Sorry for the title. I thought maybe I could annoy people with my cheesiness, just as sometimes people annoy me with their cell phones in the Writing Center. Of course we have polite signs strategically placed around the Center whispering "If you need to use your cell phone, please do so in the hallway" and "Please turn off your cell phone during consultations--Thank you." But of course, just like in class, at the movies, and in traffic court, cell phones continue to ring--and sometimes, continue to be answered.
What's the best thing to do when a writer answers a phone during a consultation? We've talked a bit in our Peer Consulting class about how we would react to such an affront. Responses vary from reading through and making notes for discussion on the draft while the writer is 'engaged' to quitting involvement in the session completely.
Yesterday, I had just shown a writer to a consulting table and given her forms to fill out. I left the table to get her a cup of water while she filled out the forms . While I was away from the table, her phone rang and she started chatting. What to do? Should I respect her privacy by waiting until she was finished with her phone call to sit back down at the table? Or might she feel she could talk on the phone until I returned, in which case if I stayed away from the table, she would stay on the phone indefinitely? But what if I returned to the table, and she didn't get off the phone? Awkward! I decided to sit down at the table, and she did get off the phone, and all was well.
Has anyone had any nightmarish situations involving cell phones during consultations? Does anyone have any fun strategies or ideas on how to chastise cellphone use with proper etiquette?