It would be safe to say that I am not the most patient person in the world. In fact, I’ll bet anyone who knows me would say that’s my biggest shortcoming. Now that I’ve admitted that I’m not at all perfect, here’s the thing My biggest complaint is people who use cell phones in public places in an over-the-top voice. Sometimes it’s so loud I can’t have my own thoughts. I’m not talking about an emergency situation, but just rude use!
This is what set me off! I was recently in the airport sitting in the boarding area and the man behind me was on the phone. Actually I was so close that his shoulders were practically touching mine. Just as I sat down, he picked up his phone to make a call or I would never have sat there.
Then came the giant voice over my shoulders, “Let me speak to Sally. Oh, Sally’s not there? Then let me speak to Bill. I have to talk to him about my orders.” Then comes, “Did you get those orders? There are some on my desk,”
Seriously, is this is a life or death situation? Why didn’t he get up from his seat to talk, maybe go over across the hall where no one was standing to have his loud conversation about his wonderful sales in his business? Did I really care about his orders?
Literally, as I am sitting there being so perturbed, I think I should move, but I can’t because there are no other empty seats. Then the woman right across from me, whose knees are nearly touching mine, begins her conversation. It’s all about her vacation and that her plane was on time and did Susan get to school on time today and what would they have for dinner.
Honestly, I was fuming, turning repeatedly to look at each of them, but nothing seemed to register with what I thought were selfish people. It never seemed to occur to them to go and have the private conversation somewhere else. And why do they have to talk so loudly? Don’t they realize we can all hear their semi-private conversation? There was no chance I was going to be able to read the book I had in my hand.
I kept saying to myself, it’s not that important. I should be more tolerant! Thankfully the flight was on time and I was out of there.
Not long after this I was in the grocery and a woman was walking alone, and having a conversation on her cell phone as she was putting things in her cart. Her mouth was moving just as fast as her cart, and her voice volume was on high. How can I get away from her?
I quickly moved to another aisle, but soon there she was behind me again continuing the conversation. I reluctantly learned of the escapades of both her children and even know their names, Sally and Jim. How could people be so obtuse to not realize how annoying they are?
In the early days when cell phones were new, I could understand it. Most people just didn’t get it. We were all learning etiquette, or some of us were. But now everyone has a cell phone and what if they were all talking so loud at once? I love the convenience of my phone, but not inconsiderate people.
Every once in awhile I’ll see a sign in an office which says, no cell phone conversation or silence cell phones, please. I love that!
I have also been told cell phones on an airplane aren’t really a big threat. It’s more about controlling 150 people, who could all be talking to someone different at the same time! That gives us something to think about.
(Melanie Behrens – email@example.com)
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