Author Topic: Phone Conference Etiquette  (Read 2678 times)

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MamaMootz

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Phone Conference Etiquette
« on: March 14, 2013, 02:32:07 PM »
I'm currently attending a training via a website and conference call where the organizers have repeatedly asked participants to mute their phones.

There is a participant that obviously has a cold and is coughing, sneezing, and hacking every 2 seconds. Obviously, Hacky has not muted her phone.

I know the organizers don't want to call Hacky out specifically (huge throat clearing just now), but would it be rude for me as a participant to say, Hey Hacky, I can't hear the presenters over you when you cough and sneeze and clear your throat. Can you please hit *6 to mute your phone?
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MrTango

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2013, 02:36:08 PM »
If I knew who it was, I'd send them an email/IM asking them to please mute their phone as we can all hear them hacking.

If I was the person "hosting" the conference call, I'd either call them out address them directly (by name), or if it was within my technical abilities, boot them from the call.

Auntie Mame

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2013, 02:41:10 PM »
At one of my jobs I had to take minutes for a weekly conference call.   We just call out a general "Could someone mute their phone please, we are hearing a lot of noise".

My favorite was my coworker and I barely containing our silent laughter when we started hearing meowing in the background. 
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Moray

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2013, 03:23:39 PM »
At one of my jobs I had to take minutes for a weekly conference call.   We just call out a general "Could someone mute their phone please, we are hearing a lot of noise".

My favorite was my coworker and I barely containing our silent laughter when we started hearing meowing in the background.

This is our preferred method, too. It eliminates embarrassment, and if they don't do it, I just shoot a quick "Hi, sounds like you forgot to mute your line. It's option 6!" email or IM.

I see no value in essentially saying "Hey, you're gross!" when a simple request to mute the line will do.
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LazyDaisy

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2013, 03:29:52 PM »
I wonder if Hacky knows they mean her office phone that she/he is connected on and not her cell phone. Maybe it's because announcements have become so necessary in live performances, classrooms, theaters, etc. but "turn off or mute your phone" has become associated with eliminating the disruption of ringing phones. If someone made a general announcement on a conference call to please mute all phones, I wouldn't automatically assume they meant the speaker on the phone I'm connected with.

An email or IM would be a good idea but maybe be specific about the speaker, not the ringer.
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Bramble

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2013, 03:34:02 PM »
Is there an option in the conference call system for the leaders to mute all other lines?  In know in ours a leader can enter *5 and it mutes all the other lines, anybody who needs to talk can unmute their line later.  If there is an option like that, I'd suggest that to the leaders in case they don't know about it, as that avoids singling anybody out.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 08:21:52 AM »
Oh, we've heard this - and flushing, and eating (loudly) - for Pete's sake, that's WHY there's a mute option!

We always do a "we're getting a lot of feedback - can you please mute your microphones?" when that happens - politer than saying "gee, did you really carry your phone into the ladies room?"

RebeccainGA

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 08:46:24 AM »
Oh, we've heard this - and flushing, and eating (loudly) - for Pete's sake, that's WHY there's a mute option!

We always do a "we're getting a lot of feedback - can you please mute your microphones?" when that happens - politer than saying "gee, did you really carry your phone into the ladies room?"

IWish

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 09:36:48 AM »
Oh, we've heard this - and flushing, and eating (loudly) - for Pete's sake, that's WHY there's a mute option!

You've got to be kidding! People actually take their unmuted phone into the restroom on a BUSINESS conference call?! I cry for the future.  :o

RebeccainGA

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 09:38:29 AM »
Oh, we've heard this - and flushing, and eating (loudly) - for Pete's sake, that's WHY there's a mute option!

You've got to be kidding! People actually take their unmuted phone into the restroom on a BUSINESS conference call?! I cry for the future.  :o
Heard a lady apparently giving a harangue about their poor performance to her whole store by conference call (we have retail operations training in our building) and then a flush the other day in our ladies room. I was appalled on so many levels.

Kiara

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 10:48:51 AM »
Can you send out something with the conference call request?  Like after the call in code, add that "*6" (or whatever) is for mute?  I'm usually at work on conference calls, so we have a mute button on the phone.  But if I'm at home, I don't have one, and I'm always worried the cats will suddenly start yowling while I'm on a call.  (My tuxedo is fascinated by the whole "Mommy is working HERE during the day thing....)  But I never remember what the heck the code is to mute!

So maybe something like that might help a little for the clueless.    :-\

bah12

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 11:11:30 AM »
When this happens to me, I call them out directly. 

We start the conference call by asking anyone not speaking to mute the phone.  Then when it's obvious someone hasn't, we day "we can hear all the background noise, but not the presenters, please mute your phone."  And then again "Hacky, we're having a hard time hearing the presenters, can you please mute your phone?"

MamaMootz

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 12:03:17 PM »
OP here - I was not one of the organizers; I was there as a fellow trainee. I don't know if Hacky phoned in from home or not - didn't think of that - but the organizers asked in the beginning of the training to mute phones by using *6, there was a recorded reminder to mute your phone when you dialed in to the conference line, and in the training room chat section, two reminders to be kind to other participants to mute phone by using *6.

When Hacky kept going, the organizers kept chiming in and saying "mute your phones!" but they never called Hacky out directly. I don't know if they had the ability to see who Hacky was - I think not.

I was just wondering if I had gone into the general chat and said, "Whoever is coughing and sneezing, we can hear you - please mute your phone" if that would be rude.

I don't think it would be but it's borderline. I find it rude that Hacky was hacking all over the place and all of the trainees had to put up with it.
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Auntie Mame

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 12:52:58 PM »
I just had a thought, if you know who it is, perhaps you could discreetly email them or send them an instant message or text.  That way, they can mute their phone and save face.
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Kiara

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Re: Phone Conference Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 01:49:32 PM »
OP here - I was not one of the organizers; I was there as a fellow trainee. I don't know if Hacky phoned in from home or not - didn't think of that - but the organizers asked in the beginning of the training to mute phones by using *6, there was a recorded reminder to mute your phone when you dialed in to the conference line, and in the training room chat section, two reminders to be kind to other participants to mute phone by using *6.

Gotchas.  Ours doesn't do that - we just get "Press star to hear a list of commands at any time."  Well, if Mr. Idiot is howling at the top of his lungs, I'm not going to do that.  Or remember to. 

I don't think you could have called them out directly, but a "I'm having problems hearing, can everyone please mute?" would have worked.