Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Don't Answer That

I feel the need to rant about cell phone etiquette.

Now before I start my well thought out observations (aka whining and complaining), let me preface them by saying that I have a cell phone and I carry it most places go. Did you notice I said most and not all?

It seems more and more people are so attached to their portable communication device, they have it with them everywhere. What used to be a matter of convenience to them has now become more like an added appendage to their body.

How does this happen, and why do these people find it impossible to do simple things like go grocery shopping without carrying on a conversation on the phone? I'm sure you've seem them too, pushing a cart with one hand while cradling the phone between their ear and neck as they attempt to pick up a bag of flour off the bottom shelf.

What the hell is so important that you have to yak incessantly about it while navigating the stores isles? Not once have I heard one of these conversations take place that required immediate attention. I have yet to hear, "Hang up, call 911, and I'll be there as fast as I can.!"

No, the matters of urgency I typically overhear are more like, "Ya, then we were like totally going to go to a different bar, but I said like, 'no way, I'm not going anywhere with that jerk,' so we just stayed there."


How about the classic, "I'm at the store, what do you feel like for dinner?" Is this a conversation that really needs to happen inside the store? Couldn't this person work out the logistics ahead of time and then go shopping?


Then there's the, "I have to wait in a long line so I might as well call someone because I'm so bored" twit. These are the ones you generally have to tap on the shoulder to remind them that the line has moved. They are so distracted by their meaningless blabbering they've completely tuned out everything around them.

Taping their shoulder is the polite way of getting their attention, but whacking them up beside their head would be a lot more fun to do.

How about going to a movie? The last time I went to one, there were three "Silence your cell phone" reminders. Does it really take this many times for people to get it? NO, it apparently takes four or five because some idiot left his on and whats worse, answered it when it rang. Does justifiable homicide apply in this situation? I think it should.

Speaking about wanting to kill. . . how about when you're in the middle of a face to face conversation with someone and they say, "hold on." followed by a raised finger and then they answer a call. I think the next time this happens, when they finish the call and ask, "What were you saying?" I'm just going to turn around and walk away.

I know the conversations all these people are having seem, to them, to be about the most important topic on the planet, but I don't care and I really don't want to listen to it either.

So what irritates you about cell phone abusers?


Hammer said...

People are not considerate with their cell phones in a movie theater. It drives me insane.

It's like there is no one on this earth besides themselves.

Roger said...

Here here! They so damn inconsiderate take up my valuable time! breathing my air! Sucking my toes! ..Oh wait a minute.

Psycho Mom said...

In addition to the ones you mentioned, having to listen to some inane conversation while in a restaurant trying to have a peaceful meal is my personal pet peeve. Makes me want to have the server deliver my check to the table of the cell idiot and let him or her pay for my meal since they've just ruined it. And, yes, homicide in the case of cell phone users is justifiable, fact, come to think of it, it is called a public service.

"The Babe"

Jeff B said...

Hammer- Agreed. I saw one putz let his kid play a hand held video game during a movie once. The glow comming from it pissed me off, so I asked him to turn it off. When he wouldn't listen I got an usher to ask/tell him to.

I felt a little weird at first, but I figured I'd spent $20.00 for two tickets plus a small fortune on concessions. I didn't feel weird anymore.

Roger- Cell phones man, not shoe phones.

Mom- I like the public service angle.

The restaurant one is spot on. Nest time that happens ask the waiter to take them a big bowl of "shut the hell up".

Amazing Gracie said...

I'm totally in support of homicide but in my case, it would also be matricide or whatever you call it(offing my daughter!). She'll call me while she's in the drive-through picking up burgers; while driving on the freeway in L.A.; and yes, talking in the grocery store, while in line! It drives me up the wall!!!
She's 37 so I guess it's too late to remind her of the way I raised her to be respectful of OTHERS!
(Gee, do I deserve to be a Psycho Mom too?!?)
But, yes - I do love her!

Dana said...

I can almost guarantee that each time there is a car in front of me, doing something stupid (i.e. not MOVING when the light turns green, doing 50 in the "fast" lane, moving into the lane I am currently occupying, etc.) they are on a cell phone. Put the damn cell phone down and DRIVE!

Anndi said...

Um.. the ones who drive, eat a doughnut, sip their coffee (eating and talking at the same time - how rude) fail to signal or check their mirrors and nearly push me off the road... them.. I hate them.


hehehe.. especially is you serve it naked.

You know, I like the comment section because we find out very interesting and revealing things about Roger.

buffalodickdy said...

Grocery stores- consulting what brand to get, every step they take.
Video stores- same complaint!
Sales calls- It has always bothered me to make an appointment, drive 100 miles to a customer, and have my consideration for them interrupted by a phone call from a light bulb salesperson...
Ever notice these peasants don't look like very important people?

Matt-Man said...

I was at a funeral last summer and some guy's cell went off. Pretty rude, but even worse....he answered it. Cheers!!

Leighann said...

I used to work in a restaurant, have you ever tried to take someones order while they're carrying on a conversation?

Real Live Lesbian said...

The problem is that the ringing of the cell phone is a variable reward schedule. Since they never KNOW when it's going to reward them/ring, they must keep it on constantly. What if they missed a call?????

They're basically trained to wait for the ring to get human interaction.

It's just way sad.

Ron said...

"Ditto" on ALL of what you've said here, Jeff!

Don't have one...and don't want one.

Cell phones have become like a LIVER for the majority of people...they couldn't live with out one!?!

Enjoyed this post!

Jeff B said...

Gracie- We'll make you an honorary Psycho Mom. I think you qualify.

Dana- Driving almost seems like a secondary function for these brain surgeons.

Anndi- Ah ha! So yu're the real naked chef. What's for dinner?

I gotta wonder about our buddy from Idaho. Bwahahaha

Buffalo- I almost forgot about the video store. Arrrgh!

Matt- Here's where homicide would not only be justified, but convienient too. The room's already booked. I say off the bonehead.

Leighann- I see this one all the time. I think the server should put a bunch of hot sauce in or on whatever they ordered and blame it on the fact that it sounded like the customer ordered it that way.

Real LL- This is a case of the evolution theory going backwards!

Jeff B said...

Ron- No cell phone? Isn't that against the law?

I just had a conversation with my mom about being a kid when there wern't any cell phones. Amazingly we all made it through the day just fine.

kevin wecker said...

Sorry I'm late at commenting! I was on my cell phone. What'd I miss?

Jules~ said...

there have been several times when I find my ears in the public restroom hearing this kind of dialog..."Yeah I was busy before but I am free to talk now so I thought I'd call you back."

Oswegan said...

Mostly the ones who are driving poorly while on the phone. I can almost tell they are on the phone before I even get close enough to confirm it.

~Oswegan - An Intragalactic Traveler

Jeff B said...

Kevin- Exactly!

Jules- I make sure to flush a toilet if I hear that, then the person on the other end will know where their at.

Oswegan- I hope Oregon will adopt the same law passed in California. No hand held phones allowed while driving. It's got to help a little.

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Going out to a nice dinner and having the jerk at the next table talking business. I'm so not impressed. Where is that steak knife so I can plant that baby square between the shoulder blades. Jerks. I hate them too. Self important asses. Great rant. :)

~Deb said...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In New York (not sure where you're from), they have removed all pay phones. Can you imagine how worse it's gonna get? (ha)

But, I have to say, a few years ago I was complaining about those damn Nextels. BLEEEEP! BLEEEEP!!!! BLEEEP!!! And then, followed by a LOUD annoying voice. It's not like you can't turn the damn volume down - they put the volume on speaker - and then blast you out of wherever you are! I don't get it.

A couple of years later, I got one. I had to for business. But, I HARDLY ever put it on speaker phone. The only thing I can't get rid of is the big ol' BLEEP!

I have to get rid of this thing.

But, yes, cell phones have really made it's way into the category of F*CKING INSANITY!

Scuze' the French.

I'm totally there with ya buddy!

Travis said...

I have turned around and walked away the moment someone felt answering the phone was more important than finishing a conversation with me. I won't tolerate that rudeness.

But the one that annoys me the most is the person who can't hang up the phone and order a meal in a fast food restaurant.

Anndi said...

Jeff, what do you care what's for dinner.. it's all about the presentation!

Jeff B said...

Sandee- Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel!


Deb- Now that really is a bleeping cell phone. I don't know if Nextel is Bluetooth compatible, but if it is that might be a solution.

Travis- The whole level of rudeness has gone supernova with these.

Jeff B said...

Anndi- Excellent point!

Mel said...

I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me?

I've replaced mine twice and the girls' once.

Please be advised that the replacement cost from flipping one into a toilet could 'undo' that moment of immediate gratification.
But DARN STRAIGHT it felt really, really, REALLY good to hit 'flush'.

Oh--And just for the record--the girl's not answered hers at a lunch out with me for over two years now.


Diesel said...

It's weird that we as a society still haven't figured out as way to make sure that the person standing right in front of you gets precedence over somebody who happens to call at any given time. My favorite is when I'm in line at a counter, and I get to the front and then the phone rings and the cashier or whoever answers it. I'm like, "That jerk totally cut!"

Christinker said...

It seems like you've touched on a hot topic!

Personally, I talk on the phone all the time. But, I am polite about it. If never do it in front of a live person. I will always have a private conversation that doesn't interrupt the flow of commerce.

My biggest peeve is when the actual employees answer their cell phones while on the clock. That is grounds for termination in my "customer service" book.

Jeff B said...

Mel- You actually flushed one?


Diesel- I'm going to ask for the phone number of the store the next time that happens, then call it. They'll pretty much have to talk to me then.

Christinker- You talk on the phone? I find that hard to believe. haha

Mimi Lenox said...

I've heard them go off in the middle of music concerts. Maddening. I actually stopped once and reminded the audience to be courteous and turn them off. And don't get me started on crying children either.....
Thanks for the rant! I feel better now!

katherine. said...

I agree with most of what you say about the rudeness of cell users...

sometimes I think the reason "some" people get so irritated listening to cell conversations is because they can only hear one side of it. If there were two people having the same discussions you mentioned...it probably wouldn't bother everyone so much.

Where I live they aren't allowing "text-ing" in theaters anymore...the lights are annoying others...you can get thrown out.

Jeff B said...

Mimi- The crying children could be a whole rant in itself.

Katherine- Anyone caught on the phone talking or texting should have to buy everyone in the theater popcorn and a soda!