’s just you and nature. You don’t know real stress until you’ve run six miles, fleeing a mountain lion after taunting her cubs. That adventure made my soul feel so clean someone-who’s-had-enough!

My harrowing ordeal was nothing that a night tub couldn’t cure. Tchaikovsky played on repeat that evening, I assure you. It’s time we got back to real meetings and drop the Zoom nonsense. I want to see the person, take in their scent, and feel their presence from within. That’s not creepy, it’s human

Until then we can only dream, while resisting the urge to punch our computer monitors. Hang in there, and I’ll see you on the Appalachian Trail. Well, I’ll be here basking in my opulent villa, but be sure to send pics!


Dr. Perfect has slung advice across the globe for the last two decades due to his dedication to the uplift of the human condition.

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