back to article In a meeting with a woman? For pity's sake don't read this

Are you reading this on a small gizmo or gadget of some kind? Take a look around, my friend. Are you in a meeting, a luncheon, or some other situation of that kind? Are there ladies present (other than yourself, should you happen to be one?) If so - stop reading now, put away your fondleslab or mobe (don't just lay it down, …

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  1. Oh Homer
    Facepalm

    Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

    It took a "professor" of business gibberish to figure that out?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

      Oh Homer, there is a difference between "ignoring people" and "doing your job".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

        @Jake - still the clueless sanctimonious prig we've all come to know.

        Oh well, I guess there's something to be said for consistency at least.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

      And women take it more personally than men. Try ignoring the SWMBO for a test.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

      General civility has become rocket surgery for most people these days.

      While you can't please everyone, most people aren't even trying.

      I wonder why? ------------>>

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

        To be fair, lack of general civility is nothing new in human history.

        OH! Just noticed the new short term edit button! Well done El Reg! My deslexyca thanks you!

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

          +1 for the edit button!

          1. Craigness

            Edit button

            big_D, there's been an edit button for ages!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Edit button

              only once you reach a high enough post count

              Ooo now it works on anons and everybody, at last!

    4. Ralph B

      Re: Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals

      And you say that on the day that El Reg introduced the Troll Blocker icon!

      Trolls are people too, you know?

      (Actually, you're right, they're actually trolls, aren't they? Silly me.)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Listen

      If a woman is present they like you to swoon and fawn over them, they expect it, you get more out if it of you ask her about herself and feign interest, let her speak and tell you about herself. They love it because it gives the impression that you are interested in them. Keep your mouth shut nod a few times an smile.

      Then nip off to the toilet text your mates and tell them you have not only pulled but are about to score.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Listen

        Ignoring SWMBO! You obviously have a deathwish!

        The effect of ignoring SWMBO -------->

      2. Hollerith 1

        Re: Listen

        I hope I am not working in the company you work for. I have worked alongside guys with your attitude and, believe me, them looking at their mobes is a relief from having their attention on the room of men and women, because women are not stupid: they know that you have contempt for them and are a liar, and it causes considerable tension in the room, but as if, say, a racist were sitting alongside us.

        We'd rather you just nipped off to the toilets at the start and start your usual brag, because of course we would believe a bro like you about a ho like them.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

    ... I never have any electronic attractions "alive and available" when in meetings that might lead to money. Only stands to reason ... Pay attention to the person you are face-to-face with. And the contract you are trying to hammer out. Outside distractions are contra-indicated.

    !GooMyFaceYouMsTwit really isn't important in such scenarios. Nor are telephone calls from your spouse/sprog/beer-buddies, who should all understand that you are at work.

    1. LaeMing
      Childcatcher

      Re: Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

      Heh.... Some people are positively shocked when my mum (definitely NOT a techno-nerd - though she does use Linux :-P) reveals in conversation she won't idly call her children at work, because they are at work to do work (/real/ emergencies excepting, obviously). Some people apparently honestly can't get their heads around the idea that other people have their own things to do!

      1. PJI

        Re: Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

        "Do not disturb", "Flight mode" or OFF.

        "Silent" mode when in an open office or on public transport (you probably can not hear it above the noise anyway) if you must be available.

        1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

          Re: Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

          "if you must be available."

          There's another interesting take on social interaction. Those who "must be available" are often lower on the corporate pecking order. When the phone rings, it might be a superior. And you'd better take the call. Important people tend to be in charge of (and in control of) their own time. When the phone rings, it can go to voice mail. Or your staff can handle it.

          Status impresses everyone, particularly women. And they seem to understand this social dynamic to a greater degree than many men do.

    2. WhoaWhoa

      Re: Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

      "Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

      ... I never have any electronic attractions "alive and available" when in meetings that might lead to money. Only stands to reason ... Pay attention to the person you are face-to-face with. And the contract you are trying to hammer out. Outside distractions are contra-indicated."

      Would that be a "money is the only thing that matters to me so if you're not bringing any please f*ck *ff now because I've got better things to do" sort of techno-nerd male?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @ WhoaWhoa (was:Re: Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...)

        No, that's a "I'm working now, so all my publicly available electronics are shut off so you can't bother me at work, you needy, lifeless idiot".

        Ain't rocket science ...

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: @ WhoaWhoa (was:Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...)

          Even company email and SMS aren't that important, or the person would ring up. You are in a meeting for a reason, it should be requiring your full attention - otherwise, what the hell are you doing at the meeting!

          If it is really important, they will call, get your mailbox and will then call the central number and if it really is important, somebody will pull you out of the meeting.

          In such a situation, it shows the customer that you are not distracted and you are taking them seriously. And if you are pulled out of the meeting, then they should appreciate that if there really is an emergency, then it takes top priority. That is reassuring; on the one hand they feel a little snubbed, because you had to leave, on the other hand, they feel more secure, because they know, that if it was them that had a big problem, that you would also drop everything to ensure that their needs are met.

          1. bigtimehustler

            Re: @ WhoaWhoa (was:Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...)

            Your in a meeting for a reason? Hahaha, oh how naive! If only that were true, most meetings are completely pointless exercises designed to show you the manager is still alive and in fact in 'control'. i would say at most, that 10% of meetings that happen, should happen. The others are a waste of time.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ WhoaWhoa (was:Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...)

              The last meeting I went to prior to retirement was one of these.

              I left before the item to discuss why the company was getting so much slip on projects.

          2. Tom 13

            @big_D 28-Oct2013 12:41

            There are business meetings and then there are business meetings. At the first it is acceptable to periodically check your inbox or take a call. At the second it is unacceptable. I am frequently in the first one, almost never the second*. Sales pitch meetings are of the second type. The weekly gathering of the tech staff to review mundane management type things is the first sort. And being a tech who gets notified of emergencies by email and phone, that's the reason it is ok for me to check. If the world is coming to and end for one or more of the users I support, it is then appropriate for me to excuse myself to deal with the issue.

            *In my work career of more than 15 years since such devices have been commonly available I'd count 3 RIF meetings and 2 Furlough/shutdown meetings for the second category. Nobody is damn fool enough to take me to a sales meeting. I tell the truth too much.

        2. Martin Budden Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Speaking as a techno-nerd male ...

          omg I just upvoted jake. Is it unseasonably frosty down there in the underworld?

  3. Steven Roper

    Well, I'm male, and I find any phone/gadget use during meetings and presentations unacceptable.

    To the point where, if I'm giving a presentation, and someone is using a phone or tablet, I will stop the presentation, explain to everyone present that when we are all ready to continue, I will do so at their earliest convenience; and I will wait until anyone messing about with their gadgets has returned their attention to the meeting.

    I've interviewed job candidates who have actually pulled out their phones and started texting, right there in front of me. Needless to say, I've politely informed them at that point that they won't be considered for the position, and they would save their own time and mine by departing forthwith.

    I also refuse to hold conversations with people who keep diverting their attention to their phone. I generally give them three warnings, after that I will simply leave, ignore them, or go about my own business, even if they try to pick it up again when they're done.

    It's basic human courtesy that when someone is talking to you, you pay attention to them.

    1. Gray Ham

      @Steven

      I can trump that - I've been in one interview (as the interviewee) where one of the *interviewers* has pulled out his phone and started browsing. I suspect it was done deliberately as a tactic, but needless to say, I'm not doing that job.

    2. Greg J Preece

      To the point where, if I'm giving a presentation, and someone is using a phone or tablet, I will stop the presentation, explain to everyone present that when we are all ready to continue, I will do so at their earliest convenience; and I will wait until anyone messing about with their gadgets has returned their attention to the meeting.

      Man, I bet you're a riot at parties.

      I also refuse to hold conversations with people who keep diverting their attention to their phone. I generally give them three warnings, after that I will simply leave, ignore them, or go about my own business, even if they try to pick it up again when they're done.

      If you were ever so patronising to do that with me, I think I would pull out three different gadgets to get you to leave more quickly. I'm more than capable of listening to someone and simultaneously investigating whether the incoming alert on my phone is just another friend blathering on Facebook or something more important than you that demands my attention. And yes, it quite possible in my line of work that an alert on my phone is more important than whatever you're banging on about, in which case I'd save you the trouble of bemoaning connectivity and leave the conversation first.

      If you need someone to lock their gaze on your steely visage at all times whenever you're speaking to avoid being offended, perhaps the problem isn't them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Greg J Preece

        You are fired. Why? For wasting company time playing with your toy.

        I hope that's not your real name ... TehIntraWebTubes have a long memory.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: @Greg J Preece

          "[...]And yes, it quite possible in my line of work that an alert on my phone is more important than whatever you're banging on about[...]"

          "@Greg J Preece. You are fired. Why? For wasting company time playing with your toy."

          I don't know about you, but it read to me like it is a company mobile and he's getting company-based alerts. I think he'd be fired for ignoring them, rather than answering them, but that's just me and my strange ideas of reading what people actually wrote before commenting.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: @DavCrav

            I'd say even if it is a company device and official messages, they should be ignored until a break in the meeting or the boss sends in somebody to pull you out of the meeting. That's the way we do it.

          2. PJI
            Thumb Down

            Re: @Greg J Preece

            >>I think he'd be fired for ignoring them

            I grant that the person may be on pikett duty and so be liable to emergency calls, or he may be awaiting a really important call from a customer or some poor field engineer on site, who is fending off a customer with a problem. But in such cases, it is easy to warn the meeting that you may have to leave urgently, keep your mobile on vibrate and silent and, should it ring, leave the room discretely to answer it (having made sure you are near the door and know how to open it).

            In an interview, for either party, there is no excuse for keeping your mobile on. At a meal, see above and never, ever, put your precious on the table.

            If you are the speaker or presenter, your audience should have your full, uninterrupted attention. If you can not arrange your time accordingly, you are in the wrong job.

            Getting or making calls or messages is not a sign of your importance, cleverness or indispensability.

            Finally, nobody is that important.

          3. Greg J Preece

            Re: @Greg J Preece

            I don't know about you, but it read to me like it is a company mobile and he's getting company-based alerts. I think he'd be fired for ignoring them, rather than answering them, but that's just me and my strange ideas of reading what people actually wrote before commenting.

            You are correct, have an upvote. Checking the alerts on my phone to see if a server just keeled over is not "playing with my toy", especially given that it's a toy the company bought me for that exact purpose. Not sure the rest of you get how priorities work when you're a developer/admin.

            As for the implied threat of "long memory", given that I posted with my real name, I hope that future employers do read this and understand that I have the required dedication to my role, which is partly to keep everything working.

            I give presentations too, you know.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Greg J Preece

              > You are correct, have an upvote. Checking the alerts on my phone to see if a server just keeled over is not "playing with my toy", especially given that it's a toy the company bought me for that exact purpose. Not sure the rest of you get how priorities work when you're a developer/admin.

              The vast, vast majority of people in meetings are not these types of people.

              In any case, If you are an operator responsible for machines and your system is *that* flaky that you need to be checking a mobile phone every minute or two, then might I suggest you have some serious problems?

              > I give presentations too, you know.

              And if you have something worth listening to, I hope you don't find yourself giving it to a room full of school children with the attention span of a few seconds.

              The right comment from someone above suggests that if there is an emergency worthwhile grabbing you out of a meeting, someone will come and get you and everyone else will understand.

              1. Greg J Preece

                Re: @Greg J Preece

                In any case, If you are an operator responsible for machines and your system is *that* flaky that you need to be checking a mobile phone every minute or two, then might I suggest you have some serious problems?

                Now what part of what I've said at any point implies that I'm constantly checking my phone? Alerts aren't something I generate - they come in when necessary. We have a whole bunch of servers hooked up to the same alerting system, some far more critical than others (including development servers that temporarily scream murder every time someone deploys a new test image). Unfortunately, the mobile client I use only lets me have one ringtone for each alert type, not each machine, and on vibrate it's all the same, so when that thing rings you can bet your wages I'm checking it.

                Alerts are just an example I was using of how not all mobile phone use is talking to friends on the Twatters or idly playing games. That might be what the OP uses his phone for, but smartphones were originally invented for other uses.

        2. M Gale

          Re: @Greg J Preece

          You are fired. Why? For wasting company time playing with your toy.

          That'll be my Mother in the hospital, and a sueball heading your way. Here, catch.

      2. Piro

        Sorry, you're wrong, and that is rude. Unless you're in such a large meeting you can get away with it without being noticed.

        Because let's be honest, a lot of large meetings are boring and pointless.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        @Greg - you can't, you only think you can. There are a very, very few number of people in the world who can do multiple cognitive tasks at once, you are most likely not one of them. And, even if you are, your fiddling is almost certainly distracting people around you who might not be quite so, er, "gifted" as yourself.

        The police have been investigating the affect of technical distractions such as using the phone on drivers: it seems to affect reaction time in a similar way to alcohol, texting is even worse.

        1. Elmer Phud

          I think the 'very few' is far, far smaller than that --possibly zero.

          1. Tom 13

            Definitely not zero.

            I'm not him, but I've met him. He could actually write working code while carrying on a conversation with me. And looking me straight in the eye while typing in the code on his PC.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. keithpeter Silver badge

        "I'm more than capable of listening to someone and simultaneously..."

        No you are not. You may think you are but each properly designed experiment on attention has suggested otherwise.

        Especially when the inputs are delivered via different sense modes.

        Try Googling John Sweller's work if you want some full on academic reading.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'm more than capable of listening to someone and simultaneously investigating whether the incoming alert on my phone is just another friend blathering on Facebook or something more important than you that demands my attention."

        Yeah, people that do that sort of crap always think they're capable of "multi-tasking". And then it turns out that they're not and everyone has to repeat themselves for the benefit of Mr ADD in the corner. Generally, it's easier and more productive to just fire them and get someone in who can focus on what's going on.

        XKCD

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Greg J Preece

        > Man, I bet you're a riot at parties.

        I prefer to avoid the kind of parties where people get confused as to whether it's a party or a presentation.

      7. h4rm0ny

        "Man, I bet you're a riot at parties."

        Well, probably more fun than the person who keeps pulling out their phone and txting.

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No manners

        Greg J Preece sounds like the sort of pig-ignorant person that this article is featuring. Obviously never been brought up to have some kind of good manners and quite obviously unable to interact and give other people undivided attention. I used to be in the electronics retail business and if someone came into the shop jabbering on a phone, we would just ignore him/her until such time as the person concerned realised that they were just being plain rude. Mobile phones have got a lot to answer for. There is hardly anything that is THAT important that it can't wait until a more convenient time. If I go out socialising, my phone gets switched off and stays in the car. It's high time that restaurants and the like banned customers for using them and disturbing other folk who just want a quiet meal. Likewise the stupid habit of photographing food and sending the results to all and sundry. Crackpots I call them.

      9. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Greg J Preece

        Interestingly, there are a lot of downvotes on yours and other posts like them.

        Yet the author of the original post clearly has a very high opinion of himself. He expects everybody to pay full attention to his presentations. He expects to punish every body else for the sins of one person by holding up the meeting and wasting their time. It is obvious from his post that he always regards himself as the most important person in the room. And the downvotes are going to posts which suggest, in effect, that the person who thinks he is so important may not be.

        Strangely, in meetings in the past, it was not considered rude to refer to printed notes while the presenter was speaking. But it is considered rude to refer to a tablet or phone. What is the difference?

        My suspicion is this: that referring to the printed notes keeps you in the data set of the presenter. But referring to your tablet might mean that you are looking at a page which references what the presenter is saying and says something like "This point of view, while once very popular, has now been comprehensively discredited."

        In short, it is about power and control. Which is why Obama and Merkel can answer their phones whenever they feel like it.

        Don't get me wrong; texting while being interviewed is obviously stupid. But a lot of complaints in other areas basically translate as "I'm important. How can you not be giving me your full attention".

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: @Greg J Preece

          Why are you at a meeting/presentation so boring that playing with your shiny-shiny is necessary?

          If the meeting/presentation is worth your time, put the toys away unless you are on call/have an ongoing genuine emergency situation that can't be directed to someone else, in which case let the chair/presenter know beforehand, and take any calls/emails discretely. Remember that it isn't much more than a decade since people in general had to wait to find things out, and hardly ever were there serious consequences.

          If it isn't worth your time, don't go. There are few meetings/presentations that are soooooo vital that your presence is required. If you are so paranoid that you think decisions will be made without you, then pay attention. Poorly attended meetings/presentations send their own message to the people organising them, and things improve (eventually).

          1. Greg J Preece

            Re: @Greg J Preece

            Greg J Preece sounds like the sort of pig-ignorant person that this article is featuring. Obviously never been brought up to have some kind of good manners and quite obviously unable to interact and give other people undivided attention.

            Obviously. Yep, from three posts that you clearly didn't read properly, you've got my entire personality nailed.

            Why are you at a meeting/presentation so boring that playing with your shiny-shiny is necessary?

            Christ's sake, can at least 10% of you at least attempt to read a post properly before leaping onto high horses.

            If the meeting/presentation is worth your time, put the toys away unless you are on call

            Which I am. And you'd know that if you'd read my posts.

    3. Alan_Peery

      Unwarranted assumptions

      > To the point where, if I'm giving a presentation, and someone is using a phone or tablet,

      > I will stop the presentation, explain to everyone present that when we are all ready to

      > continue, I will do so at their earliest convenience; and I will wait until anyone

      > messing about with their gadgets has returned their attention to the meeting.

      In doing this, you've made a number of assumptions:

      0) That they aren't noting down an otherwise distracting thought that will keep them from paying attention later.

      1) That they don't already know the details of what you are saying, or the details behind that.

      2) That each part of the content being delivered is relevant for them, in what they need to do for the business.

      3) That they can't follow your line of logic, and get to the conclusion more quickly than your slides.

      4) That they haven't recognized the balderdash you're serving as coming directly from a Gartner report without taking into account local requirements.

      5) That they are not aware of political considerations at work that mean your presentation is irrelevant even though you don't know it yet.

      6) That they haven't spotted a logical flaw in your presentation that means the approach will not work.

      For the last three cases that person intelligence that might help you, and you have guaranteed that they will not share that with you. You've also completely interrupted the others who had been focused, which shows a great disregard for the mass of your audience.

      > It's basic human courtesy that when someone is talking to you, you pay attention to them.

      I don't thinking "talking" is what you have in mind. Talking implies a bi-directional exchange. I think you meant speaking, directing, exhorting, or admonishing.

      1. davenewman

        Re: Unwarranted assumptions

        Add to that, you are assuming that people are not taking notes on a tablet, because they have given up using old-fashioned paper, as they actually want to be able to search and read those notes later.

        At Manchester Medical School, every fourth year student was given an iPad to use as they went out to hospitals. They found the devices ideal for keeping track of everything they did and learned in consultations, recording their performance and elsewhere. It became the repository for all the knowledge they created.

        So anyone banning the use of tablets at a business meeting is sabotaging the business, preventing the capture and accumulation of the knowledge generated during the meeting.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Unwarranted assumptions @Alan

        Point 0 is acceptable, in fact I often jot down notes in a meeting. But I make it a point to say that I am taking notes on my tablet - using a pen to take notes on the tablet, whilst keeping eye contact with the presenter helps as well - although I still often take notes on paper instead of on the tablet, because it is less distracting for those around me.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Well, I'm male, and I find any phone/gadget use during meetings and presentations unacceptable."

      I've never been at a "presentation" where a 5 min group chat would have conveyed more info and one which would have received more attention too. The most useless piece of software is one designed for presentations, if you need it you need to learn how to present properly.

    5. Michael Hawkes
      Facepalm

      So, you're assuming they're not taking notes then? Maybe you should look at mobile use at meetings and presentations as a sign that you've said something interesting and they want to jot it down for future reference.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        gadgets for notes?

        I know iPads or similar are popular now and can be used for notes reasonably well, having a touch keyboard; but the clacking of a laptop keyboard is one of the nastiest intrusions in a meeting. The sight of half the attendees showing just the tops of their heads as they squint down at their Galaxy or whatever, concentrating on tapping the right keys on the screen …. Ugh.

        The speaker would probably appreciate the visible evidence and response of attentive faces and expressions. Otherwise, you may as well do just "online" meetings, when at least you know that your audience are almost certainly doing something quite unrelated to the meeting on another screen or device.

        Anyway, paper and pencil are the most effective: they require far less concentration to use, are less intrusive for other people and can even be used without looking at the paper most of the time.

    6. Mark O

      @Steven Roper

      Would you really stop a presentation to chastise one person reading a text? I understand how rude it is to see someone using a smart phone when I'm speaking in a meeting - I've experienced it myself more than once - but when I read your post I can't help but picture a school teacher interrupting a lesson to lecture a little kid for chatting in the back row.

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Agreed

    In my book, anyone that uses a phone/device in a meeting is saying " I am more important than you or your meeting and I have more important things to attend to". OK, in that case don't ever expect anything but my most minimal attention during your meetings.

    Worse than the phone though, is the bastards that turn up late.........that really gets on my nerves and I become very vocal about the issue.....

  5. tkioz

    Shocker, people don't like being ignored... who would have guessed?

    But seriously too many people spend far too much time diddling their phones. Slow down people, it wont kill you if you aren't jacked into a 24/7 stream of information.

  6. Trixr

    ... And nearly half the men

    Can we leave out the shock-horror gender-based crap for this one?

  7. Shagbag

    Yawn

  8. Barry Dingle

    So many words

    so little story.

    1. Darryl

      Re: So many words

      Barry pulled out his phone halfway through reading the article and started playing Angry Birds

  9. Evil Auditor

    USA != the world.

    How comes that they dare to refer to the world when in fact the study was carried out only within to limits of the USA?

    That said, over here it's probably not much different. And I do find it rude when someone uses such devices during meetings, lunches. One thing, however, I perceive as even ruder than using a mobile during meetings. That is organising totally irrelevant meetings without any objective. When I happen to end up in one of those, i.e. I couldn't avoid it, I do and will put my time to better use and answer e-mails and such.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      Re: USA != the world.

      "How comes that they dare to refer to the world when in fact the study was carried out only within to limits of the USA?"

      You've never seen the World Series then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: USA != the world.

      I have been told that in a certain large Korean electronics company, people can see a video feed from company meetings on their computers and, if the subject is interesting/relevant, will wander in for the bit they need and then wander off again. Because engineers and managers are capable of working out what they need to know and what they don't, and their time is valuable.

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A Get Out of Jail card

    I suspect the reason a lot of people take calls while in meetings is that they are hoping the call will provide them with an excuse to leave.

    Most meetings are irrelevant to most of the participants, serve little or no purpose (except to share responsibility for any decisions made - thereby muddying the waters about who's to blame for any cockups that arise) and have far too many attendees: most of whom know nothing about the topics on the agenda - if there even is one.

    So yes, it is rude to take calls during meetings. But it's also rude to require the attendance of so many disinterested and unnecessary staff. So many meeting organisers consider the number of staff they can pull away from doing proper work as some sort of ego trip or empire building. A well-timed SMS can be the best way to get back to doing something useful.

    Oddly, I have noticed that call-taking is a feature of the lower echelons. Among (truly) in control individuals: Cxx types, they hardly ever take calls while doing something else. While this may be because they have professional gatekeepers guarding access to them, because nobody has the balls fooishness to interrupt them or simply because they are better at organising their time, I cannot say. I do get the impression that they consider being interrupted a sign of weakness and lack of control. And of course, no other attendee would consider cutting *them* off to take a call. Maybe there should be a CEO present at every meeting?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Get Out of Jail card

      Reminds me of where I work. I was called in one week because on my recorded work hours / time log thing I'd recorded a grand total of 5 hours for the week.

      I politely explained to them that my hours were down becuase of all the meetings, showing them that I generally had maybe an hour a day that week to do genuine work, and that most of the meetings I'd had to attend were entirely pointless wastes of my time. I've generally been one of the more vocal about the number of BS meetings we had to attend.

      Luckily rather than being fired for daring to insinuate those with verbal diarrhea (management) were wasting my time, they've actually cut down the number of BS meetings they hold. I claim no responsibility for this, But I'm glad it's happened. Still have to turn up to BS meetings, but nowhere near as many.

    2. Cliff

      Re: A Get Out of Jail card

      +1 for pointing out the C-levels don't do this, perhaps they're less insecure and needing to advertise their social appeal and popularity (in a manner that does the opposite)

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
    Joke

    Sorry, could you repeat that story?

    I wasn't paying attention

    1. Graham Marsden
      Coat

      Re: Sorry, could you repeat that story?

      Well I think that...

      ... hang on, let me just check this incoming text...

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Greg J Preece

    More than 59 percent of men said it was okay to check text messages at a power lunch

    And 0.2% of the non-suited population said it was OK to ever refer to a meal as a "power lunch".

    Another comment thread full of "back in the good ol' days" and pompous twits going on about how superior they are.

    1. Piro

      Seriously, "power lunch" almost made me bring up my breakfast.

      1. Evil Auditor

        Re power lunch

        almost made me bring up my breakfast

        I'm glad I wasn't the only one. Actually, I had this vision of suited and tied marathon runners standing around a table and stuffing and squeezing those utterly disgusting PowerBar™ and PowerGel™ rubbish into their sweaty faces. Ugh!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Seriously, "power lunch" almost made me bring up my breakfast."

        In which case, you might prefer the Brown Bag Lunch.

  14. Richard 81

    ...and if they're using their phone, tablet, phablet etc. to take notes, or look up something that you're talking about to make sure they're on the same page?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got customers who have a one hour response time written into their contracts. You're damn right i'm checking my phone if it goes off. I may apologise or explain, I may step outside, but jeebus I don't consider myself to be rude or ignorant. I do keep my word to my customers though.

    Not to mention to obvious note taking, and fact checking (it's nice to know early on in presentations/meetings that the speaker is, or is not, full of sh*t).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But if you are talking to me, or supporting me, then don't be doing it during my "response time."

      That you have other customers is your problem, not mine, and if you have to interupt our meeting to talk to them then your company does not employ enough people.

      Turn the damn phone off!

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        I don't understand this either, you are accepting customers money but are obviously not providing the service.

        A 1 hour SLA is usually a very expensive contract and it requries dedicated staff. it sounds as if you are not being entirely honest with your clients.

        1. Rukario
          Joke

          Or if you're on such a tight SLA that you should tell whoever is pulling you into that meeting that they should find another cow to ork.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are valid used for a phone/tablet in a meeting

    for example doing some quick sums to prove that the latest forecasts are a load of shite

    Searching for that email you sent the presented on this very subject for which they are now claiming all the credit for inventing said thingy.

    In general I agree with many of the sentiments expressed so far. But far be it from me to be sexist I find that often the worst offenders are women. They get so engrossed in their Twitter/FB chats that despite them apparently being able to multi-task better than men the lose the thread of what is being discussed just as easily as men. After all, isn't it a proven fact that women are better gossips than men? Don't answer that...

    I was in a meeting a few weeks ago and I put my company phone down on the table in front of me. As normal in such meetings I put the device into flight mode. The presenter thought I was going to use it and demanded that I put it away. I actually had to show him that it was in flight mode before he would continue. There are just as many analy retentive people on both sides of this argument

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There are valid used for a phone/tablet in a meeting

      "There are valid used for a phone/tablet in a meeting"

      Indeed, there are a lot of valid uses... whether it's just for taking notes or for reviewing information related to the project.

      I routinely keep copies of minutes of previous meetings on my tablet so that I can refer back to them when I'm actually in a meeting. I may also have copies of drawings and/or 3D models (either stored on the device or on Dropbox so I can download them as necessary) that I may need to refer to in a meeting.

      Theres no need to tar everyone with the same brush - just because someone is using a phone or tablet in a meeting, don't assume that they don't have a legitimate reason to do so or that they *must* be checking messages or social network site.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: There are valid used for a phone/tablet in a meeting

        There is a difficulty here. At one time those details would be on paper and, unless people were somehow hiding books or magazines in the bundle, it was fairly likely that the only thing the person was perusing was material relevant to this meeting (or the next, I suppose). Now, there is no likelihood at all that the person with her/his head on the other side of a computer/phone screen is doing anything relevant to the meeting at all. In my tutorials, I make it a point to wander around the room (when the room allows for it) and see what the students are doing on their computers - and then correlate it with the results later.

        On the note-taking aspect, I have found that clearly using my Note with a handwriting program and the pen causes far less suspicion from the group leader than using anything with a keyboard. I still prefer paper and CamScanner though ...

  17. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Speaking of rudeness...

    What about all the people that call in from the car, can't keep up with the meeting, hits everybody else with bursts of static and noise, obviously can't view the web conference with the important diagrams, can't respond intelligibly to questions they're asked, and in turn ask questions on items that were covered just 15 seconds ago.

    That just gets my goat, in addition to the dangers they're posing to other people on the road.

    1. sandman

      Re: Speaking of rudeness...

      Or, if the management decide you must attend a meeting, even though you are in the departure hall of a really busy airport, so all they end up with is tannoy, static and children's screams.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Speaking of rudeness...

        so all they end up with is tannoy, static and children's screams.

        That seems perfectly OK to me. An appropriate soundtrack to most meetings in fact...

        You can hope that this sound signals and imminent attack by reavers which will at least put an end to the misery of the meeting. OK, there's being eaten alive as a downside, but having once got up at 3am, to catch an early flight to get to a meeting that started at 08:45 and didn't end until 17:00, this would have been a blessed relief. Just to enhance my concentration it was of course a workingpower [spit!] lunch. I wouldn't have minded if it was urgent and vital, but it wasn't, and could have been sorted in a 2 hour meeting with some follow-up conversations, or 2 meetings. Apparently I was important enough to fly over for the meeting, but not so vital to company survival that my full concentration was required. Then I hopped back on a plane, and was home by 10pm. Just in time to eat some dinner and get a restful night's sleep for tomorrow's work.

    2. IglooDude

      Re: Speaking of rudeness...

      I try to offer to reschedule so that they can attend in a place without being a danger on the road, can view the web conference, etc, noting that screams, crunches, and dead air/disconnects tend to disrupt the meetings. Once I do that two or or three times they tend to get the idea. If they don't, I get with them privately to explain more explicitly. Fairly good results with that approach so far, though there's a couple knuckleheads that I've gone to plan B with - inviting their boss instead of them.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had an "issue" at work...

    where i was called into a meeting with one chap and a woman from HR. Because of the potential ramifications, i (openly) set my phone on the table in the middle of all us and set it to record the conversation (as is my right). He was quite happy with this. She, however, was not. At all!!! Said she would re-schedule the meeting if i was going to record it. I explained she could re-schedule it for the end of the universe but that i would still record it.

    Caused ructions that did!!!

    hehehehehe.....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Expect to break Five a day.

    I wonder if this forgetting basic societal rules relates to something I heard recently (on the radio), young people being asked about the 7 deadly sins, some could name two or three but the best comment was "adultery, that shouldn't be in the list, it's OK these days"

    I occurred to me that the sins list reads like "directors requirements” for a modern music video.

    Pride, was seen as a bad thing before the iPhone (trolling).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working Lunch

    There's the first mistake.

    Lunch time is for getting away from work.

    As for "power lunch," I share the vomiting feelings of previous posters.

    I used to enjoy dealing with invitations to breakfast meetings. I would explain that it was tough enough for me to reach the office by 9.00am, and no way was I getting up early for them to try to sell me something: if they wanted to do that they could do it in my working hours.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Working Lunch

      "Lunch time is for getting away from work."

      Indeed, lunch time is an important break and should be used for that critical activity which is getting some food into you. I don't know about anyone else, but I find that I tend to get cranky if I don't get a decent lunch at an appropriate time!

      Speaking of which, it's almost time to head down to the local Deli Sandwich place for their 'Massive Sandwich'... 2 slices of thick-cut bloomer filled with slow-cooked roast pork, stuffing, apple sauce, sausages and a drizzle of gravy - and, if I get down there before they run out, with a nice bit of crackling on the side.

      Now that's what I call a proper lunch!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: what I call a proper lunch!

        Or what I did call one, back in pre-retirement days...

        Your sandwich sounds great, in fact it is making my mouth water but ...for me, it had to be something hot.

        Hot meal, with a couple of mugs of tea. Gosh, a bolt of nostalgia for Dario's cafe, Wentworth St, E-something :p

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phones on the table

    With the size of modern mobies I find I can't easily put it into a trouser pocket AND sit down, so placing it on the table in front of me is the only option!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Using a phone or texting in a meeting are unacceptable but what about checking a diary, looking at a map, taking notes, using a post-it note or referring to a user guide. They can all be done using a gadget. Are they ok?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Checking a diary - yes, at the appropriate time in the meeting (when scheduling, and everyone else is doing the same thing, except people like my wife who hangs on to a paper diary as if her life depends on it).

      Looking at a map - it depends (in my area, it isn't something that comes up), but, again, it is likely to be in the context of the meeting and others will be doing it too.

      Taking notes - possibly. It depends how, and if it is obvious that is what you are doing. However, paper and a scanning app are probably better.

      Post-It note - paper and then enter it to your gadget later?

      User guide - again, likely to be within the context of the meeting and others may well be doing the same.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really? I mean, really?

    But if you look around in general life, it's women who have a permanent tactile relationship with their phones: all the time on trains; walking into you on pavements; tottering obliviously across busy roads; in lifts; driving; on the tube wherever the faintest wifi signal is available.

    Presumably they have to make sure their latest profound tweet or facebook update hits their global audience as soon as possible.

    Very rarely men. So why do women suddenly care in meetings?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really? I mean, really?

      "Presumably they have to make sure their latest profound tweet or facebook update hits their global audience as soon as possible."

      or, in the case of an acquaintance, the latest picture of whatever she is eating / drinking ...

  24. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    What bugs me...

    What bugs me is when I'm helping someone with something and they answer their phone, leaving me twiddling my thumbs.

    I now explain beforehand that I will walk away if they do so - and I do. They soon got the message. Why should anyone on the phone 'queue jump'? - Especially when I'm the one doing the favour.

    As for answering phones etc. In meetings, I think it's plain rude - if I'm expecting a genuinely important call, I'll apologise and explain beforehand, otherwise, all gadgets are off (or left at my desk)

    And despite what some Americans may think regarding my name, I'm male!

    (P.S. I only posted to see the evil-pumpkin icon next to my name!)

    [ EDIT: (because I can) Where is my evil-pumpkin icon?!! ]

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: What bugs me...

      Miss Jamie Jones,

      I can see your pumpkin. Fnarr, fnarr! But you don't get to see it, as El Reg won't allow you to put yourself on ignore. Just like the bastards won't let you downvote your own posts...

      1. Evil Auditor

        Re: What bugs me...

        You ain't Spartacus, but now all the evil pumpkin icons are gone! Let alone the one I never had next to my name.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: What bugs me...

        "Miss Jamie Jones,"

        Paaaah. Only on weekends, dear!

        "I can see your pumpkin. Fnarr, fnarr! But you don't get to see it, as El Reg won't allow you to put yourself on ignore. Just like the bastards won't let you downvote your own posts.."

        Ahhhhh. Thanks. I didn't notice the pumpkin was functional - I thought it was just a bit of seasonal jolly!

        So... They are testing 'ignore' for us plebs.. (I understand that you gold and silver people have had this option for some time)

        Still, as the evil auditor notes, the pumpkins have disapeared again!! Someone be tinkering!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: Why should anyone on the phone 'queue jump'?

      I doubt that I will ever succeed in explaining this to Mrs G.

      A phone call, wired or wireless, should not take priority over the person you are physically talking to. It is ok to let it ring --- or, even, press that red button.

      It is bad enough when someone is not listening to you because they are thinking of the next thing they are going to say next. It is far worse when they are fingering the phone and you know they aren't listening to you because they are thinking of what they are going to say next to someone who isn't even in the room! Grr.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Why should anyone on the phone 'queue jump'?

        "I doubt that I will ever succeed in explaining this to Mrs G.

        A phone call, wired or wireless, should not take priority over the person you are physically talking to. It is ok to let it ring --- or, even, press that red button."

        Exactly!

        Also, the number of people that moan that the phone always seems to ring just as they sit down for their tea....

        I appreciate that some people may have elderly relatives, or kids on the loose, but, meh, I'll just leave it ring if it isn't convenient for me. I guess I'm just an obnoxious old git.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Why should anyone on the phone 'queue jump'?

          On a wired phone, have the answering machine base set to put the message on the speaker. If you want to answer it, do so. Otherwise, it can wait. Mobiles display the caller - again, decide whether to pick it up depending on whom it is. Anyone that can't send a text to ask if it okay to call is a bit of a twit, anyway.

  25. keithpeter Silver badge
    Windows

    Faraday cages

    I know there is one very expensive product on the market that allows you to coat a room with a fine mesh of earthed wires.

    If anyone developed a cheaper alternative, it would boost educational attainment in Colleges and make meetings shorter and more productive.

    1. an it guy

      Re: Faraday cages

      Try http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/20/radio_blocking_paint/

      £10/kilo from the article, but I'm not sure if they're actually selling it...

  26. JimTheKnife

    Dullards

    Ill stop reading my emails in meetings when my Colleagues show a spark of life and stop boring the bejesus out of me. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all. Beats sticking pins in my legs to stay awake. As for power lunches, day one at new firm block book your lunchtime for the year.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Dullards

      "As for power lunches, day one at new firm block book your lunchtime for the year."

      Call me old-fashioned, but to me a lunch break is a break! In fact, I thought they were a legal requirement, but I'm stupid, and may be wrong.

      Don't get me wrong - if there is a problem, or we are busy etc. I'll work through my lunch break, but to use it as a slot where meetings can be arranged... Sod off!

      Mind you, I think 'lunch meetings' were invented by business-types as a way of claiming an expensive meal on expenses...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    balance

    In business, sometimes, for some people, it just may be the case that an incoming call/message is more important than the current speaker. For example, a doctor receiving a patient alert. Or perhaps, a CEO receiving a call from a client about a large critical contract. And obviously there is a class of call/message that isn't as important as the current speaker. For example, a cute cat video link or a fart joke.

    If someone's job has a responsibility and impact on others, it may be necessary to prioritise their attention over and above their current engagement. But it requires good manners and consideration from the interrupter and understanding from the interruptee. An explained apology to those affected should be enough.

  28. Electric sheep

    Whats a chuffing power lunch?

    Does it mean it has loads of calories?

  29. Fletchulence

    My policy

    If I'm in a meeting with my boss, and while I'm talking he decides to ignore me in favour of a call from his wife about what they're going to have for dinner I just walk off. Then email him and ask when we will actually be able to hold the meeting or indeed, if the meeting is in fact a priority or not.

  30. Dr. Mouse

    I do think it depends both on the particular meeting involved and the types of communication.

    If you are in a business meeting, but get a call/alert saying your (business critical) server has died, you need to receive and immediately deal with that. If you are in an interview, you should not be checking your phone full stop.

    The problem is that phones are innately rude devices. They ring and ring until you deal with them. They also encourage rude behaviour. If you consider a situation where you are speaking to someone at their desk and the phone rings, 9 times out of 10 the person will take the call. The better-mannered will say "excuse me" first. Either way, it is quite rude, but it is considered acceptable because it is a phone call.

    This whole debate goes into personal lives, too. My fiancée often asks me why I leave the room to take a call. She views it with suspicion. The truth of the matter is that I consider it rude to interupt whatever she's doing (even if it is just watching the TV) by taking a call, and would rather leave the room so she can continue uninterrupted.

    1. Evil Auditor
      Thumb Up

      The truth of the matter is that I consider it rude towards the missus to let her hear me talking to the gf. (In case you're reading this, it is, of course, only a stupid joke! You are the only one.)

      Seriously, Dr Mouse, I think you're doing to only sensible thing. Whenever there is someone present who has no business with the calling party, I leave the room to not disturb them.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Power Lunch"

    In my opinion people who insist on living in 1987 should be denied access to all technology that was invented subsequently.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double standards

    My wife can't leave Facebook alone - her phone pings and chirps constantly to let her know that one of her friends has just fed the cat, eaten a pizza or seen something on TV. And then there are all the vacuous text messages. It's a modern curse.

    1. Evil Auditor

      Re: Double standards

      Well, that would make me leave the missus alone.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As I say to my sons.

    Women are quite sensitive creatures and very sensitive to mood etc, so you should always be attentive and considering of this, until you've shagged them, in case they think you're sexist.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tend to find that women are more likely than men to start texting or some such when you're out for a luncheon with them.

  35. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I remember the joy of sitting with 15 others in a series of meetings

    waiting for the boss to finish mobile phone calls and then being berated for being overbudget as a result of these meetings overrunning while waiting for the selfish twat.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Techie in the meeting.

    I've done on call for ummm.... 11 years now.

    Most of the folks in the meetings I go to know damned well that I'm pretty much permanently oncall.

    I have the phone on vibrate, and will flip it face up to check. If its the incident line I'll politely comment that I have to take it and step out of the room. Other than that I take a peek to see who/what generated the noise and flip it back over. My laptop is usually open and I'm quite often logged into the systems under discussion checking the commentary against reality -- since reality doesn't tend to make it into the mainstream of most of the project discussions.

    Yes, I'm acknowledged ADD. I'm also damned good at what I do, since I *can* focus in detail and depth - no, I can't hold 3 conversations at once, but I can generally get three steps ahead of whats on the presentation board. Simply because I'm comparing what you've decided is the answer to what is actually workable doesn't mean I'm not paying attention to the overdone verbiage you've decided fill two hours of my time with.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Techie in the meeting.

      Anyone taking two hours for a presentation should be ignored until they learn how to do things properly. There is almost nothing in the world that needs that amount of time to put across.

  37. Inachu

    Uncivil?

    If I am truly something important on my tablet work related then I expect if you do not interrupt me.

    But of course if this was a meeting room then I would expect to be interrupted.

    To sit there among others that we must share time together for a huddle session then it is I who would be rude.

    I think recording a meeting be it audio or visual then should be announced by the host of the meeting. this way the recording will be more official sounding.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Vendors have to be level set about my company

    When a new vendor approaches my company to do business. We have a vendor management team that sits them down and level sets the vendor that we all have mobile devices a good potion of us are in operations and when an email comes in we NEED to check the device as it may be a critical alert that may need immediate action. It's just a fact of our business.

    Back about 4 years ago I probably had 30 hours of meetings a week today I'm down to about 3 hours. When invited to a meeting my first question is by sending me this invite how will I be adding value? If the sender can't answer that question I politely tell them if there is something that comes up that needs my attention or if the topic changes and I can add value re-engage me and I will be happy to attend. Most meeting organizers really appreciate your honesty as they only want the real decision makers in the room and don't need others to muddy up the waters.

    My email is also down by 90% because of appropriate mail filtering techniques. Tossing stuff in to folders and only alerting me when something truly critical comes to my device. Most people now know if I have to pull out my device there usually is a very good reason for it. It's not beeping every 15 seconds and I have my face in my phone for the entire time.

    Now what irks me is someone coming to a lunch on a conference call phone glued to their head the whole time and generally ignoring everyone at the table. I actually had a vendor do this once. Invite a couple of us out for lunch on the phone the entire time ignored us and at the end of the meal comes out with "So how much virtualization software can I sell you?" unbelieveable. I went to my other technical sales rep and said don't ever put that guy in my face again or else we'll have significant issues. I never saw him again :)

    1. Bobthe2nd
      WTF?

      Re: My Vendors have to be level set about my company

      "level sets the vendor"

      What the heck does that mean? Is it like setting expectations?

      1. Evil Auditor

        Re: My Vendors have to be level set about my company

        I don't know either but my guess is it belongs to the same category as power lunch or touch base and all the other bs bingo winner words.

        Besides this linguistic think the OP is spot on.

  39. FunkyEric
    Thumb Up

    Meetings.........

    The practical alternative to work.....

    :-)

  40. shovelDriver

    Women in Meetings

    Seems I read - in yet another study, somewhere - that men and women are, how shall we say, "different"!

    The study explained that, generally speaking, women are more emotional whereas men are more practical. Note it did not say "logical"; just "practicable". In other words, focused on factual issues.

    It went on to theorize that that's perhaps the reason why men and women pay attention differently. Men it seems see distractions in meetings as unimportant, so long as the attendees focus on its' objectives and accomplish the stated purpose of the meeting. Women were shown by the study to focus on the "relationships exhibited" more than the work accomplished, and thus felt slighted if they were not the center of attention. These hypotheses were stated, not proposed, mostly by the women respondents, mind you.

    Maybe so. Given what one observes in the every day interactions between men and women, it seems "logical". Now if the reactions this post generates follow the statistical pattern . . . then this too can be added to the study and used as a means of gathering data.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If people insist on having meetings over lunch...

    ..then I think it is perfectly reasonable to check your phone as you are encroaching on my personal time. I wouldn't do it during a normal meeting, however I think it is important to find time to switch off for a bit during a working day - you will be a more effective worker for it. Expecting people to work over their lunch time is a recent trend which is unhealthy and counter productive.

  42. johnwerneken

    Guess I am spoiled as Ido as I please at all times

    Really, I'm never in a situation where what I bring is not far more valuable than what I want, and I have choices, always. If I want to call or research something, I just do it, and if you decide to hate me for it, that is your problem, I don't need any particular individuals or groups for any purpose, I can get others, any time.

    I'm seen as kind and benevolent by almost anyone, though. Must be because I do not play the game of wanting to do one thing but doing something else instead.

  43. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "Ignoring People is Rude, Shock Study Reveals "

    But, the thing is I've seen people that seem to have no problem holding a conversation and texting at the same time (or short E-Mail or IM). So it doesn't bother me a bit if someone is on the phone a bit. I think it is likely more men come to this conclusion than women.

    Where I work we're all tech geeks and would certainly check any texts that come in. However, we have a few clients that check texts any time they get them, and they clearly don't mind a bit if I check a text. But in general, I do ignore texts and E-Mails while I'm actually meeting with people.

  44. BongoJoe

    Go to a meeting, deal with other people. Turn off the phone or put it on silent and deal with missed calls during a suitable break.

    It's common courtesy which, alas, appears not to be common any more.

  45. Sirius Lee

    This is not a scenario I recognize. In my experience women are as bad, and perhaps a little worse, for checking their phones for messages. I'm a bit of a stickler for wanting people to pay attention. If attendees at a meeting need to be doing better things they should be doing better things. But if they are in the meeting they should attending to the business at hand.

    But it's probably me. How many times have you been talking to someone, say in their office, the phone rings and they answer it. Some random call is received and it trumps the time you have taken to visit with them to discuss a topic. If the visit was for idle gossip then OK. But not in a business context. The opposite is also true. Someone is visiting, my phone rings. Because I do not answer the incredulous visitors asks me if I want to answer the phone. Bizarre.

  46. Bruce Ordway

    Children with gadgets

    At university gadgets are universally frowned upon.

    I don't know why meetings should be different.

    Although I know that people like to bluff and play act in meetings a lot.

    Isn't it fun to say "Excuse me, I must take this call..."?

    I suppose it adds a temporary boost to one's sense of self and importance.

    Kind of like this post too... uhhh

  47. cortland

    Yes sergeant!

    May I be incivil if I'm not a civilian?

    Scene: ambush in deep brush; enemy patrol approaching;

    Cellphone rings.

    "Excuse me!"

    Answers 'phone while enemy attacks the position.

    "No, not today." . . .

    "No, just a moment, please." . . .

    BANG!

    BANG!

    BANG!

    "Sorry, we're in a meeting, here."

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