A reader writes: “I totally disagree with your position on cell phones. I have the right to stay in touch with my family during times of emergency.”

My greater concern is safety in that a distracted worker can hurt themselves, others and property when they try to multi-task like you are doing. I am not an attorney and will have to defer you to legal guidance for what are and are not your “rights” in this case. I suggest you find an accommodation with your employer by having a “special ring” on your phone that allows you to differentiate between an ordinary call and a rare emergency that must be dealt with immediately.

I certainly appreciate your position but upon close review of the employee guidelines your company had you sign, you are in violation of their written policies that they seem to be applying to everyone in a fair and reasonable manner. The ban on cell phone use is noted in both the safety portion as well as employee conduct. In our discussion, you explained that you have children at home that need to be able to reach you in an emergency. I understand and support your concerns; however, at this time you seem to initiate most of the calls and seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to manage your household when you should be cleaning your account. This is unacceptable behavior for a professional custodian. First of all, you have been observed trying to clean with one hand and dusting, vacuuming, etc. with the other. Of course, you tend to slow down since you are distracted while trying to perform two different tasks at the same time. You also can get very loud speaking with your children which has been noted as a distraction to tenants in the building more than once.

Of course, if you are having multiple emergencies each day/week during your shift then you may need to evaluate if this position and schedule is a good fit for your current situation.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.