Cell phones in the urinal and other business insanity

Years ago, when I first met Dan, he used to talk about seeing people in the men’s room, standing at the urinal, phone in one hand, you know what in the other. Talking BUSINESS.

I never believed it. Just thought it was one of Dan’s colorful stories.

Then about a year ago, I saw someone actually doing it at a Kennedy event. When the rest of the gang heard the guy, they all started giving him grief. Later that same weekend, another guy, talking business in the STALL while making all sorts of noises that you’d find typical in a stall. Again, talking BUSINESS.

I have no idea what possesses someone to exhibit stupid behavior like this. If Im talking to my boss (ok, in my case, it would be my wife) or a client, the last sounds I want on the call are:

  • men using the urinal
  • flushing
  • assorted bathroom discussion
  • grief from the guys standing next to me
  • other assorted bathroom sounds

Despite this, when I’m at conferences, I repeatedly see this behavior – and the calls are almost always talking business to a client or with the office. At the urinal, with their um, equipment, in the other hand.
Today, the insanity got even more stupid.

I’m in a small group meeting with Dan, a 2 day meeting that was rather expensive (5 figures) and during one of the most valuable discussions of the day, a guy sitting just in front of me is messing around on his laptop (the only one in the room).

During one somewhat involved, yet very important discussion that could clearly have a six figure impact on someone’s business (again – during a VERY expensive meeting), and still this guy is checking email, getting driving directions from MapQuest, looking up a list of restaurants, and sending emails. On a SUNDAY (ie: not a high priority business communications day).

I can see all this because his laptop is directly between Dan and I – all of us are sitting. At least he wasnt playing solitaire.

I dont know about you, but when I spend major $ to be in a room with someone that I expect to get some critical business info from, I want every piece of info that person has to offer. I dont need to be shopping, checking my mail, knitting or instant messaging with my golf buddies.