Thursday, September 1, 2011

Five Easy Steps to Not End Up with Your Cell Phone in a Body Cavity

Over the course of the past several months I have spent a good amount of time in waiting rooms, hospital lounges, and in public spaces where people are gathered. Between helping my brother come through his aneurysm to spending time at the vet's office with my recently-diagnosed-as-diabetic dog Rusty, I have seen some appalling cell phone behavior.

Cell phones are hardly new technology, having been in widespread consumer use since the 1990s, but you'd never guess that by the way some people behave with their phone. Below is a list I have compiled with friendly suggestions on how to keep your cell phone from being lodged into one of your body cavities by someone who snaps in your presence. Enjoy:

  1. It is never ever ok to have a loud cell phone conversation in public. Never. This means no cell phone conversations on buses, elevators, waiting rooms, etc. If other people can clearly hear your side of the conversation, you're too loud. If you have to take a call in a public space, excuse yourself and step away from where people are. 
  2. It is never ever ok to have a cell phone conversation while standing in line at a store. It is also never ever ok to continue that rude conversation while the cashier rings you up. When I worked as a cashier, I would not ring a customer on their cell phone up until they hung up. There is nothing in your life so important that you have to take that call while being waited on. And if it is that important, get the hell out of the store! Shopping can wait until you deal with your emergency.  
  3. If your keypad makes a sound whenever you push a button, turn it off when in a public space. Or at least turn it down considerably. No one wants to hear you pound out a long text message in an otherwise silent room. 
  4. Related to that, turn your ring tone off or down when in a public space. Vibrate options were made for a reason! Or you could try, I don't know, not being at the beck and call of your cell phone for a while? 
  5. When someone is having a conversation with you, don't check your text messages. This is not only rude, but can be problematic. If a nurse is trying to talk to you about your care and you just have to respond to your best friend with "Nothing, just in the doctor's office. What about you?" then bigger problems are afoot. 


  1. One of the guys in Financial Aid at Columbus State will tell someone in line to see him next that he will talk to them when they're done with their phone call and move on to the next person in line, causing the original person to go back to the end of the (usually long) line. I about *shit* myself when I saw him do it to three people in a row when there were about 20 people in line.

  2. Good for him! I think that's completely appropriate. I think it's terribly rude of people to be on the phone while they're being checked out or waited on. Horrible.

  3. B and I were at a frozen yogurt place the other week. A woman drove up, on her phone, selected her yogurt and toppings, on her phone, paid, walked out and drove off -- still on her phone.

  4. Most of these are common sense but who has that anymore?