Tales from board admins | Aprio
Cringeworthy boardroom mishaps Tales from board administrators

Cringeworthy boardroom mishaps: Tales from board administrators

With 2022 coming to a close, it’s a great time to look back at our board experiences including our mishaps. Yes, our blooper reel. After all, board administrators are human – even if many of you have superhuman abilities!

We asked some of our clients about their most cringeworthy blunders this year. You know, those moments when someone says, “One day, I’ll look back on this and laugh”? Read on, to share in some comic cringes! 

Wished you were somewhere else? 

Virtual backgrounds can add a bit of fun to meetings. So what happens when you forget to remove your virtual background before your board meeting starts? One board admin we work with confessed to accidentally leaving up her beach scene backdrop, one with a bronzed 6-pack ab buddy, and suddenly she really wished she was somewhere else! Still, not as bad as that lawyer who couldn’t turn off his cat filter or the Congressman who gets stuck upside down on his Zoom call

You’re on mute, no wait

You’d think after several months of video meetings we’d all be virtual meeting pros by now. Yet while the number of times someone has to say, “You’re still on mute!” has gone down in the last year, one corporate secretary shared with us she forgot to enable the feature so board participants could unmute themselves. She suffered some awkward silence when the Board Chair tried to kick off the meeting in mime. The upside: that meeting finished on time!

Oh no, typo 

Spelling mistakes are never fun, but is there anything worse than a spelling mistake on a critical document? One board admin accidentally misspelled “financial report” into “financial retort” on a very sensitive loan decision for its credit union. Yikes. But still not as bad as a story from a few years ago where the typo for “public input” turned into “pubic input”.

Potty time barge in 

Many admins, at some point, had to deal with a sick kid at home while trying to work this year. One hard-working admin we talked with was juggling a young toddler at home during a board meeting she couldn’t miss. During the call, her 3-year-old came barging in, pants off, and loudly announced he needed help after using the potty. She put an office door lock on her holiday wish list! Thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as the woman who forgot to turn her camera off when she needed to use the bathroom. 

Cringeworthy, right? But we’ve all been there. And when you work as hard as board admins do to keep boards running smoothly, slip-ups are bound to happen from time to time.

From all of us at Aprio, we invite you to remember all the flawless moments you pulled off this year and let go of the mishaps. Onward and upward in 2023. 


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