Monday, September 28, 2009

The Post in Which I Go Postal

I was all planning to do a recap of the delicious things I did and consumed this weekend, but then I saw this You Tube clip this morning on Huff Po, and it sent me into a tailspin:

That is Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman in a Broadway performance, during which an audience member's cell phone starts ringing. And they call the person out.

Peeps, W.T.F. is up with people and their incredibly rude usage of technology? Someone needs to write an etiquette book on proper technology usage (by which I mean cell phones/texting; I won't even get started on social media, or we will be here all day) or start handing out fines or something because it is getting. out. of. hand.

People talking on their phones during movies. People texting other people or checking emails while dining with friends. People accepting or making calls in inappropriate places (doctor's office, checkout lines, bathrooms, etc.). People carrying on loud/inappropriate conversations in public. People taking calls during job interviews. Yes. You read that right. I was told by someone who interviewed me that this happened. If I was the interviewer, I would have snatched the phone out of their hand, said "Your friend just lost this job. Because they are stupid.", and kicked them the hell out of my office.

Now, before some of you go getting your panties in a bunch, I am singling out NO ONE. I am just having a general rant. In fact, I have been guilty myself of some violations and will admit it. Just Friday, I was lunching with a friend and received a call while she was talking. I was embarrassed. Usually I turn my phone to vibrate, but had forgotten. The call was from my moms, so I quickly took it, told my mom I was having lunch with a friend and would call her back. And then I apologized to my friend. (I would have sent it to voice mail, but, um, I don't know how to do that. Because I am "technology challenged." Again, another post.)

But what about emergencies, you say? Well, I say, come the hell on! How many times in your life has someone had to contact you for a true emergency? Like life and death? Me? Once. When my grandmother died. And it was before cell phones and, miraculously, my mom managed to find me.

I do give grace to some folks. For example, I have a friend who is a surgical physician's assistant. When we meet for dinner, she occasionally receives a text or call. BECAUSE SHE JUST CUT SOMEONE OPEN A FEW HOURS EARLIER. And, you know, her surgeon bosses want to check on the patient. Or ask about the meds she prescribed. You know, life and death stuff for reals.

Society has become way too dependant on cell phone technology. I admit, cell phones are convenient when you are at the Publix and can't remember if you have sour cream and call home to ask the hubs. Or when you are sitting in traffic and need to call to let someone know you are going to be late. But, really, would it be the end of the world if we were not able to make these calls? Hell-to-the-no.

I often think that some people need technology to make them feel important or needed. Well, I can tell you that I know one thing for sure--no one is so important that they cannot take a few hours for a movie, a doctor's appointment or dinner with a friend and TURN OFF THEIR DAMN PHONE. Word.

I believe at the heart of all the bad manners with cell phones is a more horrific trend--a lack of general consideration of others. Way too many people these days have a sense of entitlement, an "all about me" attitude that seemingly precludes the ability to act courteous, much less kind, to others.

While no one is going to confuse me with Emily Post on my best day, I do try to say "please" and "thank you" with regularity. However, I see way too many yoo-hoos who think the world owes them something and they can do as they damn well please. My take? The world doesn't owe you shit, and I sure as hell don't "owe" it to you to let you carry-on a 10 minute conversation in line at Publix while trying to check out at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon. And I don't "owe" it to you to drive an hour to see you over dinner and have you sit texting other folks throughout the meal. And the actors and other audience members of a Broadway play don't "owe" it to you to let you take your call during a live performance, jackass. Yo.

I will step down off the soapbox now and get back to the video. What Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman should have done was go all 007 and Wolverine on that person's ass. Now that? Would have been a show. Later peeps! B.


big sis said...

I LOVE YOU!!!! GO GIRL!!! 100% behind you on this one! I think I have seen it all, and then something else comes along. Last Monday during the monsoon I was almost hit by a car trying to make a left turn--the driver---16 years old and talking on a cell phone! You literally could not see your hand in front of your face. If she had hit me, I probably would have shoved the cell phone up her a**!

bunny said...

If I am on the phone in the car and it starts raining, I say "goodbye." I hate that I use it as much as I do in the car--it is a distraction, for sure.

Sonya said...


tiff said...

Girl - you ain't kidding! What is it with people not being able to be away from their phone for more than 2 seconds?!?

KP said...

Good for Hugh Jackman. People on cell phones get on my DAMN NERVES - esp. with a f*****ing bluetool in their ear. LAME!

Janice said...

That's my daughter, and I agree with her 100%. My cell phone is in my purse all the time,only on some of the time. I forget to turn it on. I could live without it. I have it because my family wants to know where I am some of the time. If the 16 yr old driver had hit my oldest daughter, that cell would have had to been surgically removed from her body.

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

You and me. Twins separated at birth, I'm sure.

I HATE it when I'm trying to wait on a customer at work and they are on the phone. I told my boss that my level of customer service will go from 10 to zero if they don't hang up. I am going to ignore them even after they get off the phone.

I tried just staring at them but that doesn't seem to work.
Tonight I tried a new tactic. While they are on the phone, I start talking to them, louder than the person on the phone. IT WORKS.
Every person said "I'll have to call you back".

I'm sure I'm going to get called out on the customer service hotline as being a "Rude employee"

Elisabeth said...

A to the Men on this one. If you are in a situation where you may get a call that you know you'll need to take, it is as simple as saying, "I may get a call from X in which case, I need to be available" before the call comes in!

It drives me nuts how many people take calls, text, send emails during meetings and gatherings. Ugh. Let's write a book.

Texas Playwright Chick said...

HOLY FRICK! Unbelievably rude! Seriously folks, the recording before the show that asks you politely to turn off your cells, beeping watches, pagers, blackberries, etc....aren't just part of the entertainment!

bunny said...

WOW! Who knew the vitriol out there surrounding this subject?? :)