Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

A report this week suggested that the Pope believes there is no Hell.

Which leaves just one question: Has he ever sat through a long conference call?

You try and pay attention. But only because you're supposed to.

You know that everyone on the call is also doing the same as you: writing emails, checking Facebook, watching YouTube videos and generally not paying much attention at all.

This is the kind of suffering that few could have imagined in the heady days of economic expansion and horses being cast aside in favor of cars.

How, though, can you teach your kids that you suffer at work?

How can you prepare them to appreciate that when you come home, you're not in the best of moods because you've just spent two hours staring at a phone -- or, worse, one of those conference call phone -- for two hours, while trying to decide if you should speak, or forever hold your peace?

I sat through a similar call not too long ago. 

When it ended, I walked outside, ululated like a very angry raccoon and went straight to the gym, where I pedaled more furiously that Lance Armstrong in his most dopey days.

But then I saw this. 

It made me cry, laugh, gurgle and gurn. 

Here was an educational tool which would bring parents and children so much closer together.

I believe this to be the work of Adam Padillla, founder of the Brandfire creative agency. And some might see that it's perfectly timed to coincide with April Fool's Day.

I also believe that Fisher-Price should immediately take steps to market this phenomenon.

Wouldn't you love to bring home Soul-Crushing Meeting for your little loved ones?

Please look at the stunning attention to detail.

The replica coffee cups. The conference table. The smiley face on the phone's screen.

And the beautifully worded marketing promise: "Now your kids can suffer just like you!!"

As so many adults struggle for patience and sanity, as corporations try to take these fundamentals from them, it's important that families stay together and understand each other's pain.

It's important that they fight psychic erosion.

Who knows, perhaps if the kids play with the conference call while they're young, they'll find new inventive ways to get out of it.

Or, at least, to manage it in a way that doesn't leave them ululating in the street. 

Fisher-Price, it's over to you.

Published on: Mar 31, 2018