The Etiquette of Pagers

Anyone who has ever faced an emergency, been in business, or generally found themselves unable to communicate in the way they want to has probably considered the virtues of pagers. These little gems can literally save lives and their powers to do good should not be under-rated. But over the years sometimes pagers have gotten some bad press and fallen into the hands of users who are either inconsiderate or ignorant and make the lives of those around them a misery. Not everyone is as enamoured as you may be about the use, or misuse, of pagers and it is important to consider other people's needs as well as your own. So, in the interests of a happy life we've compiled a list of a few little rules of etiquette for pager use.

If in Doubt - Don't Take it Out!

There are some places in polite society where pagers simply don't belong. If you're going along to church, heading out for a night at the theatre or catching the latest blockbuster at the cinema, it's probably a good idea to choose that night to leave your pager at home on charge.

Date Night not Mate Night

Taking pagers on romantic nights out is the ultimate no no. The last thing you want when you're about to reach for her hand or whisper sweet nothings into the ear of your amour is for the ear-splitting beep of a pager ruining the mood. Nobody, least of all a woman, is impressed by being interrupted on a date. She will not only think you're a prize show-off, she may even suspect it's another woman and that could be the end of something beautiful before it's even begun.

An Inconvenient Truth

If you must have your pager on at an important business meeting or event and you are expecting an important message, make sure you sit in an easy-to-exit seat so you can slip out and not disturb the rest of the delegates with your call-back. Of course, everyone will understand the importance of a pager message, but there's no need to cause more of a fuss than necessary.

Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise

Get into the habit of assessing whether your messages are important or can wait. The worse thing you can do is become a slave to the beep and rush off to the phone every time you get a message. Pagers are a wonderful way to keep in contact but sometimes they can be misused by the sender as well as the receiver.

Feel the Vibes

The best way to make sure your use of pagers is as unobtrusive and people-friendly as possible is to keep yours set to vibrate whenever possible. You will be able to keep connected with everyone important while not disturbing everyone else important!

Use vs Misuse

Don't fall into the trap of misusing your pager by giving the number out to every Tom, Dick and Harry. This may make it look like you are either putting people off by not giving them your phone number, or worse still, looking like a cheapskate that can't afford a phone!

Jenny Kettlewell is the Marketing Manager for Multitone Systems, a telecommunications strategy company that has provided the pagers ( and paging systems for organisations in the public and private sector for many years.

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