People are now as much shackled electronically by their mobile telephone and pager as is any third-ranking crook who is the subject of some magisterial device. There is no escaping the mobile telephone. It removes privacy and infringes independence, it irritates those who are not making or receiving the calls, and in general, it is one of the most stress-creating machines of twenty-first-century life.
Be firm about telephone use. If it wouldn't have been essential ten years ago to be in telephonic communication with the world, turn the mobile telephone off.
Arrange the office telephone system so that it doesn't interrupt meetings or times when careful thought is needed. Even though secretaries are almost a feature of the past, it is essential to have telephone calls screened. It is impossible to concentrate on an important problem if the bank manager telephones in the middle of the discussion to sort it out.
When tired, it is easy to ramble on the telephone; older people may find that their ability to create neatly turned sentences disappears. Make notes before a telephone call about what you are going to say and always make notes in a book about what the other person has said.
If there is an important family occasion, even Sunday lunch, switch on the answerphone.
Remember to switch mobile telephones off in public places; it will save angry glances. Never have a long conversation in a public place; go out into the road (if it's a reasonably safe area) or hide in the lavatory, but don't irritate your colleagues or friends.
Persuade family members to leave telephone numbers when they travel abroad to save anxious moments.