Phone Calls in Meetings

When did it become OK to answer a phone call in a meeting? I personally find it incredibly distracting. I *never* answer my phone during a meeting. I try (and some times forget) to place my phone on vibrate, and if I need to answer the call (because my house is on fire), then I walk outside. While that is a bit distracting, it's not as bad as answering. If something is an emergency, my family knows to call me twice if I don't answer (or send an SMS).

I am guilty of doing email in meetings. Working on that one. The solution there relies on getting less email though so I don't feel like I constantly need to be on mail.

Comments (3)

  1. That reminds me of when I was at Nortel, there was a phenomenon known as the Palm Prayer. Attendees at meetings would sit silently with their heads bowed and hands apparently folded on their lap.

    Of course they weren’t praying at all… They were irreverently engrossed in reading and answering email messages using their Palm Pilots which they held discretely out of view below the table.

  2. ho hum says:

    Solution to not doing email in meetings? Use Hotmail!

    I’ve been getting so many "server is too busy" notices recently, together with large volumes of unfiltered spam, that I don’t do Hotmail anywhere, let alone in meetings.

  3. Ellis says:

    I’m an adjunct professor at a local university. Let me ask you this: When you went to school as an undergrad, would you have ever even CONSIDERED answering your phone during a lecture?

    Students today do just that. I give them one warning and then I throw them out. It’s rude and disrespectful not only to myself, but to their fellow students.

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