I’ve spent the last week or so working on and training people to use a new Cisco Telepresence Profile 55″. I like the fact that the whole unit is bundled together and only needs to have a couple of cables routed around and plugged in along with 4-6 screws to join everything together. One thing that did bother me was that the system shipped with two desk microphones and no microphone cables. I’m still trying to sort out that mess, but upon further investigation, I uncovered something else entirely strange to me.
The box contains all the accessories that were included in the bundle. There’s the usual microphones (sans cables) and power cables and even a microfiber cleaning cloth. But what are those white things in the plastic bags? I wondered that myself. At first, I thought they may have been bags to keep the microphones in. After opening one, I found that I was totally wrong…
Uh, Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. Those are indeed white cotton gloves. The kind the a butler might wear when checking the mansion to ensure that everything is nice and tidy. They aren’t OEMed from anyone either, as you can tell by the Cisco logo on the tag. Why on earth are these in the package? I had to do a little searching to find the answer.
I can’t really tell if these are a holdover from the old Tandberg systems, but I have found references to them in the MX200 and MX300 installation posters. According to the prose, it looks like you’re supposed to put them on when you begin installing the TV portion of the unit onto the base to ensure that you don’t transfer any oils or other strange things to the unit. That’s a good idea in theory, but as well all know there is a world of difference between theory and practice. If you’ve never picked up the monitor portion of a Profile 55″, it’s a 55″ TV surrounded by a metal cage and mounting bracket. It weighs between 80-100 pounds. It’s not a flimsy thing. Plus, with all that metal, it’s a very slippery surface bare handed, let alone if your hands are encased in soft, smooth cotton. I could barely hold the cardboard box the gloves came in when I had one on. I can just imagine the whole TV slipping out of my hands when I’m trying to secure it to the base. Also suspect is the fact that the LCD screen comes out of the shipping container with a big plastic cover taped to the front. There’s almost no chance of transferring anything onto the screen itself until the cover is peeled away. Even if you do manage to smudge the metal case, there’s a microfiber cloth in the box too. Why go to all the trouble of the white butler gloves? I think more than anything else, this is mostly for appearances. These things can’t serve any real purpose, and if the people responsible for wasting space in the accessories box feel differently, I invite them to come with me and do a couple of these assemblies and installations. I can promise you that the gloves will get stripped off and thrown in the same pile as all those little static wrist straps.