Well, maybe I should say instead "the most important button that you may not be able to find."

I refer to the mute button on your mobile phone. It is often not well marked. If you don’t know where yours is located, take a few minutes today to examine your phone or the book that came with it to figure out which button is the mute button. As I assume everyone understands, the mute button turns the phone mouthpiece off temporarily so that you cannot be heard. That lets you have a private conversation with someone seated next to you, for example. That may be useful.

But that’s not the real reason I want you to know where your mobile phone mute button is. I’m  being selfish. I want you to know where the button because some day I may be involved in a conference call or three way call with you. Lawyers are busy people and our schedule may force us to participate in a conference call while using a mobile phone. But do not do this again without knowing where your mute button is and using it. It’s really easy. After being connected and introducing yourself, you push the mute button so that the background noise from your phone does not disturb everyone else. If you are asked a question or want to make a comment, you push the mute button to activate the mouthpiece and talk. When finished, you mute again.

Mobile phone speakers are very sensitive and unless you are in a totally quiet room with no heat or air running, you will send annoying noise into the conference. You may think your car is very quiet, but it is not. We hear the wind and the road and the motor. And it is very frustrating to those using landlines to have to deal with all that racket! We had a conference call with a fairly large group recently and a very critical participant called in from a Starbucks. She could not get back to her office and needed to use the Internet, so she stopped by Starbucks. It was a crowded Starbucks and the background noise was deafening. None of the rest of us could understand the others and I rapidly got a headache trying to participate. Finally one of the participants became so frustrated he asked her for the model number of her phone and searched on the Internet until he was able to find a diagram and describe the unmarked mute button to her.

Don’t let that happen to you. Determine where your mute button is on your own and practice using it. Some day soon you will be really glad that you did, as will others.