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Hang Up! Developing Cell Phone Etiquette In Texas

Oct 12, 2007
You've got one, you use it all the time and it's become an integral part of your life. You are a "call-a-holic", as some individuals in Dallas, Houston, Austin and elsewhere in signal-free parts of Texas might tag you.

Let's face it, nobody wants to hear your personal conversations, especially the one-sided form that millions of people who own cell phones have each day. Obnoxious ring tones, semi-shouting to the party on the other end of your cell - yes - you make people angry. So with that said, how about learning a little cell phone etiquette?

Let's start with some simple suggestions:
- First of all, let the party to whom you are speaking with know that you are on a cell phone and that the conversation must be kept brief.
- Use text message options when you need to exchange information in a timely fashion. It is less disruptive than making or receiving a call in public.
- Cell phone use in some buildings is restricted or prohibited. Keep your eyes peeled for signs that indicate these restrictions.

Now, let's get to some of the good stuff, like cell phone don'ts:
- Don't talk loudly -- again, you'll be overhead by everyone in the vicinity. Also it will be too loud for the person on the other end.
- Don't use loud ring tones. It might appeal to you, but it won't appeal to anyone else.
- Never answer your phone during meetings of any sort with clients or co-workers. Set your phone to silent or vibrate and send calls to voice mail to collect your messages later.
Don't use your work cell phone for personal phone calls.
- Don't forget that your phone is a tool. Use it wisely.
- Never argue when you're asked to turn off or asked not to use your phone. Quickly wrap up any conversation and do as you've been asked without an argument.

And if you're going to use a cell phone, do remember the following:
- Give yourself some privacy when using it. Move away from others so that you can have some privacy.
- Use the vibrate function or turn your ringer volume down while in meetings or conferences.
- If someone near you answers his or her phone -- give him or her some space.
- Keep conversations to a minimum and don't discuss confidential matters in public areas.
- You should always be aware of security and confidentiality issues when using your cell phone.

The bottom line -- remember to use proper cell phone etiquette. Cell phones make it convenient and possible for many of us to stay in touch no matter where we are. Sure, this has great advantages for mobile professionals, but it can also be irritating and annoying to fellow mobile workers, co-workers and clients.

Proper etiquette, no matter where you happen to travel, should be second nature and will help ensure that you keep good relationships with co-workers, clients and the public.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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