Michael: Hi everyone. I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: I'm Kathryn Redman.
Michael: And we are here on the HaBO Village Podcast, a podcast dedicated to business leaders who want to have more passion, provision, or more profit, purpose, and legacy is what we call it. It's the passion provision strategy. We have been doing this for 17 years plus not the podcast, but our business.
Kathryn: Yeah, but the podcast for two years plus.
Michael: And we forget to tell people we're married and business partners. Yes, we survive. Yes, we like each other. Yes, we enjoy it. And today we have a rant that we're going to go on about Katherine came home last night about cellphone technique. I saw something this morning at the doctors.
Kathryn: Okay, so people, people, people, and we are going to connect this to business. But just let me-
Michael: We don't need to connect this to business.
Kathryn: Let me have it for a little bit. Let me just describe my world. I had a long day yesterday, worked all day, put in a bunch of stuff. I was tired and I had a headache and I was a little grumpy. So I went into the scenario not optimal. I will confess. I had a pedicure. Now a pedicure, let's think about this. This is supposed to be a me moment. A moment to just relax. A moment to just take care of myself. A moment to sit in the massage chair and just let someone else treat me nicely. So that's-
Michael: That's going to be good for me.
Kathryn: Which is going to be good for him.
Michael: That was the plan.
Kathryn: That was the plan. It's going to be good for you. So how do we keep our marriage together? I go and do things for me that are good for him. Okay. So I'm having this pedicure and for the first five minutes all is well. I'm just having a nice time. I'm having a little chat with the gal who's doing my toes. And that's great.
Michael: And this is the place you go on a regular basis.
Kathryn: This is regular.
Michael: This is your place.
Kathryn: This is my place, and I love this place.
Michael: And you like the people that own it. It's privately owned.
Kathryn: I love them. However-
Michael: This is funny.
Kathryn: Five minutes into me being there, my peace and quiet was abruptly shifted. And it was shifted by this young woman who's 27 years old. I'll explain how I know that soon. 27 years old in the Police Academy Training and heading into her testing phase. And how do I know that? Well, I know that because she got on the phone with a friend, fellow cadet in the Police Academy. They used to train together. Now they're separate and different cities, and so they're comparing notes. And she talked for... Well I was there for 50 minutes, and she was still on the phone when I left.
Michael: Talking the whole time.
Kathryn: Talking the entire time.
Michael: As you said, people get on the cellphone, all of a sudden they get louder.
Kathryn: They get louder. And I'm going to tell you that I know more than I ought to about cadet training, about the driving test, about the written test, kinds of questions that are on it, about the code book and whether or not we're testing through the code book. I hope they are, but it didn't sound like it was a real strong suit coming from her. Not sure I'm supposed to know that. And then there was the lie detector test, and I know half the questions on the lie detector test. And so because she's talking about the lie detector test, I know that she's 27 and she has a five year old. And he asked her if she had lived with the father of her child and if so, how long? And then are they broken up now and has she ever lived with another man? And she thought that was a weird line of questioning. And I'm not supposed to know these things.
Kathryn: I also know-
Michael: Or you don't want to know these things.
Kathryn: I don't want to know these things. I also know about another kid named Dustin who is kind of a flake and he shouldn't really survive the program. But teachers have favorites and... I mean, I'm thinking to myself, if I'm a teacher in the Police Academy, these people are not supposed to be doing this. I mean, seriously. Not that anybody should, but holy cow.
Michael: Well, and we were talking about this because the emotional intelligence is like zero. And then this person's going to become an officer of the law.
Kathryn: Right. And she's dropping the F bomb, and she's calling people names. And she's railing on on the teachers. I mean, I was, well to use a good British term, I was gob struck. Now hear me. I have been in plenty of places where people have had really poor a cellphone etiquette. But usually you can escape. There's people who talk on the cellphone in the bathroom. I mean, really? Seriously? Come on, people.
Michael: Guys usually do this stuff.
Kathryn: Well, women do. And you know what, if it's an emergency with your kids, great. By all means, pee and have a conversation. But if it's not an emergency, why do I want to listen to you talking to your best friend about what you had for dinner last night while I'm going to the bathroom in a public place?
Kathryn: So I was a little wound up. As it turned out, poor Michael walks back in the door after because he got home later than me. "How was your pedicure?" And I'm like-
Michael: She wasn't happy. She wasn't happy at all.
Kathryn: My head hurt worse than it did when I started.
Michael: This is funny.
Kathryn: Oh, I was so cranky. I was so cranky. So I feel the need to just rant a little bit about this because there is a generation and you know what, in older people too do it. There's a meanness.
Michael: I was at the doctor this morning, and I went into do a blood test. And I was telling you about this. But this small, I mean very, very, very tiny waiting room and there's lots of old people there. There's this old lady over there having a very intense conversation with her phone texting away, but she's got the clicker on. And so every time you hit one of the keys, and so it's like click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click. And I'm sitting there and I'm thinking, "Well maybe she's just doing a short one." No, this is a long conversation. And I'm like, I wanted to say, "What are you doing? Why are you doing this?" And my thought was if I asked her to turn it off, either she would be upset with me or she would say, "I don't know how to change it." Because unaware, completely unaware that this might be bothering anybody and it might be rude, but totally in their own little world and not caring. And this is what I need.
Michael: So not just a young thing. It's not just a Millennial thing. It's a human being thing I think.
Kathryn: I'm ready to like start lobbying for going back to landlines or making people check in their personal phone when they go into any place that is a quiet public place. Any place. I mean, bathrooms, I don't know, and bookstores and-
Michael: Okay. So here's what we've got-
Kathryn: People who talk on the phone all the way through checking out in front of another human being in a retail shop. Like what-
Michael: Why do you not like that?
Kathryn: Because it just means that that person is just working for you, doing your thing. They're just not even acknowledged as a human being. And so that's just so rude. It's rude.
Michael: So it's a rude thing.
Kathryn: It's a rude-
Michael: It's a manner thing.
Kathryn: It's etiquette. It's common freaking sense.
Michael: One of the things that we've talked about a little bit on this podcast, but it's relevant now in this conversation, is are you checking your texts?
Kathryn: No, I'm actually... So I posted a thread last night on Facebook because I was so angry about this.
Michael: We're on our podcast, and she's checking her phone.
Kathryn: I'm not. I was looking at the thread because I literally, I laugh sometimes at the things that catch people's attention. I got so much interaction on this thread of stories.
Michael: About this lady.
Kathryn: Well, about the concept of people talking on their cellphones in public. My favorite, and this was the winner, was a friend of ours who was in the hospital and had a shared room. And literally woman in shared room with her talked on her phone all night.
Michael: All night?
Kathryn: All night.
Michael: And nobody told her she needed to be quiet or-
Kathryn: Apparently not effectively enough.
Kathryn: Right? And then somebody else was in... I was in a bookstore just recently and this woman's carrying on a full business conversation walking around a bookstore that had three people in it. I want to know where the librarian is. Like somebody come beat that person.
Michael: Bookstores don't have librarians.
Kathryn: Well they should.
Michael: Libraries have librarians.
Kathryn: Well there's books. There should be. I know. Anyway, so I just had this like constant thread of interactions. It's still going on this morning.
Michael: It's something that we're doing. We're all dealing with this, right? So one of the things that happens at work, and we've talked about this before, is we have a technology that a huge chunk of the population didn't grow up with. There is no place... I mean, you learn manners at home. Most of the time. Manners usually aren't taught in school. Manners aren't taught. We don't think to teach manners at work because manners are like... You're supposed to have manners.
Kathryn: Common courtesy is something you're supposed to arrive with when we hire you.
Michael: So one of the things that we have to do is we have to start talking about it. Now I know a lot of people, you're listening to it, and, "Oh, crap. One more thing I have to do at work, one more thing I have to worry about as a boss." But yeah, I mean quite frankly, if you want to continue to work on having a passion provision company and you want to work on increasing performance, then there are always going to be new and unique things that need to happen. And we have to adapt. You have to learn to adapt and you have to have a right mindset or it's going to just totally trash you and throw you into the gutter on this one because there's a point at which it's like, "Oh, shut the fud up and get off your phone," or something like that.
Kathryn: Well, you just know that that's never going to end well. Right? I mean-
Michael: Yelling at somebody and telling them to shut the fat up?
Kathryn: Or even just gently saying, "Hey, you are really bothering me right now." It's like there's almost no scenario in which I can envision a person with that little emotional intelligence responding well to being corrected. So just kind of get like-
Michael: Kind of like... Well, and then it gets-
Kathryn: Plus, she had been talking about the fact that she'd passed her shooting stuff on... She did shooting range and passed that stuff. So I wasn't going to mess with her. She could take me. I just knew it.
Michael: Okay. So anyway, going back. So we also don't confront people on any of these things. We don't ask them if you feel like you're going to get into a conflict that you like, "Do I really want to get in this conflict?" But in work, we've got to figure out a way. And there are companies that are saying, "Okay, here's our cellphone policies," and started to put them into to action and stuff like that. But we've got to figure out a way to say how do we introduce the subject and then how do we start talking about what are these rules? What needs to happen? And you know what, again, people say Millennials, Millennials, Millennials, and I agree that they've had the technology and grown up and nobody's checked them partially because the adults, their parents didn't have rules, didn't know how to do it.
Michael: So nobody's really talking about this and it's getting worse. I think the conversations are starting to happen, but we have clients in their 40s and 50s and even into their 60s who come into our conference room and they don't know how to not have the phone control them. They don't know how to turn it off. They don't know how to turn a ringer off. They don't know or they're not thinking about it. They are checking their phone multiple times in a meeting. So you're in the middle of a conversation and all of a sudden you feel like you don't have their attention.
Kathryn: Which is really interesting. We've talked about this before, but we're talking about people who are paying us for the conversation and then they're not engaged in it. Like, what are you doing, people?
Michael: It's not unlike the person going through the checkout line who is on their phone or whatever and not communicating. They're just like not talking to the person at all. And I've been guilty of this a couple of times getting stuck on the phone instead of saying, "Hey, I'm going to get off the phone." Now I'm better at it now because I'm more conscious of it. But you get into this place where it's like, "Okay, what are we going to do? How's this going to work?" Because we've got to be thinking about our own behaviors in what we do.
Michael: It's amazing how often this happens too. We don't like something somebody else does. But when we do it, we don't think about it. It's not only that we think it's okay, we just don't even think about it at all. It's like, well I don't do that. Well, yeah, you did that. A matter of fact, a lot of us do those kinds of things. But when a client comes in and says, "Hey, I know I'm paying for this." They don't ever think about it because once the transaction's done, they're engaged otherwise. And then the phone, we have one client, his text goes off all the time. And he feels like if he doesn't respond to these things, there might be an emergency that he has to get into because... And it's like, "No, you don't. This is really important for you because you came here to get better, to learn to improve some things." And I mean, what we haven't done is we haven't said, "Hey, let's have a conversation about some things that could get in your way while you're here."
Michael: That's a great way to introduce the fact of one of the things that could happen is you could be thinking about problems back to the office. Is there anything you need to deal with right away before we get going? There's phone calls and texts and everything else. Best thing to do is to turn off the volume and everything on your phone and put it away. Women put it in your purse. Men maybe you need to turn it off because if it's in your pocket, it's dinging all the time or buzzing. That can be distracting. And then I have an Apple watch. If I don't put it on silent and do not disturb, my phone isn't ringing but my watch keeps buzzing. We have one person who she's checking her watch all the time because it's buzzing on her.
Kathryn: Well, and it's interesting because I think having a personal communication device... I mean it's like when we were growing up, it was a thing of the future.
Michael: Yeah. Dick Tracey.
Kathryn: Right. Personal communication. Like the fact that I can talk or text to anyone at any time, people can get ahold of us. There is a wonder and a beauty in that. It is brilliant, but there's also a danger in it because we become so controlled and connected that we're no longer in control of our time and our focus because this technology is actually controlling us. It's like a adrenaline hit. Like every time the text comes on, I got to answer it right away. I got to do this. I got to... And I can remember, and some of you who are older, I remember when we used to travel for work and one of the things that I loved about traveling for work is that nobody could get ahold of me. I was just out of the office. As email ramped up and picked up, that began to shift. Now that cellphones happened, people are expecting you to call them back the minute you hit the airport. As soon as you're in cell range.
Michael: So I was having a conversation last night with Andrew, a friend of ours who has a large staff, a medium sized staff organization. Andrew and I were talking and we were talking about different ways of getting vacation and stuff like that because as leaders it's hard for us all take vacation, right? We get away. And for Catherine and I, it's tough because we travel for work. So we're out of the office. So taking vacation feels like we're... Well, we are out of the office more if we take vacation and then that feels weird because our team needs us and everything else. And all that and our clients. And when we're out of the office, we can't book with clients that are here that would come into the office. You get into those places, you have all your reasons for, as leaders, why you don't take vacation and maybe some of you are awesome at it. I'd love to hear how you prioritize that.
Michael: So we were talking and Andrew says, "Well why don't you just... I mean, what if you were gone? Took those extra few days or that extra week or whatever and just had a one hour check in with the office? And then we're done and you could go about your day." And I told him, I said, "That sounds like a great idea." But the problem for me is as soon as I do that, I'm engaged. It's like I don't have a whole day alone. And it's like, if I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to take six hours of my day and I'm going to have it off." So I'm never going to really have a whole day off on my vacation and I'm checking in for an hour. I get it. I actually have the rest of the day to go and it's fine. And I could be away from the office, but I'm ramped up inside.
Michael: I told him, I'm thinking about it. I'm engaged, everything else and all that. And when we're away and I don't have to think about it, I can actually say they're not needing me. They're not expecting me at the office. Clients aren't expecting me. I can think about it if I want to. I can think about the... Because as leaders, we're thinking about the company anyway. Sometime. It comes in and out of our our mind. But I don't have somebody like, "Oh, I've got to go get that done." Or I was telling him if we're at the beach and I'm walking down the beach and I'm taking a walk, like, "Oh well, I got a phone call I got to have in three hours," or something like that. So I've got to get back. I can't just be impromptu. Hey, there's a great place that would look fun to just kind of hang out or read a book. Because I've got to be thinking about this.
Michael: I said, so-
Kathryn: When we take vacation, we really are... We try really hard to say, "Okay, you can reach out if there's an emergency. But if nothing is on fire and no one's dying, I don't want to hear from you."
Michael: Well and the reason I'm bringing this up is it goes to all this technology, because kind of wandered into this foyer of the technology can get to us. And it's like Zoom calls and phone calls and cellphones are really great for being able to... I can have that four hour work week if I want. I work an hour a day and the rest of the time. But no, I can't. I think it's stupid and you can't do that. And you can't run a company on four hours a day either or four hours a week.
Kathryn: No, definitely not.
Michael: But it's that psychological thing of this technology offers me convenience and to do a lot of things. But at the same time, it also messes with me because it breaks up that uninterrupted time we used to have. Now on an airplane, if you log onto the wifi and a lot of places texting is now free. So you hook up to the thing and now everybody can communicate. You can communicate with the world and they can communicate with you. You can't even sit on an airplane and be quiet. I personally choose to just ignore it. I'm not going to connect. I don't care. There's nothing that I'm going to... They can all wait. And most of the time that works.
Michael: The cellphone thing is we have to have... We have all this technology and we have these opportunities, but we have to make sure we're taking control of it.
Michael: Now there's a principle that I think exists here that is sands technology that's been going on actually for leaders for as long as people have had staff and customers. And that is the idea that I respond to everything as it happens to me. When you have staff in your office, there's a whole management style of challenges that we talk about and the literature talks about of do you allow anybody to come into your office at any time to interrupt you to say, "Hey, I have a question, boss." "Hey, I need you to check this or that." And that can totally screw up your flow of working on whatever you're working on.
Michael: As opposed to saying, "Okay, I will deal with people between this hour and this hour. You can come into my office, you can check in on things. And until that time..." I would meet with people from 8:15 to 8:30 or 8:45, ask some questions and then I'm not going to talk to anybody again until 11 o'clock. And then from 11:00 to 11:30 if you have any questions, I'm available. And if nobody has any questions, I'll keep working. But you can interrupt me in that period of time. So that you have a process where it's very intentional.
Michael: We have to be actually self-discipline and proactive. That's been going on without technology. Technology is just saying... So it's not like the technology has brought new problems of us being interrupted, but it has I think increased the frequency and the ability of how many different places that can happen. And we have to exhibit the same self-discipline there if we're going to try and stop it.
Kathryn: Well, yeah. And the technology didn't suddenly expose being rude in public as though nobody was ever rude in public before the technology. I mean, all of us, if I had the experience of being in a nice quiet restaurant and having two people just talk so loud that you're like, "Seriously?"
Michael: I've been guilty of being one of those loud.
Kathryn: Well, you have a very loud voice.
Michael: I have a loud voice. My dad always said that.
Kathryn: But I'm always there to, "Shh. Baby, bring it down." So you don't get in trouble.
Michael: Just so everybody knows, you can get as loud as I can sometimes and not notice it. You're not always quiet.
Kathryn: But all that to say-
Michael: You great, gorgeous woman.
Kathryn: Common courtesy is just something that we have to keep thinking about.
Michael: On your post, one of the responses people put up was what's the difference between the person sitting there on the phone and the person having a conversation with the person doing their feet? They're still talking and they're talking all the time. And what if the gal next to you was talking to the person doing her feet, telling her about her Academy's stuff? What's the difference?
Kathryn: So the difference is that the tone and level of conversation when you're on a phone is different than when you're face to face. It's just different.
Michael: I mean, I think most of us know when we get on our phones, for some reason most people get louder.
Kathryn: Yeah, you get louder, and I think too it's really weird to hear half a conversation. It's just awkward.
Michael: It's socially awkward.
Kathryn: It's socially awkward. So there's-
Michael: That's interesting.
Kathryn: There's that piece of it that just kind of feels funky.
Michael: Why do you think that is?
Kathryn: I don't know. First of all, you're just freaking annoyed and secondly, you want to know what the person on the other end is saying back.
Michael: So you're feeling left out of the conversation?
Kathryn: Maybe. Yeah. It's like I'm the most important person in the room. I'm going to have my conversation and you're not part of it. And I don't care that it's going to bother.
Michael: Because I'm really curious about why we experienced these things. I'm like, I not only am like annoyed, but I'm like, why is it that a little bit more volume or why is it... Because some people are just louder. I'm one of those people.
Kathryn: But let's face it, if she had put her friend on speakerphone, I would have been no less annoyed. That would've been super irritating.
Michael: That would have been even worse.
Kathryn: Right. So people who are doing speakerphone conversations. You're just like, "Seriously?"
Michael: I don't want to hear it. But see, I find that interesting because I am annoyed too by that when somebody in public, in my space is doing that. I don't want to hear your conversation. I don't want to hear the other person talking. But if there were two people in a doctor's office or they're having a conversation in person, that doesn't feel... It's like my brain doesn't register that as super annoying, especially if it's not... If you're in a public environment, the salon or the doctor's office or whatever, and you're louder than normal or louder than everybody else, it's harder for the brain to turn it off. It's harder to get it. Plus it's so unusual.
Michael: And I thought it was interesting that person who said it. The person who said it has a technology computer background. They do a lot of professional work in the technology software industry. And I kind of look at my programming friends and I go, "Okay, this is not a binary calculation where the condition is..." Because I get it. You say, "Well, what's the difference between her talking to a phone and her talking to somebody else in the room?" And when you look at the equation like that and write it down on a piece of paper, it looks like they should be on the same opposite sides of equal side. They're equal. But they're really not. Our experience is different, isn't it?
Kathryn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Michael: So what do you think? First of all, this is just a rant and it's probably not meant to be super helpful. And I'm trying to make it helpful.
Kathryn: He's just appeasing me because I was like, we're going to rant this morning.
Michael: Hopefully there's a little bit of something. But I think in the workplace we actually have to start thinking about how do we bring up simple little pieces of etiquette. The phone thing, a specific thing. We have to deal with it. And many companies now are dealing with it. But we have to continue to go, if somebody is doing something that's inappropriate, it's like, "Hey, you know what? I don't know why that's different, but it is different and it's bothering folks. So could you please... Here's what we're going to do. Here's how we're going to change that. Not going to be on phones at work," or so on and so forth. But we have to figure out how to bring up other things because there's a lot of people who weren't learning simple common courtesies anymore.
Michael: And quite frankly, this has always been true in different environments. And what has happened at some level is people have said, "Well, you're just uncouth and we're not going to hire you because you just don't have any manners." But what we're finding is a lot more people are raised without more focused on themselves or focused on themselves again in history, and they don't think about it. If you were raised in a family that didn't close your mouth when you're eating and you go out to eat with your people you know, you're just chomp on your food. It is gross.
Kathryn: Stop that. Just stop it.
Michael: So I mean, it's like how do we deal with these things? And sometimes it's really hard to say anything. So what we do is we just avoid the people. And in your employees, it's not always easy to avoid them. So we've got to figure out ways to talk about that. I don't have any great answers except just being honest and open about conversation.
Michael: I also like to set expectations ahead of time. So if I can communicate out loud with the staff and say, "Okay, so here's some things. I don't want to single anybody out, but here's some things we're going on. We need to have these kinds of rules. We need to have these kind of things set up because this is the way it's going to be more helpful to all of us." And we do it at Half a Bubble Out because in a way that's like we want to honor each other and we want to be as helpful as possible. And we have an attitude of service towards ourselves and our customers. So when we have that, we say, you know what, I totally get it. It's not a, I have the right to or not. It's not helpful.
Michael: So talking out loud on your phone, if you're going to have a conversation around here or you go into the back room, the back studio, or you go outside if you need a private conversation.
Kathryn: And we assume that it should be a private conversation.
Michael: Yeah. And you just think about those things. Right?
Kathryn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Michael: Okay. Anything else you want to talk about about this cellphone rant? Like you want people to just pull their heads out and be polite?
Kathryn: I do. In fact, entertain for two more seconds, and I'm going to try and find this quote that I just read that made me laugh because I think it's actually very appropriate for this.
Michael: Okay. So a side note, I'm at the chiropractor this morning. I had a couple of doctor's visits this morning. So I'm at the chiropractor and he really wants me to hear this song. So he says, "Alexa, would you play such and such," and Alexa decides to play the same song but by a different artist. And this whole search technology thing where people are talking and Alexa decides to do her own thing three times and is not listening to him at all. He's like, "I was just in my car listening to this," and blah blah blah and everything else. And I'm laughing.
Michael: Well I get in the car and I decided to check on this song because I'm curious about this song he wants to listen to. And I can read on my screen that Alexa doesn't say this, but I can read on my screen this song by this artist is not available for streaming because of the licensing. But Alexa never said it. So here's my doctor, "Alexa, play Keith Urban, blah blah blah." And she plays the same song by somebody else. No, no, no, no. And he's arguing with Alexa in the office.
Michael: And I just thought that was hysterical because again, our world technologically is changing, and voice recognition of voice search is becoming a fairly pervasive technology.
Kathryn: And it's only going to get bigger and bigger.
Michael: Yeah. And if you believe any of the shows, NSA is listening to all of us, even though it's illegal.
Kathryn: I don't want to think about it.
Kathryn: So my closing note is obviously by the time I left the salon last night, I was starting to feel pretty hostile. I just was. So I could have used this quote that somebody sent me after the fact. It says this, "Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change direction when I see them coming, and the wisdom to not try to smack some sense into them when I can't avoid them."
Michael: And on that note, this has been the rant on cellphone etiquette in public. Please put your phones away when you're around other people. Please turn the volume off when the keyboard is clicking. And please, when you're in a meeting, just silence it and don't check it. You will make my wife happier. You will make me happier because my wife is happier. And you actually might be able to stay focused on the people around you and in front of you.
Michael: So for the HaBO Village Podcast, I'm Michael Redman.
Kathryn: And I am Kathryn Redman, promoter of common courtesy everywhere.
Michael: Please hit subscribe in Apple Podcasts, and we'd love to hear your comments and rants on our page at habovillage.com. Had to remember that. Thank you very much. Have a great day. And hopefully you won't be annoyed by people's poor etiquette on cellphones. Take care.