Communication Crumbles In Cell Phone Society

Posted on May 15, 2009 by LCT Magazine

TECHNOLOGY AND RUDENESS: A former boss of mine would call meetings and then often talk on his cell phone as we sat in the office. One day, I tried to figure out the cost of the call based on the salaries that were sitting in that room waiting for him to finish a chat with his girlfriend who was having her latest dilemma. 
Of course, neither I nor my colleagues said anything. It was his perogative to waste our time and his money. But it would gall me when he held meetings in the late afternoon and would keep me long affter quitting time while he chatted on his phone. Just as bad as taking calls in meetings is sending text messages. I sit in association meetings all the time and I try to listen to the person on the podium speak only to hear the guy next to me whispering in his cell phone or clicking away sending a text only to have it beep the response. Turn it off! Go outside! Be considerate of the people around you. I stood the other day in the grocery line and the entire time the woman in front of me spoke to someone about getting her pipes cleaned out. She wasn’t referring to her household plumbing. TMI! There are certain things that should remain a mystery. Have you experienced any of this?
I think my boss felt his time was more valuable than anyone else's. He also may have been on a power trip. "Look how important I am!" What message did this send to the employees? Do as I say, not as I do? I wonder if I had ever pulled out my phone and answered calls while in a meeting with him if it would have flown. I think not. Some companies actually have technology free days. The employees can’t respond to emails. I know this would drive many people crazy, but others who never respond to e-mails who would love it. The companies want to encourage people picking up the phone and making contact with others. We have become such an impersonal society. What did we ever do before cell phones and e-mails?
-- Linda Moore
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