Ah, the things you find when you weed out old emails. Here’s a letter I sent back in January of 2008, after attending a teleclass during which several people didn’t mute their lines. Three years later, I find that people still aren’t very good at this (and most groups are resorting to “presentation mode” to avoid the problem), but if you ever have this experience, feel free to copy this letter.
Were you washing dishes? Unpacking from a move? Sounds like you have a huge dog. Did that man who spoke to you not realize you were on a call? Could you not hear the moderator when she pleaded with you to press *6? There’s that dog again. And then your doorbell. And then a conversation at the end. “Hold on, I’m on a call, it’s almost over, I just need the code number.”
Do you have any idea how distracting you were?
Did you dial in to the call, wait for the code word, and set the phone down to wash dishes/unpack/chat with family, intending to come back in time for the code number so you could get credit for a class you didn’t listen to?
That’s what it sounded like.
Your inattention affects the organization’s credibility. You ruin the recordings and you put a damper on others’ motivation. You take time away from the speakers when the moderator has to interrupt them to ask you, again, to please mute yourself.
Maybe you had technical difficulties. Maybe you didn’t realize you weren’t muted. That’s why I use *6 plus the mute button on my phone plus the mute switch on my headset. If you think that’s overkill, perhaps you don’t care enough.
This is not an amateur undertaking. This is not a chat with friends. We are doing business on these calls. If you can’t mask the sounds of your multitasking, please give the rest of us the courtesy of skipping the call.
You sound like this is not important to you. It is very important to me. Don’t interfere with my education.