No Texting, Email, or Babies

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I have a ground rule for my training classes that I call Electronic Etiquette.  I ask participants to turn their phones off or put them on vibrate or silent mode. Any calls must be taken out of the room. About a year ago, I had to expand this rule to include texting, email, and the internet. Sometimes, I just have to shake my head at the inability of people to recognize what is or isn’t acceptable.

Not all training disruptions involve a lack of courtesy. Sometimes, people show up without pen or pencil. Really? You’re going to spend all day in class, and it didn’t occur to you that you might need to write something down? I carry extra pens and pencils, now. It’s just easier that way.

But, sometimes, an unexpected challenge comes along that you just can’t anticipate.

This week, a woman in my class kept shifting in her seat, taking deep breaths, and rubbing her very pregnant belly, I asked her when she was due.

She smiled and said, “Three weeks.”

I nodded and asked the obvious question, “Are you OK?”

Her hand paused on her belly, and she gave me a sideways glance. “I might be in labor.”

I immediately suggested she head for the hospital, but she told me she’d been having contractions off and on for months.  She did admit these pains felt different. She was waiting for a call from her husband.

I asked how long she’d been having contractions. She told me since 4 a.m. In other words, seven hours!

Not long after that, she left and did not return. I’ve never been so glad to see a student go!

During the mid-afternoon break, we learned the doctor sent her home. She planned to return to work the next day.

Wow! I guess I need a new ground rule.  What should I call it?  Gestational Etiquette?


Valerie Norris said…
Poor girl! With my last one, doctors told me for three weeks it could be ANY MINUTE! Do you know how many minutes there are in three weeks, with two preschoolers already in the house? I'd have taken a class if I'd had the opportunity!

Keep rolling with the punches, Barbara!
Susan M. Boyer said…
I'm not sure you can regulate this one unless you just don't let pregnanat women sign up for class. :)

Pens, really? They come to class without pens? This is sad...and disturbing.
Susan, I know, but it's fun to think about it.
Henry said…
I always brought pens to the training classes I was taking. After all, you just never know when a great story idea is going to pop into your head and you need to be prepared to write it down!

Oh, and I guess you could take notes with the pen, too.

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