When you travel for business, you tend to see them everywhere. Yes, the golf shirt with the corporate logo on them. At trade shows they are omnipresent, if you spend enough time in airports you really do see them all. I get it, they are nice little marketing pieces, and if you do enough appearances as part of your job, it’s just easier to have a bunch of those to wear than to try and coordinate your wardrobe. I have a bunch of AccessData polo’s myself. I wear them whenever I teach a class.
Which brings me to my story. Awhile back, I was traveling to do some training and I happened to be going straight from the client site, to the airport to fly home that same evening. As anyone would in that situation, I grabbed a cab, got through security and had some time to kill, so I called my wife. Naturally, I proceeded to talk to her about my long day, and my class, and the need to get home before getting ready for the next trip, etc. I also noticed that as I was talking, that there were a bunch of people seated all around me, in both earshot of my conversation, and clear view of the name on my polo shirt. So, even though I wasn’t complaining that much about my job, I stopped talking about it.
Not everyone is that self-aware. I’ve seen plenty of people having conversations on their cell phone, either in airports or while boarding a plane, with no thought as to who could be overhearing their conversation. I’ll ignore the number of people who give credit card or banking information in that situation, they really deserve their own post, but I want to focus in on the people who spend time on the phone, or sometimes even in person with coworkers, talking about how miserable their job is, or how poorly their company is doing, or how other people have screwed up, all while “advertising” the company they work for.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever overheard on a cell phone call in a public place? Have you ever learned anything that made you change your opinion of a company?