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Have you played... Microsoft Teams Call-Joining Tab Races?

Making a game for myself out of daily technical frustration

Horrible, horrible Microsoft Teams.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Microsoft

Like many people, I am required to use Microsoft Teams for conference calls by my job. Like many people, I find Microsoft Teams is rubbish and it gives me problems every single day. I have never joined a Teams meeting simply by clicking the link. I must always refresh stalled screens, sign back in, repeatedly tell it no don't use the app, or some other technical hiccup. So I've made a game out of it. When I'm trying to join a Teams meeting, I open three tabs for it at once and race them to see which can get in first.

I wish I were exaggerating but no, Microsoft Teams breaks every day. Pages will stall while loading, requiring a refresh. At several different steps, it might sign me out or forget I'm logged in. In one such step, it might offer to let me join the call as a guest, but guests require approval to join and most other people are also guesting for the same reason so eventually someone must sign in to open the door. While I can't use the Teams desktop app on my PC because of corporate security policies, the browser version will certainly still interrupt joining to suggest it—sometimes several times in a row. Refreshing a stalled page might also set me back to re-encounter error messages and nag screens I already passed. And so on. A random selection of these and more every workday. It's the sort of little frustration which grows over years into screaming fury and I hope this game can save me.

I find three tabs is a good number for Tab Races. Any more and my attention is too divided for a fair race. And no, it's not as simple as 'first tab opened wins' because Teams is so inconsistent and surprising with its errors and naggings. Some quick rules:

  • You have to root for a tab to win.
  • Constantly cycle between tabs to stay on top of buttons and error messages.
  • I won't state a time for what constitutes a stalled load but if you use Teams yourself, you've surely developed this intuition.
  • If/when all three tabs stall at once, refresh them as quickly as possible in succession.
  • If repeat stalls occur, rotate the refresh order.
  • Joining as a guest is not enough, you must join signed in.
Horrible, horrible Microsoft Teams.
EVERY SINGLE DAY. SOMETIMES TWICE. THRICE? | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Microsoft

You could make this into a competitive multiplayer game with your colleagues. Line everyone up in Slack, Discord, or other non-Microsoft communications software and start joining when someone fires the 🔫 starting pistol. What a thrill to get in first then see the disappointment on everyone else's faces!

You could alternatively add a spectator element by starting a conference call on Google Meet (quick, easy, just works) and pointing your webcams at your screens. It's probably great fun to cheer and jeer when a bitter rival/cherished colleague who had pulled ahead suddenly gets thrown back into a login loop.

You could start a league too. Could even add gambling and prizes. Loser buys the first round of ice cream at EGX?

Anyway, I've got a Teams meeting in three hours so I should go start joining. Happy racing!

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