Thursday 23rd July – 8 months, 7 days
Something I found really weird when I first got here was the fact that people here think nothing of letting their phones beep and ring constantly through meetings. This goes so far as to have people answering their phones during meetings. I’ve seen Ministers and heads of departments do this (which makes the meeting a tad awkward, as they tend to be the ones running the show). Nobody even bothers to put their phone on silent. There is a strange kind of etiquette where people will have a five minute whispered conversation behind their hand into their phone, like that’s less disruptive to the meeting but somehow also audible for the person on the other end.
I am trying not to get into bad habits and still put my phones (yep, phones) on silent when I go into a meeting, but I can just see myself forgetting, idly checking texts during a meeting back in Australia and getting the icy polite stare of doom from someone senior. Oh dear.