Recently I was talking with a friend and we were talking about respect in the workplace. I think of respect in terms of saying “hello”, “please”, and “thank you” among a whole host of other things. She brought up one that I have thought about vaguely but she brought it into focus. Using your cell when you are in the bathroom. And, in particular, using it when you are in the act of doing the things you do in the bathroom.
She works for a major corporation and she tells me it is common place for people to be doing their thing and talking on the cell phone. As she said, she may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but don’t these people realize that the person on the other end of the line can usually hear what you are doing? And this activity spans both sexes as well as generations.
Nothing that goes on in business is SO important that it can’t wait for the 5 minutes maximum that it takes. This all goes to the pattern of disrespect that we hear from people in general. Like it or not respect is one of the key things people cite as reasons for leaving an organization.
This is one of those little things that we can avoid that will add to the basic respect we show to people that often drives people to leave an organization. Basic respect is part of employee retention. Let’s show some when we are in the bathroom and stay off of the cell phone.