Using Your Cell Phone At Work: What’s Right and What’s Wrong

Using your cell phone at work can be an interesting experience. Some people like it some people hate it, but we all don’t like be interrupted at the “wrong” times.

The NY Times writes In the great American debate about cellphone etiquette, some of the early turf battles seem to be settled, with winners and losers falling into camps familiar from Western Civ classes. Movie theaters, funerals and libraries appear to have been carried by the cell Rousseauists, who believe the social contract forbids such things as shouting intimate details into a piece of plastic in a room full of strangers.
Most public transportation systems, on the other hand, appear to belong to the cell Hobbesians, who believe that since life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short, there’s no need to give the rider engrossed in her newspaper in the seat next to you a quiet commute. Restaurants constitute a middle ground, in a state of detente. Everyone knows it’s rude to use a cellphone at dinner, but civilized people do it anyway.
The workplace, though, remains unsettled territory. “This is the next area,” said Peggy Post, director of the Emily Post Institute and an author of “The Etiquette Advantage in Business.” Ms. Post, who often lectures business groups about cell use, spoke over a land line from her home office on the Florida Gulf Coast.
“We’re hearing more and more stories about cellphones in the workplace,” Ms. Post said, with no suggestion that any of those stories might be celebratory.
The points of friction, as Ms. Post and others describe them, are numerous: the executive who takes a cell call in the middle of a meeting; the phones that blast impossible-to-ignore ring tones in a busy office; the seminar leader who interrupts his speech to take a call on his cell; the co-worker who, like clockwork, answers hers to discuss lunch choices with a child.
Read the full article here