Dear Aunty B,
My Gen-Y sales manager is obsessed with his new iPhone, which he got recently from the US. He brings it out in meetings, functions or drinks and begins to tap away.
The other day he took a call in a meeting with a client. He also texts people at all hours – I got a text from him the other night at midnight which woke my baby!
He actually gets jumpy if it’s not on the table in front of him. He even wears his ear piece when he has lunch. He also has a really annoying ring tone (Chuck Berry’s My Ding-a-Ling).
I have tried to make light of his bad habits, suggesting he is an addict, but he gives me patronising looks as if I am an old fossil from some far flung generation.
What is the correct etiquette?
Dear Ms Manners,
I am afraid you have to prepare yourself. Get ready for iPhone mania, with the Australian launch exactly a month away. And expect bad manners to expand in proportion with the increased number of iPhones sold.
iPhone etiquette is no different from BlackBerry etiquette.
While some in the corporate world (usually fellow addicts) believe it is fine to pick up a text or write an email in a meeting, let me tell you – it is a cardinal sin.
If you are communicating with someone and they start to shoot sidelong glances at their iPhone before succumbing to temptation and ignoring you while they talk or text to someone else, it is humiliating and annoying.
The message they are sending is unequivocal; you don’t matter. It is certainly not a message you want to signal to a client or a boss.
As for his ring tone – totally inappropriate. If I remember rightly, that ring tone is about activities not at all conducive to work.
Tell your employee that his job is not brain surgery, and so unless he is expecting a call about a baby on the way or a death in the family, he needs to turn his Ding-a-Ling off at meetings – and change his ring tone.
Your Aunty B.