Get off the phone. I mean it. Get off the phone. I don’t want to hear your conversation, I don’t want to be jarred by your ringtone, I don’t want to hunt for a Bluetooth in your ear to assure myself you’re just a douche on a Bluetooth, not a ranting loony. Actually, I’d like it better if you were a ranting loony.
Please, please, please get off the phone especially in the following five places:
The Car: Seriously, we’ve all been over this a million times. It’s not safe to talk on the phone and drive. Especially if you’re holding the phone with your hand. Think I’m wrong? OK, try this. Hold your phone to your ear. Now try to turn your head that direction. Hard, huh? Your field of vision on that side is pretty compromised, huh? EXACTLY!!! Hang up the phone and drive. Especially if your kids are in the car. Or if my kid is in my car because I definitely don’t want you crashing into us because you just HAD to share the details of your date from last night.
While Shopping: I can almost promise you that no one in Target wants to hear you catch up with your sister about the stomach bug all of her kids had. Least of the all the clerk who is ringing up your purchases. So, hang up the phone, make eye contact with the staff member helping you, and say thank you when they’re done instead of just muttering “Hang on” into your cell so you can scribble your name on the receipt. If I were the cashier and you were paying me so little attention, I’d ring everything up twice just to show you what happens when you don’t focus on the task at hand.
At the Playground with Your Kids: I’m going to tell you a true story. I was at a park this summer watching my kid run around while gritting my teeth over the sound of a rapid-fire cell phone conversation from a woman on a nearby bench. After a few minutes, I heard another mom yell “Who’s child is that? That baby is in the street!”. Sure enough, a toddler was sitting on the road by the park. Cell-phone mom managed to hang up long enough to retrieve him but she resumed talking shortly thereafter. Luckily, her son had become interested in the bubbles I’d brought for my son and spent the remainder of his time at the park mooching fun off of us. They left after a while but that lady never thanked the woman who saved her kid from being run over or me for playing with him when she was too chatty to bother. So, yeah. Get off phone at the park, ok?
On Public Transportation: In my town there are two kinds of phone conversations that happen on public transportation: loud arguments and loud posturing calls designed to indicate a serious level of professional importance. Both types are usually committed by people in their 20s. For the ones fighting with their significant others on the phone, I’m always tempted to turn around and obviously and avidly listen in, just to remind them that they are in public. For the latter, I want to tell them that truly important people don’t talk on the phone in public because truly important work is best not broadcast to everyone on the Red Line platform at Metro Center. Just sayin’.
In Any Public Restroom: I can’t believe I even need to list this one because it seems so obvious. But it is apparently not common sense. But really, talking on the phone on the crapper? When there is someone else in the next stall? The disrespect going on in this scenario is really mind-blowing. Whenever this happens to while I’m in the restroom I wish I’d eaten more fiber so that I could emit the kind of noises that would make it abundantly clear to whoever you’re talking to, where exactly you are. And I hope it’s your boss.