[wplug-plan] Problem with rude audience members at recent talks

Mark Dalrymple wplug at badgertronics.com
Mon May 2 11:29:21 EDT 2005

> In particular, I can think of one person at the talk
> last Saturday who was constantly interrupting the speaker, and who even
> had the gall to answer his cell phone and talk on it.  Finally, the
> speaker had to politely tell him to take the phone outside.

I felt really embarassed for WPLUG at that moment, and pretty ashamed
myself since I was supposedly on anti-BS duty for that meeting.  I had
to ask said individual to stop interrupting Warren Duke's talk a month
or two earlier.  I had hoped it would stick, but apparently not.  I
hesitated to do anything this time lest it be "MarkD hates him and is
on his case all the time" which would be a shame, since I enjoy
talking with him outside of the Formal Presentations.

> Maybe we need a simple introductory speech before talks telling
> people to turn off their cell phones and not interrupt the speakers.  I
> hate to think we have to stoop this low, since most of us are
> professionals and don't need to be told to behave.

The cell phone thing I think we still have to mention.  Even smart
folks sometimes forget.  (I accidentally left a cell phone in my gig
bag on stage during an orchestra performance.  I was offstage sweating
bullets when I realized where it was.  Luckily I really did turn it
off previously)

Only thing I can think of (and suggested to BethLynn) was if
individual was there, to make a special point of "please do not
interrupt the speaker, if you have anything to say, please raise your
hand", while making sure that it's being addressed to said individual,
with a "Do you understand?" at the end.  Hopefully the rest of the
folks there will understand what's going on and not get insulted.
That doesn't help when said individual shows up in the middle of the
talk, and then proceeds to make cell phone calls and interrupting the

++Mark Dalrymple.  markd at badgertronics.com.  http://badgertronics.com
  "not knowing how to use the right tool is not a good reason to use the
   wrong tool"
    -- mikeash

More information about the wplug-plan mailing list