Monday, October 12, 2009

Cell Phone Etiquette For All

Every weekday morning and evening I commute to and from my office on public transportation. And every morning and evening I am subjected to telephone conversations that I really don't want to hear.

This is not a lesson only for people with social communication disorders (who, in fact, are probably less likely to be offenders). This applies to the general population.

How can you talk to a friend or family member on public transportation and know that everyone can hear (at least) one side of the conversation? On occasion, the volume has been up high enough and the person was sitting close enough that I could actually hear both sides of the dialog: "OMG! She was so wasted!" "Really? What happened?" "She passed out in the doorway of the apartment and her roommates had to drag her in."

Or how about: "Hi, Dad. How was your weekend?" ... "Yes, I'm on my way to work but I thought you'd be awake." ... "Oh, was Mom there too?"

Are you kidding?? Just a few years ago these conversations would never have been taking place within earshot of anyone else. No emergency, no pressing news to share; just gossip or chit-chat.

By a wide margin, the most frequent offenders are young adults in their 20s or 30s; but this indiscretion is by no means limited to that age group.

For anyone reading this and seeing themselves (or feeling kinship) the first thing that goes though my mind is -- If someone is so bored, inconsiderate (or whatever else might cause this) that they feel the need to take out the cell phone just for the sake of shooting the breeze, I would never hire that person for a job that requires customer contact, colleague contact or just tact. Before you dial or answer, think about who is sitting in the next seat, and hope that it isn't the person you are about to meet for an interview.

The second thing I think is -- Hang up! No one cares!!

No comments: