Is technology at that point where we just don't know how to stop working anymore? It seems as time moves on that it's becoming increasingly harder to disconnect from the office.

With cell phones now the gateway to everything we do, is it even possible to turn yourself off from work and enjoy a day off? It's fascinating to talk with so many around The Garden State about this topic, especially with those who are technically off from a long holiday weekend, only to still find themselves working when they shouldn't be.

It's why I wasn't that surprised when I witnessed someone doing just that. But not so much of being stuck working on a day off, but rather, where this work conversation took place.

But before I dive into it, I want to first ask you this very question. With the technology we have now, do you sometimes find it hard to disconnect from work?

It's interesting to see how many of us in New Jersey are able to disconnect from our jobs when we're off, and how many remain connected in a world that makes it hard to turn our brains off from work.

But even if we're on the clock, some of us are finding it hard to disconnect in places we shouldn't be conducting business. That's what I just experienced while conducting some of my work at Bell Works.

Bell Works in Holmdel (courtesy Bell Works)
Bell Works in Holmdel (courtesy Bell Works)

Bell Works is the former home of Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. It's now a place geared for work life as well as other fun activities.

Ever since I learned of it, I come here every now and then to write many of the articles you read. Not very often, but when I need that change of scenery that I can't get either at the radio station or at home.

Well, on this particular visit, I experienced something that proves the point that we don't know how to stop working or conducting business. And this one went a little beyond knowing when to stop.

North Carolina Clashes With U.S. Over New Public Restroom Law
Getty Images

Not quite the right office

While washing my hands in one of the facility's public bathrooms, I could hear a gentleman talking very loudly on his phone. He was talking about some sort of financial deal, but I don't know anything beyond that.

But the sound of his voice continued to get closer, and much louder. Eventually, this guy entered the bathroom and entered one of the stalls while still having his insanely high-volume phone conversation (plus the echo in the bathroom making it sound even louder).

Here's where it gets to be a little much. You can hear him going in the can while still having an obnoxiously loud business conversation on the phone.

Absolutely rude and disgusting to whoever's on the other end. It's as if this guy didn't even realize that he entered a public bathroom.

Public toilet and Bathroom interior with wash basin and toilet room.
Khotcharak Siriwong

Deal, or no deal

Whatever deal this guy was trying to make with whoever was on the other end I hope never went through. It was just rude both for others in the restroom, as well as for the person he was talking to.

Yes, I know we tend to commonly call the bathroom the office, and we joke about conducting business in there. But this person apparently didn't seem to care to separate the two.

My encounter in the restroom when he entered was brief but also obnoxious. And being our lives are consumed by cell phones, do we even realize it when we do something like that?

Seriously ask ourselves that question. Do we even realize it half the time when we should be hanging it up but don't?

No talking on the phone / disconnect

The bathroom soundtrack

You can clearly tell it was a work-related conversation, but it's not something any of us need to hear when we go to the restroom.

Even more so, I'm certain none of your coworkers, clients, or potential customers want to hear you doing your own personal business while on the phone with them. Not to mention, the sound of toilets flushing around you being picked up by the receiver.

So whoever this person was, please learn to hang it up. I don't care if you were discussing a million-dollar deal or not, you don't carry on while going to the bathroom. Especially in a public place.

Toilet paper in a bathroom (over, under, and above)
Mike Brant - TSM

Overly invested

But that also brings us back to the main point. Are we so invested in our devices that we're now incapable of knowing how and when to stop working?

Whether it's a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or work-from-home situation, technology nowadays is turning us more and more into workaholics whether we realize it or not.

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.