July 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts July 2002 Current Issue
July 2002

Making a Courtesy Call

The cell phone invasion has spawned a new epidemic of aggravation. According to a recent survey of 6,000 people by recruitment company TMP Worldwide, the biggest workplace annoyance is “irritating mobile phone rings.” How can cell users avoid faux pas? The Protocol School of Palm Beach, Fla. (, offers these tips for balancing communication needs with respect for those around you.

Turn if off. When sitting in meetings, a restaurant or other public location, turn off the ringer and send your messages to voice mail. Or, use the vibrate function rather than the ringer. If you receive an urgent call, excuse yourself and take it in a more secluded area.

Give fair warning. If you are anticipating an important call, tell your companions in advance that you expect an interruption. And when it comes, be sure to apologize.

Be quiet. Keep your tone and volume normal. This helps prevent those around you from being distracted by your conversation.

Be discreet. Avoid discussing inappropriate private matters or sensitive business topics in front of others.

Brian Orsak

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