I often say that I write on this blog in order to stay sane. I have a lot of garbage floating around in my mind and it requires a home, otherwise I run the risk of exploding. Thursday morning, my husband and I arrived at work very early. Sadly, we were greeted with an insanely long line at security and the 15 minutes we shaved off our arrival was for nothing. We still managed to get to our desks before our scheduled time, or at least I did, as my hubby stopped off at the store for a drink and snack. I walk in and set my bag down, only to be greeted by a man standing two feet away from my chair having a loud conversation on his cell phone.
“Yeah! Well, I don’t know what HE was thinking, but that’s NOT how WE do it! Yeah! Uh huh! No! NO! No way! Well, here’s what I think!”
Five minutes or so go by of this guy barking into his phone as I boot up my computer and get some emails out. As I log into one of the systems I need to do my super important work, my phone rings. Finally, I think, this guy is going to back off! No one can be so rude as to stand there wailing while someone is at their desk attempting to take a call. Silly me. Not only does the guy not quit talking and move out into the hallway, or at least a few steps away from my desk, he get louder and shoots me a dirty look as I attempt to hear the request from the state on the other line.
My call requires me to contact another department, so I hang up and get right on the second call. The guy gives me another dirty look, switches the phone to his other hand and goes into a string of “let me tell you’s” to the person on the other end. After fifteen full minutes of hearing this dude and trying to do my job, I’m able to wrap up my calls (which sadly I can’t take out into the hallway) and I crank up my ipod to tune this douchebag out. To this douche, and to others like him, I say the following:
1. If in an office, someone is at their desk and you are also at their desk, you are in THEIR space. If you must take a call on your cell phone, step into the hallway like a decent human being rather than annoy someone whose phone is stuck to their desk.
2. If you are in a moving vehicle and you happen to also be driving, your hands should be full of steering wheel and free of cell phone. No conversation is that important. If it is, buy a freaking Bluetooth.
3. If you are in a movie theater, your Facebook updates can wait until the end credits. The asshole who doesn’t silence or talks on the phone in a theater is just as much of an asshole as you if you’re sending texts and updating your profile while the movie plays.
4. If in a long line (bank, DMV, etc) your phone rings or you feel the urge to chat and it’s not an emergency situation, let the call wait until you’re out of line. Don’t be the jerk that squeals into their phone and forces other people trapped in line to hear the latest gossip in your office.
5. If you are working and a customer enters your establishment while you are on a call, take three seconds to put your hand over the receiver and tell them to please give you a minute. If you’re not doing something work-related, terminate the damn call. If not, make sure you don’t leave your customer standing there like an idiot while you chat away obliviously.
6. If you’re the customer and you plan on being serviced by an employee, put your damn phone away. Yes, they are paid to assist you. No, they are not paid to get a finger to their face while they try to help you because you’re too busy trying to decide what you and your husband want for dinner.
7. If you’re in the middle of a conversation with anyone and your phone rings, excuse yourself prior to taking the call. If it’s not urgent, shut the ringer off and let the call go to voicemail so you can wrap up the exchange with the person right in front of you. ESPECIALLY if you are in a meeting.
8. If you’re like me and a fan of ring and message tones that can annoy certain people, adjust accordingly and either mute your phone in certain settings or have a secondary profile with generic rings and beeps. It didn’t kill me to change my text tone because it drove my husband crazy, and it won’t kill you either.
9. If you’re using speaker phone, don’t. Seriously, just don’t. It’s loud, everyone sounds like a weird chipmunkish alien, and most of the time it’s unnecessary. Turn up the volume, get a hands free set, pull the car over, do ANYTHING but use speaker phone unless you’re in the company of no one but yourself.
10. COMMON SENSE WINS! If you think it might be rude, unsafe, or if it would bother you if you were the person without the phone, don’t do it! Use the thing between your ears and don’t live and die by the damn phone.