Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Cell Phone Etiquette and Other Stories

with 4 comments

For this Friday’s blog, I want to talk about something completely different: cell phone etiquette.

Why this particular subject, you ask?  Because I’ve run into more ignorant people this week than I can shake a stick at, all of whom did — or more importantly, said — something stupid while on their cell phone.

First up was the gentleman at the local pharmacy who was jabbering away on his cell as his three kids rampaged through the store.  I felt like saying, “Hey, buddy!  Watch your kids!  Keep ’em from stealing the pharmacist blind!” as the kids were running up and down the aisles, throwing candy at each other, knocking over displays, and generally behaving worse than my Mom’s three dogs.

Now, this guy was probably talking to someone from his workplace, as his expression was grave and he was using a calculator in his other hand to add up figures as he aimlessly walked through the store.  But that does not excuse him; he still must supervise his children, lest he end up with an unexpected bill in the hundreds of dollars (if not thousands) after his three kids under the age of ten wrecked the store without his cognizance or knowledge.

Next, there was the jerk at the gas station who was yelling at the top of his lungs into his cell about his bodily functions.  Apparently he was trying to make his much-younger girlfriend blush — his GF looked to be in her low-to-mid 20s, while this guy had to be in his upper 30s at the very least — and he definitely should’ve known better than to talk about his hernias, his latest bowel movements, and how many times he threw up the night before in public, much less as loudly as possible.

Finally, there was the guy who was swearing profusely as he took money out of the ATM at the grocery store.  Was it because he couldn’t get money out?  No, it wasn’t — instead, it was because something had gone wrong at home (or maybe with his job) and he was using every profane word he could (plus making up a few new ones) to express his displeasure.   All while he either thought no one could hear him (not likely), or didn’t care.

Look.  I understand how it is when you must take a phone call, even if you’re out.  But when that eventuality does occur, you need to be polite to others.

In these three situations, what should these men — and note, they all were men (as women in general tend not to behave this badly in public for whatever reason) — have done?  Well, the first guy should’ve taken his phone call in the car and his kids should’ve sat there quietly (or as quietly as they could) until he was done.  Then he should’ve bought them all lollipops (or whatever small treat they wanted) for behaving in the car — or he should’ve then proceeded to take the kids home and punish them if they hadn’t behaved.  In no way, shape, or form should he have taken the call in the store and let those kids run up and down the aisles screaming, whooping and hollering as they were — much less making a huge mess, as last I saw they were in the process of doing.

 As for the second guy, this may seem overly obvious, but here goes:  Don’t talk about your bodily functions in public, period.  Really, we don’t want to hear about it.   And if you are that hard-up to embarrass your girlfriend, well, it’s either time for you to get a new girlfriend or, better yet, for her to trade you in for a better-behaved model, someone who might actually appreciate her for a change.

As for the third gentleman (using the term loosely, of course)?   Try not to swear in public.  If you do need to swear, do it quietly, because yelling the “f-word” at the top of your lungs is rude.

And remember, guys, this very basic thing — it’s more than likely that your side of the conversation on your cell is going to be overheard.   Use your common sense and see this as the public conversation it is, and treat it accordingly.  Or prepare to suffer the consequences as more and more people realize what a completely unlettered jerk you’ve turned out to be, just because they’ve been the unwitting victims of your poor cell phone etiquette.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

4 Responses

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  1. While cell phones can and have been a boon to society, they can also be a bane. Too many people, men and women, act as if they were having a private conversation when they are in public. Personally, I talk when I have to in a soft voice. Sometimes I have to repeat myself because my wife or whoever can’t hear me. So be it. And I will never talk about intimate, private, or disgusting bodily functions on the phone. That’s just not right.

    Loren

    June 18, 2011 at 6:36 am

    • Loren, you are a prince among men, and I sincerely wish you’d been in these places instead of me. A glare from you probably would’ve shut ’em up; a glare from me didn’t do anything. (Though I really do hope that second guy’s GF decides to leave him after that nonsense. Because while he was saying all his foofaraw — a much neglected word, foofaraw, don’t you think? 😉 — his poor GF was sitting outside with a scratchoff lottery ticket, then just sitting there kicking her heels. She was the driver, and she was waiting for him to stop his nonsense; personally, I’d have driven right off and out of his life after that escapade.)

      Barb Caffrey

      June 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  2. […] a while back I wrote a post about cell phone etiquette, and I’d hoped that I’d exhausted that subject.  However, I’ve noticed two more […]

  3. […] Cell Phone Etiquette and Other StoriesCell Phone Etiquette and Other Stories body { font-family: Arial, "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, sans-serif; } .recentcomments […]


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