Re: FWD: Managing managers and cell phones

Subject: Re: FWD: Managing managers and cell phones
From: "Karen E. Black" <kblack_text -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2004 09:24:52 -0400

Anonymous wrote:
someone who is busy much of the day. Whenever I schedule time with
her, I can count on her cell phone ringing, her answering it, and
proceeding to discuss something that is in no way an emergency,
important, or not able to wait.

And Mike O. replied:
It's just basic primate behavior, with a touch of Machiavelli.
Or, ask her at the beginning of the meeting to turn off her cell phone (of course, in this case you would still be a supplicant, but an uppity one).

Our corporate culture discourages people from taking phone calls during meetings -- all of the management, and many of the critical-area staff, such as sysadmins and Unix/DBAs, are issued crack, uhh, I mean Blackberries (even me, the technical writer/interim software release manager). Most of us have these PDAs set to vibrate in the holster, so we can quietly check during meetings whether an issue is urgent or can wait. People without the new Blueberries (combination phone-text message device) also carry cell phones but they leave the meeting room to take important calls.

A mature corporate culture has people who can focus on and deal with one area at a time and demonstrate they care about the issue that their co-workers or subordinates want to discuss. Everything can wait, for at least a few minutes.

Asking for your manager's undivided attention until you have finished your discussion shouldn't be the last resort, but you should be able to assert your right to ask to finish a sentence.

K Black, Toronto, Ontario

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