Cell Phone Chatter

I am currently sitting at a car dealership getting the CRV’s oil change needs met. I knew it was going to be a long visit due to us passing the 100K miles mark (best. car. ever.). I have my notebook at my side full of writing ideas. I’m sitting in the “work” waiting room with my laptop, notebook, and a full intention to write after a very busy week.

Annnnnnnd the entire time I’ve been sitting here people have been loudly talking on their phones.

Don’t get me wrong, I can usually deal with distractions. You don’t get through grad school living with 2 kids, 3 pets, and a husband in a small bungalow without learning to cope with noise. But I’m tired after a long shift last night and I have forgotten my noise-cancelling headphones at home. And these conversations are hella distracting.

The notable conversations: One woman is openly making fun of people (how they’re dressed, how difficult the staff is etc). One gentleman is holding very involved work-related phone conversations. I’m pretty sure I’ve learned enough to run his business for him just based on what I’ve overheard.

It’s all so rude!

To be fair I’m not sure where else these people could go to have their conversations. The area outside the building hasn’t been developed for people to hang out there. And it’s not like there’s such a thing as phone booths anymore. Hey, maybe phone booths could be brought back! We could call them “call pods” or “cell centers” or “no one else wants to hear your conversation so go in here booths.” Hmmmm…. Possibilities….

Which leads me to ask, just because we can make phone calls almost everywhere, should we make phone calls from almost everywhere, regardless if strangers are listening or not?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some modern technology. I wouldn’t be able to write this blog without it. But what constitutes phone etiquette in these situations? Do social mores even apply to cellphones outside of movie theaters? If so, then how?

Personally I’m not one to talk on the phone in front of strangers. I’d rather go outside to achieve at least a modicum of conversational privacy. I also feel like the other people in the waiting room probably wouldn’t want to hear my one-sided conversations. Boooooorrrrring……

So what do you consider to be good or bad manners in regards to cell phone conversations in public? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


One thought on “Cell Phone Chatter

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  1. I feel your pain! I have been in this position many times. If I get a phone call, I will either talk quietly, ask the person if I can call them back, or move my conversation elsewhere.

    My son’s orthodontic office has a plan in place and I like it! A note on the door asks to please refrain from talking on your cellphone while in the office. They even have a nice bench in the foyer (door separating outside and also office) where there’s another nice note asking to please utilize this bench to sit if you have a call. Brilliant! I have used this! I get privacy and no one else has to listen to me.

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