Friday, May 12, 2006

They Don't Put Phone Booths in Bathroom Stalls for a Reason

A friend of mine sent me an irate e-mail. Not about anything I'd done, but about one of her co-workers. To keep the peace in the office, she opted to viciously type her frustration instead of speak them over the phone. Why was she irate?

Because there was a woman having a conversation on her cell phone in the ladies room.


The only time this is OK is when the call threatens to get weepy and you can't get away from the office. Otherwise, that call can happen later, or it can happen outside, or it can happen in your car. It doesn't need to happen in a place that might disrupt someone's, er, business. Public, multi-stall bathrooms are tolerable only because of a blessed veil of ignorance about whomever else might be in there with you. But that's all ruined when someone's casually chatting on a cell phone and sees you enter a stall.

It's not hard to draw the line on where it's improper to chat on your celly. My own personal belief about cell phone etiquette is that they are only acceptable when you are (a) in your home, (b) in your car (only if your local driving laws permit), (c) on a sidewalk or other such promenade, or (d) in public places where you would reasonably find a phone booth. The last one is clutch. Here's a list, though it's not comprehensive, of many places where you can't find a phone booth. Therefore, this is a list of places where you shouldn't be yapping ad infinitum on a cell phone:

1) Tables in resteraunts;
2) Public bathrooms (phone booths are typically located just outside of these places, ladies and gents);
3) Public transportation (trains, busses, subways);
4) Retail checkout lines;
5) Theaters (movie, live performance, etc.);
6) Houses of worship;
7) Libraries;
8) Medical offices;
9) Bleachers at little kids' sporting events;

Darn. I was really aiming for a top 10 list. Alas, I only have nine. Probably because these are the only ones I've personally, er, enjoyed. Do NOT make a call if you are in one of these places or situations. If you receive one, answer it if it's an emergency. And if it's an emergency, excuse yourself and take the call outside.

Phew, I feel better now. Rant over.

Now I get to go to the dentist. Again. Though hopefully this will be the last visit for at least 3 months.

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