Mistake # 83: Text message in the wrong places

Are there etiquette rules out there for adults on text messaging? Anywhere? How about if you are at dinner with your boss and you receive a text message? Should you answer back in between bites of shrimp or prime ribs?

I say nay, nay. I was at dinner not too long ago and my direct-report received a text. He puts his fork down and answers away.  Head down to his lap to poke his fat fingers on the phone’s buttons, I’m still talking to his bald spot on his head. What’s with that?! Is that really necessary?! What happens when he’s at his desk and in the middle of a conference call on the office phone. Does he do that too? It’s unlikely that it is from a customer, because, let’s be honest, what customer would text message a representative for more information?!

Here are three rules for text messaging for employees:

* Text messages are like emails. Answer them when you can, but don’t stop the train to do so. Take a break and go out to a hallway or the work break room to answer your text message.

* Don’t text message in front of your boss. If you do, there are likely to be questions on how you are spending your time–at the computer answering customer questions, or on your phone answering your wife’s questions on what color she should color her hair.

*Don’t ever text message at dinner with clients or your boss. Ever. If you do, it will look like you are not paying attention to the conversation and you have other things to do tend to. “Dad, did u deposit my $ yet? I want 2 go 2 the muveez w/Jak!”

What are your rules for text messaging at work?

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