Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ms Manners says .....

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Don't you love it when you're in a meeting talking with someone or out socially and suddenly they whip out a BlackBerry or cellular phone and for the next several minutes you cease to exist? Isn't giving someone your undivided attention the highest compliment?

And while we're at it, why do people insist on cranking up the ring volume on their cellulars to the strains of Beethoven's 4th Symphony in B Flat Minor or Shostakovich's 4th. Remember "the good old days" when you could actually walk along the streets of Winnipeg and people who didn't know you would smile and say, "hello." Now it seems everyone has a damn telephone stuck in their ear.


Clare L. Pieuk


Berry Offensive - A Lesson On BlackBerry Etiquette
By Carolyn McTighe
Winnipeg Sun
August 12, 2008
Page 18

It's a blessing, and a curse.

Though millions rely on the highly addictive BlackBerry, the creation of Canada's Research in Motion, most people would agree that they are still in the dark when it comes to proper etiquette.

And with more and more businesses giving their employees these devices that enable them to be tethered to the office at virtually any hour of the day, many are wondering what is socially acceptable when it comes to e-mail and messaging in the workplace.

"When it comes to PDAs or similar technology it's inconsiderate people that cause the problems, not the technology," says Louise Fox, owner of the Etiquette Ladies and director of Toronto's Protocol Solutions business etiquette.

"The solution is education. BlackBerries, like cell phones, are still relatively new and people need to be educated to become more courteous users. The same courtesy applies to the use of all technology; be respectful and considerate of others and other people's time. If someone does something that annoys you, don't do it yourself."

Karen Mallett, president and chief executive of Winnipeg's Civility Works, says one of the biggest mistakes people make when using their BlackBerry is forgetting that the people and relationships around them are more important than the electronic device in their hands.

"You're not giving anyone your undivided attention if you are continually sneaking glances at your messages just in case someone more important is sending a message," Mallett says. "Think of a similar situation, the work networking event. You are standing and talking to one of your associates and they are looking away, keeping an eye on the door, this wouldn't be acceptable either."

So when should a person pull out their BlackBerry, iPhone or other smartphone and start tapping away as if they were alone? According to Fox, the answer requires good manners and good old fashion common sense.

"Conversations on your Blackberry or cell phone are better carried on in private places where you don't disturb others and won't be overheard," Fox says.

"Even though you aren't speaking when you are e-mailing on your BlackBerry, you shouldn't be texting someone while you are carrying on a face to face conversation with someone else. You may call it multi-tasking, but most people call it just plain rude. The person you are with takes precedence over calling, e-mailing, surfing or checking messages on your BlackBerry."
So whether you're the offender or offended, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Think. Before making a call, consider whether it is an appropriate time and place to make a call. Avoid discussing private, emotional or confidential information in public. You never know who might be listening.

Be upfront. When you're in the company of others and expecting an important call or message, let them know beforehand. When the call or message comes in, excuse yourself and take it in a private place.

Avoid the tinkle. Although the restroom affords privacy for some things, it has a high potential for embarrassment and is not the best location for phone calls.

Pay attention. Turn off your BlackBerry during meetings and other quiet settings and let it go to voicemail. Don't e-mail or check for messages. The message alert feature that notifies you a message has arrived is equally annoying to others so turn it off or put it on vibrate. Give 100% to the people you are with.

Keep it private. Do not make business calls in front of others who are not involved in the transaction.

Rock out. Stairway to Heaven and other goofy ring tones are annoying and immature on a professional's BlackBerry.

Be real. Be realistic about your expectations regarding response time. Just because you own a cell phone, BlackBerry or computer, doesn't mean you need to be available at all hours of the day. You control the technology it shouldn't control you.

Nothing says "I'm still working, why aren't you?" like getting a late or weekend email from a co-worker with the default signature, "Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld." If you're looking for the most up to date information on how to maximize your BlackBerry, or prevent this rookie mistake, try berryreview.com. The site is dedicated to helping users get the most of their pda -- from free TV guide applications to the latest insurance policy to track your stolen device. News and reviews, plus a section for newbies can be found at crackberry.com. BlackBerry's own site http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/blackberry101/tips/ offers tips and tricks to learn how to quickly complete tasks. For 121 tips, hacks and resources at your fingertips, go to http://www.insidecrm.com/features/121-blackberry-tips-021408/


Post a Comment

<< Home