Cute new LinkedIn profile pic.
Cute new LinkedIn profile pic.

Iso ambush that’s just plain rude

FaceTiming people unannounced has become the new surprise house visit and the ambushing needs to stop.

FaceTiming in general is heinous, but people who FaceTime you out of the blue are truly psychotic.

We've been in lockdown, what … seven years now? Feels like it. Remember before all this started (the 1940s?) when we were allowed out of our homes?

Ariana Grande was at the top of the charts, the price of petrol was through the roof and buying a house was just something you dreamt about while punching the clock down at the tech start-up. Holden still existed and everyone in this fine country had unlimited access to toilet paper. We were just simple battlers striving for the Aussie dream - like Michael Caton in The Castle, or Vanessa Amorosi with her persistent musical efforts.

Now, we've been struck down, forced by the government to lay on our couches and watch Netflix while perusing Chris Hemsworth's exercise app - screenshotting workouts we know we'll never actually do. Years from now, schoolchildren will be taught of the unique struggle we faced.

As if that's not enough of a burden, we now have to dodge friends and family FaceTiming us. It's the modern-day drop-in.

I come from a long line of people who sporadically drop in. Growing up in North Queensland, you never truly had the house to yourself because a relative could swing by at any time to drop off fresh eggs from the chooks or just say g'day. As a child, this is fun. And it's easy to adopt this behaviour, which I did. Until I got my own home and realised how annoying it is when people drop by without at least two-to-three business days' notice.

If someone rocks up unannounced, your mind immediately goes to the mouldy grout in the bathroom and the overflowing rubbish bin in the kitchen. You're about to be found out. Someone's about to see you're not a real adult.

The ring of a FaceTime call is different to a regular phone call - the FaceTime notification is like a series of sharp pings and bobs and blips and it immediately ignites fear. It starts ringing and your gut identifies something is not right - you were not expecting this.

It's the same feeling I get when I hear a police siren and think, "They finally found me." It's fight or flight. Do you quickly shove all the mess into a corner, frantically try to find the good lighting and answer the call while pretending everything's normal? Or do you stuff as much cash as you can into your pockets before making a run for it, like when I hear the siren?

The FaceTime call feels so urgent - like you've only got a split second to decide whether to answer it.

Half the anxiety comes from the messy house that will appear in the background, but the other half comes from the fact that - while working from home - we're usually semi-naked and looking rubbish. We don't need people seeing that. I put more effort into how I look when it's midnight and I'm ducking down to the servo to buy a Magnum.

On FaceTime, it's impossible not to look like one of those upside-down talking chins in the World's Greatest Shave ads.

Felt cute, will definitely delete later.
Felt cute, will definitely delete later.

For the entire call, I just end up looking at the vision of myself - the boofy hair, the unmoisturised skin, the teeth I haven't cleaned since who knows when. You try to find that good light but there is no good light. This isn't the light's fault - you just look like trash. And so does your home. Crap's everywhere.

By the way, all this applies not only to FaceTime calls but also Zoom and Houseparty. They're all brazen invasions of privacy and I'm still lying to my boss that Zoom isn't working properly on my computer.

Every night on the news bulletins, we're seeing experts interviewed over Skype. Well, it's actually Zoom, but people still say "Skype" like they say "Google" and "Hoover". The brand has become the verb and COVID-19 has been a great advertisement for Skype, even though no one uses it anymore. Anyway, my point is, while all these experts are being interviewed over "Skype", I'm judging their home offices and bad decor.

You'd think all this time at home coupled with government-enforced cleanliness would result in a sparkling home environment. Incorrect.

Right now, I've got eggshells swirling around the bottom of my kitchen sink and my bathroom vanity is covered in some kind of liquid that has now dried and beginning to flake. The plants on my balcony have died and, standing here in my kitchen drinking tequila at 4pm on a Thursday, I begin to think about Brad Pitt in Fight Club and I wish I could join a fight club just to feel something again.

Whoa, deep. I should talk to my therapist, Jill. But she's only taking appointments over FaceTime and obviously we're back at square one again.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @hellojamesweir

Originally published as Iso ambush that's just plain rude