voice mail is a tool.

Last quarter I posted (ranted) about my biggest cell phone pet peeve.

I have another one.

Why do people have to answer the phone EVERY time it rings? Is it not your phone? Your life? Do you not have voice mail? Why? Why? Why?

I have a cell phone. It’s not like I don’t get calls. But here’s my cell phone etiquette:

If I’m actually involved in a conversation with someone face to face and my phone rings, I subtlety look at the caller id (seriously, everyone has caller id), then:

If I don’t recognize it, I let it go to voice mail and continue talking with the person standing in front of me.

If I recognize it, I think: is this a possible emergency? Is it my kid’s school? A family member? If not, I let the call go to voice mail. If it is a possible emergency, I say “I”m sorry, excuse me, this is XXX and I need to make sure everything is okay.” Then answer it, and if possible, ask the person if I can call them back.

If I’m expecting a call when I begin a face to face? At the beginning of the conversation, I say, “I’m expecting a phone call I really need to take, so if my phone rings while we’re taking, . . . “

Take back your life. Talk on the phone when YOU want to. Treat the person in front of you like they’re important. Make them feel important by continuing to talk with them – even if your phone rings.

We can hear you.


Why do people talk so loudly on cell phones? Why do they think that it’s okay to talk on a cell phone anywhere?

There is a place and a time.

My biggest cell phone pet peeve?

People who talk on their cell phone at a restaurant table.

My husband and I disagree on this one, so the (forced) compromise is that when he’s at a restaurant table with me, he takes his little crackberry phone to the lobby or outside with the smokers to talk on the cell. Either that or he becomes increasingly distracted from the phone call because of all the gesturing I’m doing. (Making a phone out of my hand and then fingers walking. Or even better, using my little phone hand to HANG UP.)

Step two is major “FACE” when he doesn’t move it. He hasn’t ever stayed at the table long enough for Step 3 – me making up embarrassing and overhearable comments, like “are you ordering ANOTHER drink? What is that? Six?” or “Is that the jerk you were telling me about?”

He’s never pushed me that far. I think he suspects step three. He knows me. I’m annoying that way.

What do I do to strangers who talk on their cell phones at a restaurant table?

I listen.

VERY obviously. Nodding the head. Shaking the head. Pretending to laugh at the funny stuff. Commenting to others about what I just heard.

Hey. If you don’t want me to join in the conversation, don’t make me a part of it.