It was the ringtone to beat all ring tones and it seemed to go on forever…
It was one of those ringtones that you would be embarrassed to have on your phone and you wonder why a grown man would ever have chosen it? To make matters worse, he took absolutely ages to answer the call – the phone was in his pocket and it was inside a plastic zip-locked bag and he fumbled for a couple of seconds, stood up, reached into his pocket and finally extracted his phone. This all happened in the middle of the tutorial that I was running with 20 other people in the room.
At this point I expected the ‘phone offender’ to look embarrassed and to turn off his phone but to my surprise (and everyone else’s in the group) he answered the call. I then expected him at least to move outside of the classroom but he didn’t. He remained standing and spoke in full voice to ‘David’ who was on the other end of the call and told him that he could not ‘talk for long’ because he was in the middle of a class and would have to call him back. However, you will be pleased to know that he was not rude on the phone and didn’t just cut David off but proceeded to share his viewpoint on the management style and efficiency of the organisation that David was enquiring about!
Finally the phone call was over, the phone was placed safely back in the zip-locked bag and the student took their seat and the class could continue. Interestingly or maybe ironically it was a class on Effective Communication Techniques!
I could spend the rest of my article pointing out the issues I had with this action or the correct mobile phone etiquette but I would rather muse on the fact of how unaware this individual was about the impact he was having on those around him. He put ‘his need’ above everyone else’s and showed little or no respect to me or the class, failing to even offer an apology for his interruption.
As I thought a little more about this it made me quite determined not to fall into this pattern – which simply comes from thinking of yourself rather than thinking of others. Perhaps it is a good opportunity for us all to assess and adjust our actions…
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;” Romans 12:10–11