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Pachter's Pointers:
Business Etiquette Tips & Career Suggestions


10.19.2009

Stop Using the Blackberry Under the Table


A major company lost a large contract because one of their executives used his Blackberry under the table during a meeting with a potential client.

There is a learning curve with new technology. I rarely have to remind people anymore to turn off their cell phones in meetings, avoid all caps in an email, or speak slowly when leaving their phone number on voicemail. These technologies have been around for a while.

Yet the Blackberry can still cause us difficulty.

A woman in my training class last week complained that her employees constantly use their Blackberries under the table during meetings. She wanted to know what to do. I told her Blackberry misuse will get better over time as people learn from their mistakes and etiquette experts weigh in. Until then, I suggested that she needed to set guidelines for her employees. I told her about a president of a company that had established a new policy. He instructed his senior staff to leave their Blackberries outside their weekly meeting room and arranged a special case to store them.

Wives have also established guidelines. A man brought his Blackberry to the dinner table and his wife said, “It’s either me or the Blackberry.” He thought for a moment and then put the Blackberry away!

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