Cell Phone Etiquette for Freaking Morons

Over the past few days, I’ve been following news about pre-ordering Star Wars: The Old Republic. This, happily, includes following Twitter for juicy tidbits of info.  A tweet by @grumpygamer tonight reminded me of some of the abject cell phone stupidity that I’ve seen. Of course, I just had to write up a blog post about it for you, my Trusty Friends.

He tweeted this:

He’s not the first one who’s heard a credit card being given out.  I regularly hear conversations with all sorts of fascinating information.  In fact, if I were a National Enquirer reporter, I’d just sit on one of the commuter trains in Chicago, New York, or Washington, DC and listen to people talk on their cell phones. I’d have enough information in 2 hours of rush hour traffic to fill 15 issues at least.  Unfortunately, you can’t do that in LA because everyone is still stuck somewhere in “Carmageddon”. They might get out of their traffic jam in about, oh, 18.2 years.

So, let’s review the basic rules of Cell Phone Etiquette for Freaking Morons.

1. Don’t text and drive. If you must text and drive, stay the heck off my roads, and by “my roads” I mean “all roads in the contiguous lower 48 United States, and Alaska and Hawaii because they’re totally cool, too.”  This especially goes for the chicky who ran into us last New Year’s Eve because she was looking at her phone instead of the road in front of her while driving 50 mph. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Good thing her dad had great insurance coverage.

2. Don’t give your credit card number out over the phone in the middle of a crowd of people.  You may as well stand on the 50 yard line of the Superbowl with a mic and yell, “Hi! My name is Joe Moron! My credit card number is 0000-3333-0000-3333 (note: not a real number), and the expiration date is 2/2011. Have a GREAT time ordering crap off eBay, Amazon, and all the porn sites you can imagine on my tab!” 
3. Don’t give out your clients’ personal info over the phone while sitting in an airport. This actually happened when I was at O’Hare waiting on a flight.. A guy in a row in front of me rattled off the name, full address, and phone number of one of his clients–in the MIDDLE OF THE BUSIEST AIRPORT IN THE WORLD.  I thought about copying down all the info and handing it to him, and then asking for his business card so that I could make sure never to do business with him. EVER.
4. Turn off your phone in church, or at LEAST silence the darn ringer! I can assure you that the soloist singing “Ave Maria” will do just fine without your ringtone accompaniment of Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”. 
5. Turn off your ringer in the doctor’s office. I honestly had a patient SITTING IN THE CHAIR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EXAM answer his phone and talk about what pizza toppings he was going to order that night (pepperoni and mushroom if you care to know).  He wasn’t even polite enough to ask me if I’d like some, too.
6. Turn off the text notification while in the doctor’s office. The temptation to look at it and reply is apparently too great for some of you. I was trying to take the medical history of a patient when she decided to answer a text. She kept her phone between her legs and tried to hide the fact that she was typing in her response while (not) answering my questions. I had the distinct urge to a. grab the phone and throw it across the room or b. tell her “You know, if you’ve got your hands frantically moving between your legs, it usually means one of two things, both of which don’t need to be done in public. By the way, you’re doing a crap job of trying to hide that you’re texting. How about you go do that in the waiting room until you’ve figured out that Facebook can wait 15 FREAKING MINUTES while I do your exam?”  Somehow, I maintained a little more control.
7. Your inability to hear your conversation due to crowd noise around you does not translate into our need to hear you answer at the volume of 220 decibels. 
8. Contrary to popular opinion, I really CAN live without hearing the following:
  • How drunk you got last night
  • How much you puked after getting drunk last night
  • What color your puke was after getting drunk last night
  • How much of an ass your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend is
  • Or, worse, ARGUING with your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend–with wars, famine, and weather catastrophes, no one really cares about your petty problems.
  • Where and when you’re meeting your meth dealer
  • Your conversation with the 900 sex talk girl
  • Which friend is sleeping with what other friend, or breaking up with what friend, or is getting un-invited to what friend’s party–if I want a soap opera, I’ll watch “The Young and the Restless“, thank you.
  • How unfair it was that you just got fired, and then a discussion of what happened before you got fired. Protip: if you’re defending your action, a. it probably was stupid, and b. you deserved to get fired for it.
9. Texting while in the middle of a candlelight dinner at a fancy restaurant is Right Out, even if you’re texting your date.
10. Turn your phone’s ringer off during operas, all theater performances, school concerts, speeches, and other public events. People, shockingly, pay to hear the performance, not you. I guarantee you if your phone rings during a play and an actor on stage stops in the middle of his Hamlet soliloquy to make a snarky comment to you, I will laugh my butt off, and then cheer when you get escorted out by security.
11. Do not eat and text. You will get ketchup on your keys.
12. Do not take photos of your nether regions with your cell phone camera, upload them, and then send copies to all your friends. As a medical professional who’s worked in hospitals for many years, I’ve seen it all, and I guarantee you that your junk is not in any way remotely comparable to Chippendale men. I will not be in awe. I will squint at that tiny thing and giggle.
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    2 comments on “Cell Phone Etiquette for Freaking Morons

    1. Try telling someone here not to speak loudly, is akin to an insult. Here it's a point of disrespect to speak to anyone in a normal voice and/or a whisper. It means you have nothing to hide and is not threatening the person you are talking to. It's a tradition from way back in pre-history and it is never going away. Not even in this digital age of ours. Sighhh.

    2. Heh–in the US it's considered disrespectful to shout at someone, and you're supposed to keep your voice down and not bother anyone in public. I think that's from our Puritan background to be reserved.

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