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09:32 AM on 03/29/2010
What really gets to me (other than cell-phone driving of course which may well KILL me), and has for years, is the pervasive practice of favoring an incoming call over someone who's actually present at the scene.

It's just downright rude, even in commercial situations.

How many times has someone been delayed while a cashier or clerk takes one phone call after another? How many times has the incoming call been a true emergency, or even resulted in more productivity or profit for the enterprise? I'm not talking about a quick, firm, "Hello, so and so, I'm with a customer, can you hold?" It's gotten so bad I've recently interrupted obvious behind-the-scenes shop/business talk or even chatty personal calls with a loud "Excuse me but I'm actually present and would like to make a purchase".

I've also been known to walk away from a cashier desk in mid-purchase.

Call me a b----, but perhaps if more of us spoke up we'd see less of this type of rudeness.
I'll explain later.
09:50 AM on 03/29/2010
"Clerk". Now there's a good, old-fashioned term.

In (slight) defense of sales associates, there are times when they are on the phone with another customer. If they were on such a call before you approached, it would be rude to the caller-customer to hang up. In the case of a personal call (and why would they be making such a call from the sales floor?), I agree with you.

In my experience, the reverse happens much, much more often: while a person is being helped by the sales associate or cashier, the customer takes a call, thus holding up people behind them in line, other customers waiting, or wasting the sales associate's time. I work in the fine jewelry department. For security reasons, we can only help one person at a time. I've had customers hold an expensive piece of jewelry, continuing to examine it while taking a completely unneccessary call....during the holiday rush....while crowds of people are waiting for attention. Now I could snatch the piece away from them and turn to the next customer, but then am I the rude one (per the customer)?

Amazing how we got along just fine without this constant communication before....innit?
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10:51 AM on 03/29/2010
I use the term "clerk" too what with all the cutesy names these days like "team member" and "store associate" and "partner". They're clerks!
10:52 AM on 03/29/2010
I'm not into pointless euphemisms, dmac. There is nothing inherently derogatory about the term "clerk".

Like many people, I too, have a number of years' worth of retail experience and "customer from hell" stories.

The fact still remains, however, that if a store wants to remain in business and continue to turn a profit, it must make sure any disrespect and rudeness is not on the part of the store personnel. It's not a social situation, with give and take . It's a business situation.
"The customer is always right" might be out of fashion and technically, incorrect, but it conveys an attitude that younger generations would do well to consider.

People don't have to shop at a given store. If they are disrespected often enough, they will vote with their feet and they'll shop elsewhere.
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10:48 AM on 03/29/2010
get rid of those friends who do that. period.
08:56 AM on 03/29/2010
I have to admit, I am quite annoyed when my fiancee answers her phone while we're at a restaurant eating dinner. Or, just as bad, she will carry on 5+ minute phone calls while I'm in the car with her (and she's usually driving).
Tread gently. Mother nature is pregnant.
09:56 AM on 03/29/2010
If you have an ounce of sense you'll find another fiance.
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10:49 AM on 03/29/2010
and you haven't discussed this with her? doesn't bode well... maybe you should both work this out before you get married... COMMUNICATE for the sake of your future.
11:16 AM on 03/29/2010
Well, in restaurants she'll keep the phone calls short. But still, it's just annoying. She's otherwise an exceptionally considerate person so I am a little more forgiving than usual.
...why do republicans HATE America?...
08:41 AM on 03/29/2010's kind of uncool anymore to use your phone in public. It ran it's status cycle way long ago and now you just look like a self important tart...seriously what is it with women? they ever st*u?
Read think read analyze read comment
08:58 AM on 03/29/2010
I have not seen anyone using a cell phone in a public place for a about a year. However, I've noticed signs asking you to refrain in some very odd places.
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10:42 AM on 03/29/2010
I was in a doctor's waiting room yesterday and a guy took a call AND shouted over the phone including curse words. Seriously, what is it with men? they ever st*u?
08:28 AM on 03/29/2010
How bout: If you have young children, go in the other room when giving me a call. I do NOT want to hear yr 4-year-old screaming over the conversation. It's difficult and exhausting.
...why do republicans HATE America?...
08:38 AM on 03/29/2010
haven't had a conversation with my sister for over 20 years because of her 3 over nurtured kids....know exactly what you mean
a very subtle micro-bio
08:13 AM on 03/29/2010
Recently we ate dinner at a restaurant that was nearly empty, except for a guy who sat in the booth just behind us. He had 3 phone calls during our meal. In each he discussed the suicide of a friend that had just happened that day. I appreciate his need to discuss things with others after such an event, but he was loud and he made no attempt to keep it quiet. We left as soon as we could. I thought about telling him he should have taken those calls outside, but was pretty sure it would have been useless.

SO appreciate this article, BUT: Talking on the phone, and even worse TEXTING while driving is not inconsiderate, it is DEADLY. Join those who sign up for their cars being a NO CELL PHONE ZONE.

Even with the hand free phones, research has shown that people's brain only process a portion of what could be seen due to having a phone conversation. The brain just deletes certain details. That could be a pedestrian, a stop sign, etc. Unfortunately, we don't get to decide which details are deleted. Too many people have died from others phoning and driving. It's time to just stop!
09:49 AM on 03/29/2010
"Unfortunately, we don't get to decide which details are deleted. "

Actually, we do. It's called "focus". A cell phone call is personal, driving
isn't, or so we think. Driving is "automatic" in some people's minds. So
the mind chooses the phone over driving when it answers the call and
thereby gives the call more of its focus.
veg head delite
07:29 AM on 03/29/2010
-Don't talk on your cell phone in the grocery store line and at the register.
-Don't talk on your cell phone when ordering food.
02:32 PM on 03/29/2010
I don't think it's a big deal to talk while in line as long as you don't talk loudly.
People carry cell phones so that they can be reached wherever they are.
Of course you should be considerate.
Few people really are these days.
But what's the difference between having a conversation on a phone while standing in line or having a loud conversation with someone physically there? None really, excepting for the volume and the content... it's not really anybody else's business.
Author of The Cabal
07:28 AM on 03/29/2010
One more rule: Don't walk around in a store or such yapping in your cellphone. It's like a walking loudspeaker.
07:15 AM on 03/29/2010
A. Cinema's should have a "jamming" device in each theatre room. With a cautionary sign that says, "...your cell phone wont work in here it's being'll need to exit into the lobby to use your cell phone..."

People are rude, insensitive and self absorbed to the point of adnauseum. If a personal cell call is loud and personally sensitive, I comment on it openly. Until the user tones down their voice. "....Ann I can't believe Bob got drunk at the office....that bastard....!"

Me, ".....Damn that Bob, I bed peed in the plants too...." etc...

Eventually after the majority of the bus is laughing, the user tends to tone it down. Others dont get it. They like the attention. I'm just sick of it now.

Insurance shouldn't cover drivers who use cell phones in their cars during an accident. That would stop a good portion of it. Start busting drivers by the hundreds and the culture will change.
09:39 AM on 03/29/2010
We stopped going out to the movies about 4 years ago because of patron rudeness and disturbances, many involving cellphone use.

When people are standing up and shouting "Be quiet!" to perfect strangers in a dark room filled with a cross-section of the general public, it's anything but a safe situation.

I told my husband I'd rather rent all our movies on DVD than see him risk getting into a public fistfight, or worse.

And when someone is rude enough to carry on a loud phone conversation in the middle of a movie, one has to wonder what other breach of common courtesy they'd be capable of.
09:42 AM on 03/29/2010
I totally agree with you, especially on the last part. The insurers should deny them especially if they were texting when the accident occurred. Sometimes you may receive what could be an emergency phone call while driving so I would be more lenient towards calls, especially if a hands-free device was employed. But texting - NO.
07:11 AM on 03/29/2010
I was in Petco recently. The store was fairly empty but there was a woman on her cell, breaking up with her boyfriend--loudly. And to make sure everyone there heard her, she walked all over the store while telling him in a loud voice things like "It was never going to work and you should understand that".
09:44 AM on 03/29/2010
I never understood the need for some people to publicly air their dirty laundry. I've heard guys loudly and obnoxiously arguing with their girlfriends over the phone in the metro. Some people just have no manners or home training.
07:04 AM on 03/29/2010
Don't take calls at the table when you are eating in a restaurant - answer the phone and say "please hold on", then excuse yourself and then either go outside or move to an area away from people, such as where the pay phones are located or the hallway leading to the restrooms, if any.
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10:44 AM on 03/29/2010
Or in the post office, or in the doctor's waiting room----think of other people!
Duane Burnett
prof artist carving traditional sculpture
06:42 AM on 03/29/2010
turn the friggin thing off while you drive period no exceptions do not driive and phone!
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05:42 AM on 03/29/2010
When I'm out with personal company, especially with someone I don't get to visit with very often, and my companion takes more than one short call, I excuse myself as if I'm going to the bathroom or I'll walk into a store as if I'm looking for something. By the time my companion is off the phone, I'm engaged in a nice long conversation with some stranger. Once my attention goes back to my companion, I spend the next 10 minutes telling them how "interesting" that person was that I just met. If my companion's phone rings again, I quickly start a conversation with someone nearby. I'll get that person's name and introduce them to my companion once he/she hangs up their phone. I'll talk with the stranger and exchange business cards in front of my companion who, to me, is obviously more interested in their cell phone friends than me. I've met some great contacts in the process. I've always been too shy to start a conversation with strangers, but now I love the challenge and opportunity.

I've never been rude about it. I tell my companion that I don't want to feel like I'm "eves dropping" on their personal calls and that I was giving them their privacy.

Repeat, if necessary. It rarely happens anymore.

I turn off my phone whenever I'm face to face with a friend unless I inform them that I'm expecting a certain call but will keep it short.
06:00 AM on 03/29/2010
seems like a lot of trouble, not to mention manipulative. why wouldn't you just tell them you think its rude. that is called HONESTY. There is a name for what you do, and its called passive aggressive.
"if they take more then one short call." regardless of what the call is for? regardless of whether its your business or not?

sounds like a quick way to alienate people you call friends. all over a cell phone call.
if it bothers you that much its better to just be blunt about it.
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06:34 AM on 03/29/2010
Hard to respond to this LastWave. Maybe it's selfish for me to say that I value my time and my friendships and when I'm with my friends I give them my total attention. I also want them to feel free to talk to whomever it is they prefer talking to. I don't consider it rude if they take personal cell phone calls, if that is what makes them happy. But while they are cultivating their other personal relationships in front of me, I'm not going to sit there staring off into space. I don't see that as "quality time" . I give quality time and I deserve quality time. Sorry if that is "passive-aggressive".

I do volunteer work elsewhere.

BTW - I met my current secretary this way and have recruited several volunteers to do community service while I was on "standby" with my cell phone engaged companions.
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10:45 AM on 03/29/2010
It sounds to me as if she is a woman and is afraid of being called a B*&^ch because that's what men do to women who displease them.
05:18 AM on 03/29/2010
If you are eating, wait until you are done to call me please. I do not want to hear you chew.
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10:46 AM on 03/29/2010
My brother called me from the urinal once. I immediately hung up and he thought it was funny.
04:11 AM on 03/29/2010
Really, there are etiquette rules for cell phones? I read this title with great excitement--I've never had a cell phone, and have listened with increasing dismay as talkers all around me forced me to endure all manner of uncomfortable exchanges against my will. I've watched talkers take calls while checking out at the store, while trying to pay for the bus, buying movie tickets--even if taking the call forces delays on others. My massage clients often pick up DURING their massage, even just to chat with friends while I wait and pretend that it's totally normal, which it is not. So i was shocked to hear that there were rules...has anyone told cell phone users? : 0
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Searching for the Castle Anthrax
05:12 AM on 03/29/2010
Wow! you've never had a cell. it seems almost unfathomable these days, especially for me since my only phone for almost 10 years now has been a cell. but it would be nice if people could follow all forms of etiquette. just being considerate of how your actions affect others is a good way to live
10:02 AM on 03/29/2010
Stacy isn't alone. I don't have one, don't want one. Especially when
it's a product that seems to issue a 'new and improved' and more
expensive version about every 3 months. I don't even like to answer
the phone at home. I was "tied" to a headset at a giant hotel
reservation center for a year and I have detested phones ever since.
I do keep one at home for emergencies and thankfully it's quiet
99.99 percent of the time, and yes, I have a life that I thoroughly
enjoy without one.
I much prefer face-to-face conversations. They reveal more than
just a voice can ever relay.
09:55 PM on 03/29/2010
Um... There are some that don't feel the need to be connected all the time. I have never owned one. Never will. If someone needs to get a hold of me they can leave a message on my home phone and I will get back to them as soon as I am available.

Simple. And no cell phone contracts, minutes, and no bill.

Guess what.... no cable, no satellite TV or radio, no TV.

It is wonderful to be free.
03:29 AM on 03/29/2010
Please end the call with an appropriate "goodbye" etc before hitting the end button. It is soooo annoying to be in the middle of saying something else and have someone just end the call abruptly because they think you have finished. A mutual ending is always best.