02 March 2013

Turn it Off, Please!

I normally don't like to muck about when I want to really say something, so I'll get to the point right away:
Please! Please, turn off all sounds on your mobile phones at your workplace.

I'm reasonably sure I'm not alone in this: I'm really so fed up with all kinds of big and little sounds from so many mobile phones at my workplace that I just HAD to write this post. Maybe it'll ring a bell with atleast a few and they'll quietly make a mental note not to harass others around them with their Oh-So-Fancy sounds on their smart(ass) phones.
To all those people who just can't live five full minutes without hearing their mobile phone's bells and whistles: please turn those sounds off. Yes, all of them. Now!

Why? Well, lets see.
First, its a matter of very basic manners and civility to maintain peace and quiet at work place. Do not disturb others; whether you are talking in person, or over the phone, and ofcourse, keep your phone silent. I've had a glimpse of cubical work-life in the US, and in those six weeks I never, ever heard a sound from anyone's mobile phone. Not one. And I'm sure I saw a lot more gadget-loving people with much fancier things in that office. But their gizmos were always well behaved, silent.

Second, you are at your 'work'place. Most people bothering to read this have a regular day-job. You are not a business man/woman who can't leave the phone alone for a second because you fear you will miss a terribly important call. You don't need to leave the ring volume at its max while your phone is charging at your desk and you are away to chit-chat at someone else's cube. You are not always waiting on some very serious information/news from your 'native place'/home all the time that you can't call back 5 minutes after missing a call, or can't be called back again. Your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/hubby-the-great isn't going to die of worry if you fail to pick a call or respond a minute late to that sweet-nothings text while you are well understood to be at 'work' during that time of the day.

Okay ladies, I hear you. Most of you don't have pockets to carry your phones along. So how would you know when you are getting a call? I'd like to ask: would it be a very major risk/threat to your life and well-being if you missed a little call or a text while you were away from your desk. I just explained some reasons why this isn't likely. Do you have to let the phone ring at its loudest while you come scurrying to your desk from the other end of the hall (more often than not wearing that shameless grin while others watch you make that run)?

All the dudes who have the fanciest, smartest, loudest, most expensive creations of modern technology in their hands the whole time (I mean the whole time), please, I do not want to hear all the clever little sounds that your phone is capable of producing. Nor do I care to know what kinds of apps your little wonder can run by listening to the never ending variety of sounds from it all day long. I'm sure you do, but I definitely don't care to know that you are getting a Skype call, a Nimbuzz message, or a phone call from your girlfriend (that odd little special ring tone has to be for her, right?). Spare me and everyone else around you the torture; we are trying to work here, for heaven's sake! The most annoying of all these sounds that I can recall is this: when you are getting a call or a text, your phone actually READS OUT the caller/sender's phone number! Oh, here's another: the phone lets out a sudden shout (I'd call it a shout) saying "<a loud, exclaiming sound in a female voice>!!....<fading>...<fading>"!! Aaaaarrgghh!!! Turn it off! And Grow Up, Please! You may love your touch-screen gadget, but I have a lot of hatred building up inside me for it, just because you bother me so much with those sounds while I'm working.

It's only a few sounds from a little phone, you might say. But did you ever notice how often your phone rings in amazing variety all day long? You wouldn't notice it, since its your phone. Ask the silent sufferers around you, go on. Multiply that by the number of phones that people simply don't care to switch to silent and you pretty much have a carnival of the most annoying sounds, all day, everyday, in the workplace!

How about keeping things simple: when you are at your desk, keep the phone on vibration and place it in front of you. I'm sure that gives you enough warning of an incoming call or text. When you are not at your desk, take your phone along, or simply attend to the phone when you get back.

Me? I turn my phone over to silent first thing on entering the office premises, and always take all calls likely to be more than half a minute outside the hall.

Thanks for reading all the way through. And if you think it's worth it, I'd like to request you to please share the link to this post any which way that you can. I ask because my own immediate reach isn't very wide and I'd like to get the message across to as many people as I can. Thank you!


P.S. Comments to this will be moderated. I believe some people will miss the whole point and take personal issue with some specific words that I wrote here and then come after me with flame-throwers. I won't take that, sorry.