These days, just about everything has turned into a virtual event. Weddings? Live stream. Gender reveals? Never should have become a thing in the first place, but now, we’re cutting into pink or blue cakes (or watching our loved ones set forest fires) over FaceTime. Meetings? The pandemic gave companies worldwide the perfect opportunity to just turn those into emails, as everyone on Twitter has been begging for years, but no. Zooms. Microsoft Teams. Slack video calls. It never ends. Even award shows have been turned into virtual showcases, us tuning in from our couches to watch celebrities accept awards after sitting in a giant Zoom waiting room purgatory. And the more I hit “join meeting” or “watch live”, the tougher it is to tell what is an award show—a celebration of glitz, glamour, and the best the music/acting industry has to offer—and what is just another company Zoom. If you’re like me and the endless monotony of locating links and watching other people talk for hours has similarly got you confused, here are a few guidelines to help you determine.
In The Hours Leading Up, Are You Feeling A Sense Of Anticipatory Dread?
This could really go either way, depending on a number of factors. If you work in journalism, media, entertainment, or any other related field that requires you to spend the hours from 8-11:30pm EDT watching a glorified concert series that really could have been a Netflix special, then the hells cape you’re about to tune into is most certainly the Grammys. (Though for you, the Grammys would also qualify as a sort of company meeting, so you really get the worst of both worlds in terms of weekend obligations!) If you work in any other industry, it’s a meeting. Then again, if you are tuning in of your own volition, without the passive-aggressive prompting of a calendar reminder 10 minutes before, it is the Grammys.
How Is Everyone Dressed?
One of the hallmark signs that you’re watching an industry circle-jerk and not merely a company-wide one is the wardrobe of those in attendance. Don’t look down at your own outfit for guidance; you’ve no doubt been in the same jelly-stained sweatpants you threw on for your “little three-month respite from normal life” this time last year. I trust that nobody in your office has ever worn a gown, not even for the 2019 holiday party (RIP).
Are People Sh*t-Talking The Outfits?
Trick question! You’d think it could go either way, but it’s definitely your company Zoom. This year, the Grammys red carpet interviewers exuded toxic positivity, so afraid of having a Giuliana Rancic moment that they didn’t even call out Noah Cyrus’s duvet with sleeves. Your coworkers, on the other hand, like to think they’re above screenshotting a freeze frame of your one coworker whose face looks like it’s slowly yielding to the grim reaper and sending it to the group chat to talk sh*t about her under-eye bags and sweatshirt that’s on backwards and inside out, but they’re not. They’re not better than that.
Who’s The Host?
Finally, an easy one. If Trevor Noah is the host, it’s the Grammys. If it’s Alyssa from Sales, who still hasn’t been upgraded to Premium and may tap you as the new host after 40 minutes, it’s a company meeting. Better look alive!
Do You Feel Like You’re At A Socially Distanced Outdoor Wedding?
This year, because of we-know-what, the Grammys took place outside the Staples Center, with only V-V-VIPs from the industry in physical attendance. They sat at separate tables that were spaced apart and wore masks for the duration, except to get on the tiny stage to give acceptance speeches. It really felt like a wedding. That said, just because your boss might like to derail the meeting so he can crack his little dad jokes every so often because he doesn’t get enough positive reinforcement at home, does not a wedding feel make. This was a vibe only the Grammys could pull off.
Are There Multiple Babies In Attendance?
This factor is completely determined by the type of baby (or babies) in attendance. If the babies in question are infants who keep popping into the Zoom screen and babbling nonsense, then I regret to inform you that you are at work. If the aforementioned babies are of the Da and Lil variety, you are watching the Grammys.
Did Beyoncé Show Up 2 Hours In?
It’s unlikely that Beyoncé would grace your weekly internal regroup, although with the advent of Zoom bombing, I suppose anything is possible, and would be just as welcome as a surprise as it was to watch the Grammys pan to her and Jay-Z a full two hours into the event. Here’s a good rule of thumb: has her daughter won an award from your company? Then safe to say it’s another boring meeting.
Are Cardi B and Megan thee Stallion Performing?
You know what, maybe if we could work “WAP” in our weekly status updates every once in a while, then I would pay attention! But until my company decides to devote funds to live performances over “paying Harold from compliance’s salary,” this is a Grammys exclusive. On the bright side, you too can recreate Meg and Cardi’s iconic performance at work, without getting a little virtual check-in from HR, simply by attending all your meetings from the comfort of your bed.
Were Women Celebrated?
Lmao, no question. With Beyoncé winning enough Grammys to make her a record holder (despite none of us thinking she’d even show up), Meg Thee Stallion cleaning house, Taylor Swift picking up Album of the Year and Billie Eilish nabbing Record of the Year (plus wins from H.E.R. for Song of the Year—don’t ask me what the difference is—and Dua Lipa getting Best Pop Album), the night was a great celebration of women’s accomplishments. Meanwhile, in company Zooms across the country, women can’t even get a word in edgewise because their male coworkers keep butting in to take credit for their ideas.
Images: Francis Specker/CBS via Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images