March 13, 2008
Put down the iPod, stop texting and do your job
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Tapping out an e-mail on your BlackBerry under the conference-room table.
Resetting your ringtone to your favorite song.
Keeping your Bluetooth in your ear at a business lunch.
Think no one noticed those technological faux pas? Wrong – and many find it rude.
"They're so busted," said Linda Gravett of Gravett & Associates, a human-resource-management consulting and training-services firm in Ohio. At her sessions, managers and employees always complain about people sending e-mails or instant messages instead of taking notes on a laptop.
Mary Starvaggi, who runs The Etiquette Advantage, said wearing an iPod can be like "hanging a do-not-disturb sign on your desk." She finds iPods acceptable in creative industries but warns against blasting the music, singing or dancing.
And when someone stops by your desk to talk, taking out only one earbud is "almost like not giving complete eye contact when listening."
Gravett, the co-author of "Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Get Radio Babies, Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers to Work Together and Get Results," has watched people text through a class, then stare blankly during a group session.
She advises companies to set up a code of conduct about iPods and text messaging.
As for cellphones, keep the volume low and don't subject co-workers to "Dancing Queen" a dozen times a day.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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