The story of a day in the life of an unsuccessful office worker

1:50pm Professional Office Etiquette

In today’s corporate world, it is essential to follow a few basic rules of professional etiquette. 

In particular, your cell phone must never be on whilst you are in a meeting. 

Paul Brodwick always observes this rule. Paul, the assistant manager for procurement, sits in the cubicle opposite me. 

Paul is a nice guy, and I admire his professional etiquette in not taking his cell phone to a meeting. But I disagree with his approach toward managing his cell phone whilst absent from his desk. 

I switch my phone to vibrate - apparently, my colleagues do not share my passion for Westlife.  

But Paul prefers instead to leave his phone at his desk and switched on. He feels it would be wrong to deprive his colleagues of the pleasure of listening to his automated ring tone. 

It’s early afternoon. I am now focused on the monthly management reports. The drafts are due tomorrow and I have no time to lose. I cannot afford distractions.   

And then it happens: 

“Dum, dum dum, dum dum dum dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum, dum dum, dum d d d d d d dum. Wheee!  

Dum, dum dum, ………….” 

There it goes again – why does that bloody ring tone always go off when I’m in the middle of something?  

I try to maintain concentration. Things could be worse – it could an old Michael Bolton tune from the eighties. 

It continues “Dum, dum dum …..” 

SHUT THAT BLOODY THING UP!!! Please, someone give me a sledgehammer. 

“Dum dum d.”  It stops. Quiet. Yes - I can focus again. 

Alas, after a short pause, it starts again. “Dum, dum dum, dum dum …..”  

Apparently, the caller thinks he or she dialed the wrong number. 



  1. January 8th, 2008 | 9:08 pm

    Ha ha ha! One of the reasons why I don’t bring my mobile phone to the bar. Another is because most might think Marvin Gaye is a bit explicit. Main reason is because people rarely call or text me.

    Altruistic reasons? Somewhere down there.

  2. January 8th, 2008 | 9:20 pm

    Have you ever noticed that people who refuse to silence their cell phones also select the most annoying ring tones possible?

  3. January 9th, 2008 | 9:27 am

    Iron Pugilist, I like your honesty.

    Brad, you’ve just solved our office worker’s problem. He should discuss with his colleague the possibility of selecting a more tolerable ring tone.

    Note to all cell phone users: On behalf of the general public, I formally request that all peoples who refuse to silence their phones please select a decent song to use as a ring tone. This excludes songs from artists such as Britney Spears, Madonna and Michael Bolton. (apologies to fans of the above)



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