Monday, November 24, 2008

Cell Phones & Bathrooms: A "Sound" Combination?

A few months ago, the group I work with moved into a new building. Right away, I noticed something that struck me as being somewhat odd. Almost every time I would walk into the restroom, I would encounter someone carrying on a business conversation on the cell phone - right there in the bathroom.

Many times, they would be pacing across the floor. It was almost as if there were waiting to enter a bathroom stall and thought to themselves "Well, I might as well call back this client while I'm waiting."

Now, I know there are many people who like to sing in the shower because of the acoustics. In fact, I'm one of them. Rumor has it that several well known songs were recorded in a bathroom for that very reason.

Yes, the acoustical qualities of a bathroom can make even a somewhat mediocre singer sound better. But do business calls sound better, more authoritative, more informed because one end of the conversation takes place in the men's room?

Perhaps it's a consequence of our always connected society. Even some hourly workers keep cell phones with them at all times, for fear of missing out on something. Or perhaps it's to show how popular they are. Not having a cell phone myself, I'm not sure of the reasoning.

Then again, maybe it is an extension of our growing need to be able to multitask. (That's all the picture I am going to draw for you; you will need to do the rest.) So many employment ads list the ability to multitask as either a desired charactistic of the successful applicant or an outright requirement.

Fine. But couldn't that ability to multitask be demonstrated in a more classy manner? Say, something like putting on makeup and driving at the same time? Sorry, I can't answer that. I have to go to the bathroom and take an important call.

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