Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Make no mistake, I think cell phones are a great convenience, and mine gives me a feeling of security when I'm driving long distances alone. But some people take things to the extreme. Like the folks who yak while driving. Or worse yet teens who text and drive. And then there are folks who just won't turn off the cell phone in the theater or doctor's office. It's annoying enough to have the high point of a movie interrupted by someone's cell phone playing "Redneck Woman," but please spare me having to listen to you gripe about your ex-husband while I'm waiting to see the doctor.
Apparently I am not the only person who feels cell phone usage has gotten out of hand. Jacqueline Whitmore, founder and director of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, is also Sprint's etiquette spokeswoman and she's declared July to be National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. She thinks it's time to teach folks some basics.
Jacqueline said her masseusse once took a call during her massage. "This went on for five minutes while she was massaging my one shoulder with her one hand," said Whitmore.
Courtesy month has some rules including keeping calls private, not yelling on your cell and letting some calls just roll to voice mail. Ms. Whitmore says most people do the right thing but plenty don't. With more than two hundred fifty million users in the U.S., that's an awful lot of discourtesy. But maybe National Cell Phone Courtesy Month will catch on and some folks will realize the error of their ways.
Here's her etiquette quiz. We won't ask you to post your score. ;-)
1. When talking on a wireless phone in public, you:
a. Talk loudly. Cell phone connections are not that good.
b. Get caught up in the conversation and do not realize how loud you are talking.
c. Talk in a normal tone. Cell phone technology is so good that a whisper could be heard on the other end.
2. When entering a movie theater, you:
a. Turn your phone off or place it on silent so you will not disrupt others in the audience.
b. Put your phone on vibrate.
c. Keep your phone on its normal ringer, so you do no miss any calls.
3. You are in a meeting and your phone rings, you:
a. Don't worry about it ringing; you have already set your phone on silent.
b. Take the call. It is more important than the meeting you are in.
c. Remove yourself from the meeting to take the call. You have already alerted your colleagues that you are expecting a call.
4. You are out to dinner with friends at a restaurant and your phone rings, you:
a. Apologize and let the call go to voicemail. Then turn off the ringer.
b. Step outside to take the call. You had already told your friends that you are expecting a call.
c. Take the call at the table.
5. You are in the grocery store and your co-worker alerts you on your Walkie-talkie, you:
a. Let her know that you will contact her in 10 minutes when you're in the car.
b. Continue the conversation on speaker phone as you shop.
c. You turn off the speaker-phone to continue the conversation.
Answers: 1) c. 2) a. 3) a. 4) b. 5) c.
Got any cell phone rants of your own? My favorite is when the DH and I were in the book store and a man beside us got a cell phone call. It was his wife calling to find him in the store. Turns out she was on the other side of the aisle. Sheesh.
P.S. Another round of congrats to hometown girl Margaret Hoelzer who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swimming team again last Saturday night. This time it was in the 200 meter backstroke, and not only did she qualify, she set a new world record! Good going, Margaret! Let's bring home the gold for the USA!
P.P.S. Remember the story I blogged about last week? It's finished!!!!!!!!! Done. Complete. The End. Edited and submitted and it can never nag at my conscience again. Hallelujah! Now let's just hope they buy it.