“I must just take this…” A change in business etiquette I’ve missed

It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve got twitchy about mobile phones, ring tones and their increasingly intrusive presence in business meetings. Perhaps I should chill a bit, but yesterday was one of those days…

On the train up to London yesterday, several phones rang in my carriage with a variety of musical rings – including one Star Trek communicator, a screaming baby, church bells, the Jaws theme music, a car horn and twittering birds. During one of my meetings, the person I was with kept his mobile on and took three calls while we were talking, starting with the words “I must just take this”.

This happens all too often now, I realise that I’ve missed a change in business etiquette – in that it now appears to be OK to keep mobiles on during business meetings. When did this happen?

Phil

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