Managing multiactivity in a travel agency

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Participants in travel agency service encounters must manage attention among co-occurring actions and transitions from one activity to another. Intersecting activities that require the mobilisation of the same verbal modality, such as incoming and outgoing phone calls during an encounter with a client, require the initiation, suspension, and termination of one (or more) activity within another. But whereas outgoing calls allow for a gradual construction of the co-participants’ awareness of a (potential) suspension of the current interaction, incoming calls are inherently unexpected and so require a more sudden action to suspend the current activity and initiate the next one. Such multiactivity can lead to disruptions, as manifest in hesitations, syllable lengthening, self-repair, etc. Participants draw on multimodal resources to manage such multiactivity and its temporal constraints.


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