Friday, March 20, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 107

This old phone booth sits just outside our campuses library and it's the only one I know that's still left standing outside. While I never used this one, I do remember needing to use the one at the high school more than few times. One time on some trumped up charge claiming I skipped school even though my parents called me in sick (word of advice don't claim I was skipping school when I was home sick with my sick parents). And now it'd be unheard of for anyone to not have a cellphone.

I feel a little sad sometimes for the dinosaurs that the march of technology leave behind.

But this post isn't just a little eulogy for the ol' phone booth. It's also devoted to some very strange cellphone etiquette that I cannot understand.

First up, you driving with that cell phone jammed to your head. Yes I know that's what you're doing, in fact I can tell from three or four cars back by the way you slow down, suddenly speed up and swerve a bit. Unless you are talking someone through a life saving operation or are completely lost and about to burst into tears put the damn thing down. There is no way that little bit of information about what your favorite type of lettuce is (romaine by the way) is more important than that pedestrian you could smoosh in the crosswalk.

Second, you that teenager who I am pretty sure had her cell phone glued to her ear. When you are making a purchase at a store that employee you are treating like an amoebae is not in fact a robot attached to a cash register but a real person. Hang up the phone, or at least put it down so you can look your salesperson in the damn eye. After all if the economy keeps on this track, you may be thanking your lucky stars soon for having that robot's job.

Maybe it's my introverted roots showing but I cannot understand why a phone call trumps a person right in front of you every time? It's gotten so bad now we have "dating tips" that tell you to turn your damn phone off, or at least on silent so you can give your date your full attention instead of a half hearted "Uh huh, that's nice. Ooh I just got a text from Daryl. He doesn't think this date is going very well."

I've never understood why I am expected to drop everything I am doing and rush to the phone as soon as it starts to jingle; that the electronic attachment is more special than the doldrums of my life. If I am elbow deep in macaroni or having a nice conversation with an old friend or even playing with a 4 year old unless I am expecting a call or worry it's an emergency I just ignore the ring and keep living my life.

After all, they can always leave a message or you can call them back at your own convenience.


withoutadornment said...

I agree with you. Up until Sept 2008, I was blissfully cellphone free. Now, most of the time it stays off. But then again, not that many people call me.

Leslie said...

I've gotten really bad at shoving mine in my purse and not seeing it for days on end. Yesterday I got a text from my sister that was about leprechauns....apparently she sent it Tuesday, but I hadn't looked at my phone so I had no idea.

Chesney said...

Wow, I don't think I have seen an outdoor phone booth forever, never thought about it until now...

Linda said...

Sadly I am a little addicted to my cell phone. No one calls me though so it's a one sided love affair.

Becky said...

One day when I was on my way to pick up my husband from work, I realized I forgot my cell at home. Since I usually called him to tell him when I was there, this posed a little problem. I had NO IDEA where to look for a pay phone so that I could call him to tell him I'd be there in 5 minutes. (Do fast food restaurants still have pay phones??) I ended up stopping by a Caribou Coffee, and asking them if I could borrow their phone to make a quick local call. Luckily they obliged.

Also, I couldn't agree with you more about getting off the phone to talk to the person at the checkout. Largely because I've been on the receiving end of that experience too many times...and then people wonder why customer service is so bad.