Or, "How to Avoid Being Stabbed in the Throat with a Letter Opener."
Last week we covered Email etiquette. Well, not so much covered as you were told by the bossy lady with the scary eyes how not to respond to email.
Today, kids, we address The Speaker Phone. Otherwise known as Satan's Instrument of Office Anarchy.
I have a corner office. Not the cool kind of corner office everyone would like to have - if you have to have an office at all - that would be an outside corner office. I have an inside corner office. With outside offices directly across from and beside me. Imagine...L*. I am the asterisk. The "lines" are window offices.
I live on the wrong side of the hall. The side with broken out lights and stains on the carpeting. The side where, if this were a corner house, weeds would be grown up and over the car on blocks in the middle of the yard and kids would dare each other to ring the doorbell.
ANYway, half the muckity-mucks in my department sit outside my door. And, as EVERYONE knows, muckity-mucks are far too busy/important/retarded to pick up the telephone when they make a call. Instead they use The Speaker Phone.
All of them. AT THE SAME TIME. One VP, whose door is directly opposite mine believes the only way he can be understood when on an international call is to put all of Asia on speaker and then scream at the instrument. Not an angry scream. A conversational scream. Like you'd have with your deaf 90-year-old aunt...or an elderly cocker spaniel.
Apparently he does not realize that the reason they don't understand him in not because he is not LOUD enough. It is because he talks in freaking concentric circles and nobody can follow a single thought coming through his Wisconsin-accented pie hole. (Nice image, right?)
Then the new C-level - also a product of the Midwest, if you are playing along in your head - who sits in the outside corner office kiddie corner from me (at the bend in the "L" if you will) and beside Pie Hole, she... where to begin?...she has never, since I've been here, picked up the handset on her telephone. She puts her cat's VET on speaker and then carries on lengthy conversations about the animal's intestinal issues. While Pie Hole is on the phone with Singapore. And Tech Guy on the other side of Pie Hole talks to his 3-year-old...all together now... on speaker.
WHAT IN THE NAME OF EMILY POST IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!
In an effort to help you avoid becoming one of Those People, should you reach Directorial or VP status some day - or to keep you alive if you're already there - I offer these simple words of advice: Pick up the handset. Use the phone as Alexander Graham Bell intended - at your ear. Speak in a reasonable tone. And if all else fails, simply CLOSE YOUR DOOR.
It could save your life.
Image credit: http://www.poppascountry.com/museum/museum-phone.jpg