Drop A Dime Time

Long weekend here, and Blinq turns the controls over to you, with a theme: other people's obnoxious cellphone conversations. Comment on what intrusion has annoyed you most. The guy at the next table, ruining your lunch because he's chewing out his secretary? Or in the next stall? Dime them out, folks. The lady who ruined a Maine climb for me by crowing, "You'll never guess where I am" into her phone at a spectacular clearing? It's get-even time. Looking for short and tart, with a little set-up and dialogue. Go for it.

KRT Illustration

William Young
Posted 05/27/2005 03:50:19 PM

I call this phenomenon Analog Snobbery. I've written about it at my blog in response to this post, which is a perfect example of the condition.

Posted 05/27/2005 04:56:24 PM

My pet peeve are these Nextel walkie-talkies. You get to overhear both ends of somebody's banal conversation. It's sort of like visiting William Young's blog. Will, you ever wonder why less than 10 people visit your blog every day and nobody leaves any comments?

Daniel Rubin
Posted 05/27/2005 05:02:09 PM

Guys, guys! Need scenes here. Dialogue. Looking for snarkiness about unnamed people in this particular playroom, please.

Owen Leshner
Posted 05/28/2005 06:34:22 AM

There should be some etiquette in using the cell phone in public - The other day a guy is having a conversation while at the front of the line at a Dunkin Donuts counter and holding up 6 people behind him because he had to finish his conversation before ordering. When the next person tried to intercept and order ahead of him, the DD counter person wouldn't allow the out of turn scene to happen. HOW RUDE!

Katrina Pinkey
Posted 05/28/2005 10:51:43 AM

I hate the people who use the nextel walkie talkie phones incorrectly. I have one and people on public transportation or in the streets can never hear my conversations. I don't have the volume on super loud and speaker phone when talking. I don't let my phone ring for minutes to annoy others with loud and horrible sounding ring tones. People just don't have respect for each other anymore.

Posted 05/28/2005 10:58:37 AM

Great question. What I find most annoying are the people who, in the middle of an amazing experience, interrupt that experience to call someone and tell them that they are having an amazing experience, thereby ruining the amazing experience of everyone around them. Case in point: my wife is a big U2 fan, and last Sunday, we spent all day waiting in line in front of the Wachovia Center to get good spots in the General Attendance area (GA tickets allow you to be closer to the band; but the downside is that you have to stand through the whole show, and can't leave to go to the bathroom, lest you lose your spot). We ended up getting a coveted spot against "the rail," and during various parts of the show, we were just a few feet from Bono as he sang. The woman standing next to me was obviously a U2 fanatic. Like us, she had waited all day to get a similar spot. Just before the show started, she pulled out a sharpie marker and made a sign saying "Adam is the BOMB." At one point, Adam (the bassist) walked around the peremeter of the stage and came close to where we were standing. This woman held out the sign towards him. He looked over, and it caught his eye. After reading it, he looked at her and gave her a little bow of the head in thanks. I am not kidding when I say that this woman almost literally swooned on the spot. She kind of fell back as if she had been hit, and her face flushed. I patted her on the back and said "now you can die happy!" Well, not a minute later, while the band was still playing, she was shouting into her cell phone about the incident, telling some friend about what had happened. And I felt like turning to her and saying, "you know what? I didn't spend $50 for a ticket and then wait all day in line to hear you yammering into your cell phone! This is a show, dammit! Please shut up!" But, of course, I didn't say anything. I didn't want to be rude.

Posted 05/28/2005 02:44:10 PM

I ride the R5 in from the burbs, and on that train no one seems to be shy about talking loudly on his or her cell phone. In fact, if you want to know what's going on with major business transactions or interesting court cases, listen to people on the R5...insider information at its best. But my worst cell phone incident on that train didn't involve lawyers or business professionals -- it involved a 13- or 14-year old old girl in a Catholic school uniform who was dropping the F-bomb like nobody's business. This little girl was cute. Seriously, not the kind you'd expect to be talking like Pinky Tuscadero. I stared over my shoulder and was incredulous to his this little kid (actually, I have a sone that age, so she wasn't all that little) talk like...a drunken sailor, or Britney Spears. "F this and F that, and omigod, that's so like F'ing kewl." The funny part was that none of the business people on the train said a thing. Kind of that Kitty Genovese thing without all the bad stuff. Just F-bombs. At full volume, of course. I'm old school. My father was born in 1924, and I wasn't even allowed to say the word "pregnant" in my house until I was an adult even though my mother was "in the family way" nearly every year. So...I got up. Didn't ask. Just said, "Put that phone away." And she did. When she got off the train at Devon she mouthed the words "F*** you." Nice. They didn't teach that stuff at the Catholic school I went to. "I'm sorry" woud have been enough.

Karen M
Posted 05/28/2005 06:24:01 PM

Unfortunately, it isn't just the cell phones that I try to avoid on the R3 line, but also the crackle&hiss from the headsets of those whose hearing has been so badly damaged at concerts that they can't hear their tunes without subjecting the rest of us to them, too; and then there's the group of women who visit and chat together on the train, each one talking as loudly as any cell phone chatterers, except that there are several of them all at once. All I want is an empty seat surrounded by other people with books or newspapers and no head phones of any type. Worse, though, is feeling trapped in an elevator with someone on a cell phone telling another person (presumably also on a cell phone) that they're on an elevator, and thus may lose their connection... while being squashed against the rear wall by another oblivious someone wearing a backpack, and, yes, wearing those blasted headphones. My building's elevators are small, slow, creaky and unpredictable, but I'll still sometimes wait for the next car.

Posted 05/29/2005 09:38:51 AM

I rarely pay attention to others conversations because I listen to my walkman. Sometimes, I am the one making the annoying conversation on my cell phone. Don't hate me because my life is more interesting than yours. Otherwise, why would you be listening? Silence is over-rated in this city where people are piled one ontop of the other like sardines. Let those without sin cast the first cell phone.

Posted 05/29/2005 10:51:45 AM

I went out to dinner last night and heard almost as much ringing as conversation. Maybe we need a "turn your phone on vibrate rule" in restaurants. Dan, I linked you on my site because I find myself looking you up the Future almost every day. I hope that you don't mind being on my link list given the sometimes erotic content on my site. If you would rather not be on my list, I won't be offended.

Posted 05/29/2005 01:01:34 PM

I think I've grown immune, or was never susceptible to getting irate over people on cell phones :) Except for the obvious things like answering a cell phone in a movie theatre or during a meeting or whatnot. During my job interview my phone rang... I was embarrassed but I still got the job. I didn't answer it, but it was my Dad asking how the interview went, ironically. Good thing because I wouldn't have started going to Philly.com more frequently and would never have found this site and been able to post garbage comments like this one :)

Daniel Rubin
Posted 05/29/2005 02:30:02 PM

I called my son, asking how his reading for a part in play went. He was in the middle of it when he answered the phone. Was cool enough about his uncool dad that it didn't keep him from getting the part.

Posted 05/29/2005 04:23:24 PM

I'm in my 70's and have had a cell phone since they first came out. It has been used twice - both times, minor emergencies! Cell phones are the most abused electronic devise to be invented not to mention dangerous and annoying! What happened to good manners?

Posted 05/30/2005 12:10:44 AM

I hate 'em, but I had to get one out of necessity. Pay phones are all but dead. I had an emergency phone call I needed to make last winter while at an event at the relatively new Giant Center in Hershey (opened 2002). When I asked a security guard why couldn't I find a bank of pay phones, he replied "phone company came by and took them out. No one uses them anymore, and they were losing money." So the evil cellie has, alas, been forced upon me. I use it as little as possible.

Posted 05/30/2005 02:04:43 AM

I think it's time for a "cone of silence"... http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/30/technology/30hillis.html?

Karen M
Posted 05/30/2005 10:21:59 AM

Sorry, someone using either or both headphones and a cell phone really does not have a more interesting life than I do. They are simply interrupting the thinking space around me that I am trying to use for my own purposes, which does NOT include istening to their inane conversations. Unfortunately, the volume is usually enough to require extra effort just to tune it out. I am now considering getting my own headphones in self-defense, but not with sound, just something to ensure quiet.

Posted 05/30/2005 03:44:44 PM

We're in a little bar/restaurant in Peddler's Village. Our Saturday outings are for the express purpose of leaving our children with our respective husbands and catching up on that weeks trials and tribulations in a kid-free environment. One might think that a pub might provide that space... There are two girls sitting beside us on the 'waiting to be seated' benches. They are young (rough guess -mid to late 20's) and they have five screaming, jumping and leaping kids between them. They were both dressed to the nines -Louie bags, BCBG shoes, Citizens of Humanity jeans... one of the kids was even wearing Baby Prada shoes. Topping of the twirling, squealing and whining of the aforementioned offspring was the incessant ringing of their mobile phones (you may have already guessed that neither had an actual ring, but the 'it' song of the week)... Honest to God excerpts of conversation spoken loudly enough that people at the bar were turning from their rapt attention of the Army/Navy game: ..."Weeellll, is the Ball gown pressed yet?" "But she Proooomised it would be done today and now I'm with the KIDS...I don't have time to get to Neiman's..." "Alley's on the phone with Marta right now and ...can you believe this...I don't think her gown is ready! ...Do I smell someone getting fired?! "Can you believe she suggested she wear the sage dress from the Billington party?" ...and so the 20 minutes of conversation went, seemingly with each and ever person they had every met or whom was in their employ. God bless the waiter, who sensing our chagrin, seated up far far away from the two little Miss Thangs....

Citizen Mom
Posted 05/30/2005 07:32:45 PM

I once conducted an editorial board interview with a bunch of candidates running for some local race up in Monmouth County. During the interview, one of the candidates' phones rang. He answered it! Then, still sitting at the table where one of his opponents was trying to continue with his spiel, this jerk proceeded to chat for a minute until he saw us all giving him the hairy eyeball. He hung up. The phone rang -- no lie -- TWICE more before we finally told him to either leave or turn the thing off. Suffice to say, he didn't receive our endorsement.

Matt Horan
Posted 05/31/2005 01:28:31 AM

Great article! Billy Crystal does it best. http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/crystal%20upset%20by%20cellphones

Posted 05/31/2005 09:13:58 AM

A few years ago, I attended a Penn State alumni breakfast where Vanguard founder John Bogle was the speaker. A woman who was sitting directly in front of Bogle had left her cell phone on, and it rang twice before Bogle interrupted his own speech and politely said, "You're going to have to take care of that." Anyone else would have immediately silenced their phone in extreme embarrassment. But this woman let her phone ring a THIRD time before she finally left the room and answered the call. Worst of all, it turned out that she was a representative from the university and made a brief announcement shortly after Bogle's address. In public places, yelling at a cell phone offender can cause an even bigger commotion than the original cell phone conversation. Fortuntately, there is a solution — you can simply give the person a discreet handout: Story: http://www.coudal.com/shhh.php PDF: http://www.coudal.com/shhhcards.pdf

Posted 05/31/2005 09:19:56 AM

wow -- great link, monorail mike.

daniel rubin
Posted 05/31/2005 09:45:46 AM


Posted 06/01/2005 07:01:18 PM

Loved this article today. Sorry if it's not an active link... http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/finalword/2005-05-31-final-word_x.htm

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