Thursday, March 27, 2008

A refreshing change of pace...

Today I went to lunch with one of my favorite co-workers...we don't make it out to lunch together often; maybe once a month, and it is always so nice to catch up on everything.

The thing I noticed most about our time today was that there were NO technology interruptions (well, my phone rang once, but I just noted who it was and went back to eating/chatting).

IN MAJOR CONTRAST TO TODAY, on Tuesday I went out with four co-workers and a dear old co-worker for Thai. As the six of us sat around the table, FOUR of them had either their cell phone out or the PDA constantly *CONSTANTLY* which I find to be completely annoying. Virtually no eye contact, answering in part sentences, holding their fork in one hand and scrolling through their emails with the other...I mean, it really is a talent and amazing to watch the multi-tasking in action...

After we left the restaurant, three of us decided to stop off for a coffee. I sat at the table across from the other two people who *AGAIN* both had out their PDA's checking email, answering calls, or listening to voice mail for the ENTIRE TIME. At one point, when I realized that neither of them even knew I was there, I got up and walked away to the trashcan to toss out the remainder of my beverage - I was SO over the overall rudeness of the dynamic. I basically got about 20 feet from the table before either realized I was gone...

I mean, come on people, it is not THAT important! You are not that important & some things can wait!

My questions are - how did we conduct business successfully five years ago, or even ten years ago, when the modern day conveniences of cell phones, PDA's, laptops, wireless, etc WERE not so much a part of everyday life?

Didn't the stuff still get done? Is it that we are all just much more impatient now b/c technology has changed us?

I can't even sit in a team meeting at work anymore without several team members "multi-tasking" and doing work via the wireless connection DURING the meeting on their laptops. Oh, and if they are not on the laptop, the dang PDA is in their hand & they are scrolling through their oh *so important* emails...

I get so frustrated b/c NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO ANYONE ELSE...ergo, the meeting ends up lasting about 30 minutes longer than necessary b/c people have to remove their heads from their rear ends ~ every time they are asked a question...there is a pause, then they realize you were talking to them, then they say - oh, sorry, I didn't hear you - what was the question???

COME ON! If I wanted to hang out with Ostriches who prefer to put their head in the ground I would!


The Sweet Family said...

Here is an interesting tidbit I can add. I am working at a company that as soon as someone is hired, they are issued a laptop and PDA. So they can work from home in the evenings....of course! Don't dare let your employees have a life away from the office.

ITA with you. It is that way with my kids. Texting all the time and I ask a question and they say, "Hold on a second, I gotta finish this text". Excuse me? If I did that during my tween years, SMACK went my head!

Great post!!!

Amanda said...

I agree, it’s so annoying. I like it that I can leave my work at work and I have my personal time at home and it remains separate!

The first thing that popped in my head while reading this, my boss is running his staff meeting and while someone else talks, he checks his email on his phone and really doesn’t pay attention to the person who is talking. That frustrates me! I say, then don't even bother with the staff meetings if he isn't going to listen!