Ringtone STINKS! But I’m Lowly Intern. Can I Say Something?

October 5, 2009 by sparktalk


Dear Experts, I am the lowly intern in my office. There is someone in my work area who leaves their phone on all day and it plays a really annoying ring every time they receive a text message. It is really distracting, but I don’t know who it is. Even if I did, I would not feel comfortable saying something to any of the persons it could be. I don’t know who I can talk with to tell them to turn their phone on silent – like everyone else. ANSWER:


This is a good opportunity to impress your supervisor! Think about what you will say and how you will say it before you ask for a brief meeting. Be forthright and ask for advice on how he, she or the company would recommend you handle this type of situation, given the culture.

Remember, the point to an internship is for you to LEARN. Don’t limit your learning to only things about your given career field. Instead learn all you can about business relationships, culture, and communication. These lessons will serve you well in the future.

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About Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Masters-prepared Certified Disability Management Specialist. Over eighteen years experience in vocational assessment, counseling, and testimony, primarily in rehabilitation services.
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2 Responses to Ringtone STINKS! But I’m Lowly Intern. Can I Say Something?

  1. David Zapata says:

    I think the advice is off. In the internships I was in people were always impressed that I acted like a full time employee and talked and treated everyone as equals. If a ring tone is bothering you don’t bring something trivial like that to your manager. Show your people skills and talk to the person a little more so you can call them by their first name and then one day ask “Joe” to quite the ring tone.

    As a manager I wouldn’t think highly of someone bringing this sort of complaint to me.

    • marysevinsky says:

      I appreciate your comments, but think as an intern you had probably already learned more than the person seeking advice on the topic! Since advice what sought, I felt this person obviously needed guidance and was not yet at the point where he or she felt an equal with other employees. He or she may not be management material, or at least not yet showing signs of same!

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