One of the problems with the proliferation of cellphones is the lack of cellphone etiquette. Now those who know me well will tell you that etiquette and I are distant cousins. That is not to say that I have no manners, I do, but I prefer to be informal.
I don’t crazy about a lot of the rules but try to live in a manner that is not bereft of courtesy and respect for other people.
The problem with many users of cellphones is that they forget that they are part of a world in which others exist. Sometimes the lack of courtesy is just annoying and sometimes it is dangerous. Sometimes it can lead to acts of cellphone rage.
If you are on your cellphone and you are shouting there is a problem. I am not interested in your conversation and if I am placed in a situation in which I am forced to be a part of it I may choose to participate by making loud noises.
If you insist on trying to carry on your conversation within the confines of the elevator you are not giving me a choice as to whether I want to be involved and I may opt to use the flatulence defense in which I utilize nature’s gift and unleash my own weapon of mass destruction upon you.
If you are in the locker room and you turn on the speakerphone so that you can continue to speak while you dress or undress I may decide to unleash another WMD upon you, that is, I will sing loudly and drown out your conversation.
A couple of years ago I was staying at the Grand Hyatt at 42nd and Lexington and was trapped in an elevator with three people who all tried to use their cellphones within the elevator. I ended up unleashing two of my personal WMDs upon them.
I then forced my way out to the street and proceeded to stroll over to 309 West 49th Street. At least I began strolling until I reached Times Square and found out that I had another solid six minutes of walking ahead of me. At that moment I realized that I was going to be late and suffered a slightly different bout of cellphone rage as I realized that T-Mobile’s crappy connection was going to prevent me from giving notice to the people that I was supposed to meet with.
This was further exacerbated by the jerk who tried to convince me to go with him to Rockerfeller Center to see a show being taped and at the same time kept up a conversation on his cellphone.
I am sure that the person he was speaking with heard me say “no thank you,” which was followed by a relatively aggressive “get off the fucking phone so that you can hear me say no” all because he persisted in asking me again and again. Had he ended his cellphone conversation he might have heard me politely say “no thank you.”
One more comment about this. If I join you for a meal at a restaurant and you take a call you better be prepared for me to eat your meal. It is just my way of thanking you for spending time with me.
I love being a curmudgeon.