Monthly Archives: August, 2013

Do you cover your mouth when you sneeze?

Ms.MannersDear Ms. Corporate Manners, 
My co-worker doesn’t cover his mouth when he sneezes. We all sit in cubicles so we are close together. When this particular employee sneezes, he just turns around in his chair and sneezes in the open with no attempt at all to cover his mouth. I think this is disgusting and very unsanitary. Do you have a suggestion on how this can be handled? I know others have asked him to stop, but he continues. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Signed, 
Holding My Breath

Dear Holding,
Sometimes a cough or sneeze happens quickly, and people don’t have time to react. The next time your co-worker sneezes, quickly put your own hands over your face and turn away to avoid his germs. You may want to remind him in a gentle way that it’s his responsibility to cover his mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief so his germs don’t spread to other people. In a pinch, the crook of his elbow will do the trick. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to him, why don’t you place this column in his cubicle as a gentle hint?
Signed,
Ms. Corporate Manners

© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.

Four quick conference call tips

Ms.MannersDear Ms. Corporate Manners:
Sometimes there are so many background noises during my conference calls that I can’t hear what’s being said. Sometimes people forget to press the “mute” button, and I hear side conversations – and it’s really hard to focus on the one I’m supposed to be listening to. Do you have any advice about conference calls?
Signed,
I Prefer to Hear No Evil in Hattiesburg

Dear Hear No Evil:
Wow. Maybe we are on the same conference calls. Here are four quick tips:

  • Never place a conference call on hold during the call.
  • Use the mute button on your phone when possible to reduce background noises.
  • Shuffling papers near the phone or microphone distracts other people on the conference call and can, in fact, prevent others on the call from hearing.
  • Make sure any electronic devices, such as Blackberries and cell phones, are not near the phone being used for the conference call.

Sincerely,
Ms. Corporate Manners

etiquetteMore conference call etiquette
Dear Ms. Corporate Manners:
I was recently waiting for a conference call to begin when another participant placed his line on “hold” for some strange reason. When the line was finally taken off “hold” and the conference began it was impossible to hear anyone on the call because all our voices were echoing when we tried to speak. Ultimately, we had to reschedule our important conference call. Do you have any advice about placing phones on “hold” during a conference call?
Signed,
Echoing in East Tennessee

Dear Echoing:
Don’t worry; there could be an easy fix. Just make sure you disconnect the first conference call line before you dial the next call. Failing to do so may produce a disruptive echo effect.
Sincerely,
Ms. Corporate Manners

© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.

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