You probably have read or heard the story about the yoga instructor who was fired after she glared at a participant in a class being taught at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.
At the beginning of the class, the instructor, who worked for a health-care contractor, told the students to shut off their cell phones. One student started texting while the instructor was demonstrating a particularly difficult yoga move. The instructor glared at her — gave her the “stink eye,” as some call it — which apparently upset the student, who went back to her office in tears. Later, the instructor lost her job.
That student would have been uncomfortable if she had attended meetings of the Madera County Board of Supervisors these past few months.
At the beginning of each meeting, board Chair Ronn Dominici sternly admonishes everyone to turn off or silence their cell phones. Sometimes that works, but just as often it doesn’t. It isn’t unusual to hear cell phones ringing during a meeting, with people grabbing their pockets or their handbags and creating a commotion as they lurch out of the meeting trying to find the button that shuts their ringers off.
It also isn’t unusual to see people texting or sending emails on their cell phones as the meeting is under way. This includes department heads, who switch the supervisors’ deliberations to “ignore” as they tap away on their cell phones with their thumbs.
Do you think the chairman should give these folks the evil eye? Would they go back to their offices weeping?
In the days prior to cell phones those things didn’t come up in the way they do now. Back then, teachers and board chairs would just worry about people passing notes, whispering or making eyes at each other across the room. How could we have come so far, yet stayed the same?