Business Etiquette – Things You Should Never Do In Public
Every time I get on a plane I’m grateful that skype isn’t allowed and that cell phones haven’t made it to the friendly skies. I can’t imagine sitting in a relatively small, contained space for that long, while numerous people chat away.
There was no such luck in jury duty last week when people passed the time watching TV on their phones and iPads, WITHOUT headphones. Does anyone think this is acceptable business etiquette? Please post a comment here. I’d really like to know.
Watching TV on an iPad and phone are still somewhat of a novelty. My fear is that soon, watching TV in public places without headphones will be like talking on the phone in a coffee shop – the norm. I am apparently, one of the few people who finds talking on a cell phone in restaurants and coffee shops rude. And one of my employees let me know that this makes me sound old and cranky. I can accept that I’m both old and cranky.
If you find yourself in a public place with someone watching TV or listening to music without headphones, here’s what you can say: “Would you mind using headphones?” It’s as simple as that.
If s/he tells you s/he doesn’t have any, then you can say, “Would you mind not listening to music or watching TV without headphones? It’s distracting.” The worst the person can say is no. And if you don’t want to make the request directly, then ask someone working in the location you’re spending time.
If you say nothing, and it bothers you, you’re training people to that it’s OK to fill public spaces with TV and music that you don’t want to be watching and listening to. And both will quickly become the norm.
You won’t get what you don’t ask for.