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Cell phones at dinner parties

Posted by SAG1 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 9, 02 at 19:56

Jabbering on a cell phone at someone's else's sit-down dinner party while the food is being served? Rude, eh?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

If it was my dinner party, I would suggest that the guest take the call in another room- maybe on some pretense that the guest wouldn't have to try and hear that call over the table conversation. Either that or I'd poke the jerk in the eye.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Tacky, tacky!!
And the offender wouldn't be invited again.....unless of course it was an emergency phone call.
Linda C


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Totally tacky. I have just gotten to the point where I turn mine on when I go out alone. It is always off when I'm at work etc. It is only on so my family can reach me while I'm out and about. I think those who have them constantly attached to their ears are rude. Sorry if this offends anyone but we never carried our cordless phones to others homes or anything like that. I agree, don't invite them again, unless it was an emergency call. I still think they should have left the room.
I'll get off my soapbox now.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Went to the grocery last night, and the sheer number of cell-phone-talkers amazed me. Every last one of them was so into their conversation that they did not watch where they were going with the cart. I had to veer around them on every aisle. One lady talked the whole time. And it wasn't work-related. Just chatting to someone about their upcoming marriage, giving advice, gossiping, etc. She talked from the moment she got there, all thru the store, in checkout, and all the way back out to the car.

But the most odd one was in Disney, on It's a Small World, a mom was there with her child, on the ride, talking on the phone the whole time, so loudly, none of us could enjoy the annoying little ditty playing thru the ride :-)

Seriously, though, what must her child think, if mom is more into the phone conversation than the ride.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Incredibly rude! But I have also heard and seen much worse rudeness.

TreKaren,
That is exactly what it's like here where I live, day in and day out. My husband was nearly hit by three different drivers on cell phones the first month we lived here.
Going through Sea World, parents were losing their children because they were on the cell and not paying any attention.
In Hallmark an month ago, a mother lost her cell connection, and so finally turned around to see that she had left her daughter on the other side of the store. She started screaming for her, and then yelled at the daughter for wondering off from her. We had watched the Mother drift away from her daughter while having an argument on the phone with someone about them not going to a dinner party. Then she proceeded to dial her husband and try to keep connection for her five year old to talk to him. She fianlly just left the store so she could talk on the phone.
My best friend has a cell phone, and even though she drives and talks (trust me, she doesn't need that distraction), she never takes her phone into stores with her. She's actually extremely considerate when it comes to her cell phone use.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

OK, as a person who loves her cell phone, I feel the need to chime in here in defense of cell phones.

Rudeness is rudeness, regardless of whether a cell phone is involved. I don't think that the fact that a cell phone is involved is what makes it rude. Granted all of the above examples exhibit rudeness, but I would submit that the same behavior or similar sans phone would still be rude.

It isn't the phone that is rude, it's the people using phones.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

well, yeah. the phone, an inanimate object, isn't being rude. But I think people who are often considerate and thoughtful just lose it or something when it comes to those appliances.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Sarah, I also love my cell phone, if I had been at that dinner party, my phone would hav been turned on, but in the other room, and if it rang, I would have left the table to take care of the problem.
I don't understand why some people consider cell phones rude. If I were talking to a companion,instead of a phone, I don't think most would consider it rude.
My guess is most who are so honked off about cell phones, don't own one....or are disturbed by not being able to hear the other half of the conversation.
All of the people I see in stores and restaurants talking on cell phones would not be talking to me...even if they didn't have a cell phone.
Now....if I were somewhere with a friend, and their phone rang and they proceeded to carry on a long conversation, I would be mad....
But for strangers.....who cares if they are talking into a phone, or to the wall, or a phone booth.
Linda C


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I could care less what inane conversation most people choose to have on their cell phones. I have one, but it's ONLY for emergencies. I'm not crazy about a phone in the house let alone a phone that travels with me. When did we become a society so "in need" of constant contact? I say thank God for answering machines!!!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Linda,
At least you do agree that to be carrying on on the phone while with friends would be offensive to you.
I was offended at the store because they were so deep into their conversations that they simply were not watching what they were doing.

Unless you are a doctor on call or have a connection to the president's hotline or have some other reason to be on call, if you are at a dinner party and you answer your cell phone, I would not invite you back again (even if it were in the other room.) I am visualizing us sitting at the table in the middle of eating a meal that I put a lot of time and care into making, and your phone in the other room rings, and you excuse yourself to go chat with someone who was not invited to our little soiree. Cellphones are like uninvited guests.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Oh forgot this:
"My guess is most who are so honked off about cell phones, don't own one....or are disturbed by not being able to hear the other half of the conversation."

I do own a cellphone. And I could care less about hearing the other end of the conversation. I don't even want to hear the end I'm hearing.

Waiting in line to pay, listening to that woman going on and on about advise for the love-lorn. And I had heard her airing that other person's personal business and marital problems for the last 20 minutes while shopping. And I'm not eavesdropping. They carry on so loudly, that everone in the store knew their business.

Ok, so there is war and famine and other bigger issues to be "honked off" about in the world. So I can try to ignore the talkers in stores that are strangers if they can try to carry on the conversation without running me over with their cart. But if someone is a guest in my home, for dinner, then it is personal.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Sometimes people have to talk so loud over their cell phone- that's what makes it different from talking to a companion who is there. They stand there and broadcast their personal business over the background noies and static so bystanders can't help overhear. If you were walking through the store with your friend, discussing something personal, you would probably keep your voices down. And, yes I would think it was rude if you were both there and talking at that volume.

ps- I used to have a cell phone as my only phone, so I don't really fit Linda's "honked off" description.


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Follow up

I generally agree with everyone, because I think you have proved my point. Rudeness is rudeness, period. The mere act of owning or, lord forbid, using a cell phone is not in and of itself rude. But using one in a rude manner clearly is. Just as parents who refuse to control their children in a store or ar a party are rude.

Technology has no bearing on manners and vice versa.

(I must admit that I really don't get the general "I hate cell phones" mentality. I love mine and even *gasp* use mine in the store (though I hope I'm not yelling and I will be mindful of it in the future)).


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Hi Sarah,
I don't think owning a cell phone is rude, and I don't think anyone else would feel that way either. (It would be interesting to hear the justification for that thinking, wouldn't it? :)
It's just that cell phones are everywhere and so are rude people. There probably isn't any more rude people, but now many of them have a new way in which to be rude. (And I completely agree about the parents who do not control or teach any manners to their children. In fact, I really think it's great how many parents teach their children to purposely be greedy, pushy, and all around rude, but that's a totally different thread.)
I think, in general, manners are quickly going out the window for way too many people. It's sad and frustrating.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I'm confused....

Before cell phones I never would have left my hosts telephone number so that anyone who wished to get in touch with me ,for any reason, could. I certainly did for the babysiter but that's about it. Why now, just because the technology allows, would we allow ourselves to be interupted for unimportant matters when we are in the company of others?

My husband must be availalbe to his staff from time to time when a big project is "cutting over". Usually we don't accept dinner invitations (except from family and really close friends) when this happens.

Not because he thinks its rude for the cell phone to go off at dinner but because he knows how bad a hostess feels when a guest must leave the table, and the meal, for an undetermined amount of time....no fun watching a plate get cold at an empty seat. Both for the host and the guests.

I love my cell....it's always with me. It is a lifesaver in a busy family but it has its place and basic manner should prevail.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Sorry, but this is a major pet peeve for me.

I use my cell phone only when absolutely necessary, period. It is never ON, except when I turn it on to use it, which is infrequent. I don't mindlessly chat to pass away a few unenchanting minutes in the grocery store, I have the ability to focus on what it is I'm doing even if it's not the most exciting thing in the world.

I would not expect a guest in my home to respond to a cell phone call unless it's their kids calling. And then, I expect they would take it in another room (whoch they do).

I live in a handsfree cellphone state (NY) and see non-handsfree cell phone use ALL the time. No one seems to care. They're just busy chatting away without any regard to the people they're cutting off or slowing down because of their own selfishness.

I don't care to hear anyone's conversation, on the elevator, on the street, in the car next door, in the store, and ceraintly not in my home. And I certaintly don't want to hear YOUR conversation in the doctor's office. If someone is standing next to you and your conversing, fine. That;s very different from shouting into a phone and annoying the folks around you.

Technology sometimes allows folks to more publicly display their sellfish tendencies.

Sue


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Ok, thought about y'all yesterday. Went to see Road to Perdition. Not one, not two, but three people received phone calls during the movie. (not the previews but the movie).

Stay at home and rent, if you just can't stand to be out of touch for 2 little hours.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I totally agree (for that matter, I hate any lengthy audience conversation going on during the movie - I can't figure out why those people don't realize they're not in their own living room). I think cell phones have become the "security blankets" of the new millenium!

Lori


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I just have to wonder--who ARE all of these people talking to? Each other? I see them everywhere. In grocery stores, driving home from work, in airports (notoriously). I saw one on a skate board for crying out loud the other day. The best is when I walk past an outdoor bistro and see two people sitting at a table and BOTH are talking on their electronic leashes. I can only conclude they want to look hip and are talking to each other. I also find it amusing to see people on their hands free devices seemingly talking to themselves. I agree that the phones themselves are not rude and annoying, but they just give people another way in which to be rude and annoying.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Yes, it is the users who are rude. The poster who mentioned giving out the host's # was correct. Society has changed. I'm not against cell phones by any means, just the manner in which some use them. This is not the only way people are rude but it is a very visible one. My niece was married last Friday. At the reception during her father's speech. Someone's cell phone rang. They answered it. I was across the room and I heard her end of the conversation because she was YELLING. I'm not exaggerating. My BIL was trying to toast the bride and groom and this woman (don't know who invited her) kept saying things like Dad's giving his speech, they just cut the cake, they haven't started the dance. I told you I'm at a reception etc. Couldn't she have walked outside and carried on this conversation instead of repeating things more than once or yelling to be heard? If you feel you must accept all calls on cell phones, fine, but remove yourself. We never used to take our home phones with us, we missed calls. How is it different now? Emergencies are different or if the job requires it. Clods will be clods no matter what the instrument of rudeness may be.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Just my two cents - at the office, everyone wants privacy so they just naturally carry the phone outside of the meeting, or outside their cube before they answer it.

One time I was in a restroom at Rich's or Nordstroms and a woman actually answered her cell phone while she was sitting on the toilet. Never mind that other people were in there too. When I heard it ring, I said "please, don't answer that!" But I guess she couldn't stop herself.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

oh, Denise! you are KIDDING! That is the funniest thing I think I've ever heard. So was it life-or-death, or was she just chatting? Didn't she care that the other person would hear the flushing?

ROFL!!!!!!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

How things have changed...I used to try and stop peeing if someone entered the cubicle beside me, never mind invite a caller in to listen!!! LOL


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Denise,
I had the same thing happen at the mall a couple weeks ago! I heard her say "where am I?" I wanted to shout "in the bathroom," but I didn't and she told her that she was in the mall. So, I hurried and flushed. I left the restroom shaking my head. Some people!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Trek, Chase and Alice,

I wish I was making this up. But it's absolutely true. She was just chatting away and everyone else was making all the usual bathroom noises!! Some people are just, well, odd.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

There's a joke floating around about a man entering a rest area on the highway. another man comes into the bathroom as well into the next stall. He began saying things like, where are you going? to which the first gentleman replied. Another question such as how long are you staying? another reply. Finally the second man said, "where are you?" The first man said, "in the stall next to you". The second man says, I'll call you back. I can't hear what you're saying because the jerk in the next stall keeps talking to me.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Haha! hahaha! Mary, I like that joke! :) I have to send it to my husband now.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I refuse to get a cell phone. I don't need or want to be endlessly available. People who probably use to READ or LSITEN TO MUSIC, for example, on the bus, now jabber away on cell phones about trivialities. One woman called just to tell someone she was on the bus. Well, so were twenty other people. What did she do before a cell phone? The person she called probably knew she was on the bus, because that was her mode of transportation getting to and from work at about the same time each day.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I have mine in the car, mainly because I have a flaky car that leaves me stranded from time to time. Otherwise, it doesn't really get used when I'm out.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

SAGI,

Don't be to hard on cell phones, they really are very good when it's important to be in touch. It's just that so may people abuse them. As far as being endlessly available, the only people who have my cell number are my daughter, my son and my husband.....and I want to be availalbe to them.

Can't tell you the number of times my husband has called from the train to say there was a delay and he would be late getting in. Particularly important when you have little ones in the car with you and its hot out!

I have an almost 16 year old daughter. Next year when she is driving I want her to be able to get in touch with us if something happens to the car without having to walk in the dark to a pay phone!

And silly as it may sound to some, there are calls my husband makes from the grocery store, just to be sure he has got the right thing or to check and see if I need anything. Saved a lot of trips back out........

Cell phones are great when used properly. That would NOT be in a restraunt, at a dinner party or driving down a highway!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

SAG1 - I would definitely agree that talking on the cell phone at a sit down dinner party is really rude. I wouldn't be surprised if this person has exhibited other rude behavior in the past. But as for general cell phone usage, I wouldn't want to be without mine. In fact, just a few weeks ago, a lady side-swiped me on my way home from work and I had to chase her down the street to get her tag number. She finally pulled over. Let me tell you, she was really being threatening to me until she saw me pick up my cell and dial the highway patrol. I was very glad that I had my phone with me that day!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I am starting to become inured to cell phones and now accept them as part of today's culture and society. Though I still think many of the cell users described above are dolts! My main issue with them at this point is the asinine and wretched renditions of "tunes" the phones play when someone gets a call. And the volume as well! Yesterday, I jumped out of my seat when I was subjected to a loud and jarring version of "Phantom of the Opera." Hate the "William Tell Overture" too. Try to ignore that.

Funny thing is, the woman who received the call kept saying, "Hello?" "Hello?" She stayed on the bleepin' phone for five minutes--and I'm not exaggerating saying "Hello?" "Hello?" every 15 seconds. Wierd. Very wierd. Guess she really wanted someone to be on the other end.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Oh you would hate my ring-tones! Just for a joke, my phone plays the ancient song Iron Man (Black Sabbath) and New York, New York. If you think that's bad, my husband's choices are just as obnoxious.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Maybe your rings are annoying, Denise, but I just KNOW you won't carry your phone to the ladies room!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Now, Now! About a year ago, I was in the airport, just got off the plane and headed for the ladies' room. As I was "in position", my phone rang. I edged forward ( carefully!) grabbed the phone out of my bag, and it was my daughter saying, "I'm at baggage! Where are you??" Of course my answer was...."on the potty!"
I had to answer in case it was her saying she couldn't meet me for some reason.
So....while it seems incredible that someone would answer the phone from "the booth".....there are times when it's necessary!
Linda C


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

ROFL. That was good Linda C. The bladder waits for no phone call


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Linda, I'm having a good laugh - thanks.

Denise


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Off topic, but our home answering machine uses a micro-cassette tape. Recently, I thought it was on the fritz. DH realized the problem only occurs with messages left by cell phone users. I suppose a digital one would be better. Anyone know?


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

It's not your machine. Most likely the cell users are in a bad cell when they are leaving the message. Some cell companies are worse than others, and it depends on where you live. But I doubt if it is your machine.

Signed,
Karen (still trying to get the visual of Linda out of my head) ROFL!!!!!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Linda, thanks for my giggle of the day , like Karen I have this visual that won't go away!

I can handle answering a cell phone in the loo.....especially if DD is suppose to call with a pick up time and place...but making a call from the loo is beyond the pale!!!


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Linda, you are too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

Ann.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Two scenarios: one okay IMO, one not.

(1) Dinner party in a private home. Cell phone rings letting Mom know that daughter is in labor. Mom is daughter's substitute labor coach because the dad-to-be is down with the flu. Mom makes apologies all around and excitedly leaves for the hospital. Definitely okay.

(2) Old friends are in town and three couples go out to dinner at 8:00 on a Friday night. One of the people takes a 5-minutes business call at the dinner table. NOT okay.

Linda, thanks for the potty story -- got a good giggle out of that!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

One more potty story. (This is not as good as Linda's, that was too funny!)

Years ago I worked with a guy who was never without his two cell phones. Sometimes he would be on his desk phone and both cells on unrelated calls at the same time. One day, after being in the men's room for almost an hour, he came out and said that he was stuck in there because he had answered his phone and couldn't leave without flushing the urinal, but didn't want the other party to hear the flush.

BTW - My DH has found a use for a cell phone in a restaurant. He was having lunch, the place wasn't too busy, and the staff was hanging out at the front not paying attention to the customers. So he called his office and asked them to look up the number of the restaurant for him. Then he called it, placed his order and told them which table to bring it to. He got much better service after that!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I started carrying a cell phone years ago when my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was also the mother of 2 children and a full time college student. I kept my phone on even during classes (with the instructors permission); I did turn it off during testing. I also sat in the back of the room and if the phone ever rang, I left the class. Due to the understanding of my instructors and classmates, I was able to be in touch during a very difficult time. Often my Mom would tell me how reassured she was that I could be reached, how much peace it brought her during our regular phone calls. I never had to take an emergency call during class for the 2 years my Mom survived after diagnoses!

My husband takes his phone with him everywhere; he is always on call for his work and is required to answer. When we are entertaining or guest in another home, I (or he) briefly explain the cell phone requirement. There have been many times when he not only has had to take a call, but leave to go to the office.

Well, that is my take on cell phones. (We don't go to movies often -- due to the phone requirement! We order in more than go out, all in order to lessen the impact of our phones on others)

Susan


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Denise,

Well, I sure thought of this thread just now. I went to the bathroom, and there is a lady in there, sitting on the pot, pants around her ankles, talking to her mortgage broker, trying to close on her loan!!! Everyone flushing all around, all the 'noises', etc. And she's just sitting there, doing business while doing her business!

Stuff like discussing why there were bad entries on her credit report, and "Ok, where do you need me to fax that to?"

Do you think she was jotting down the fax number on the TP???

Unbelievable.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

I can't think straight on the phone and in line at the store or at the public restroom. I must have an old brain! But, if I had a guest at my dinner table, and his/her phone rang, and they answered it, in front of my other invitees, I would stand up (as hostess) go to his/her side, gently lift his/her elbow with the phone to their ear, and in this fashion, mouth the words "take the call in the other room". Lift the arm of the person holding the phone, so that they must stand at the pressured urging and
1) make it clear they can't take their call there
2) frees the rest of the group for continued conversation
3) gives the caller his/her privacy
4) Which they won't need for much longer, 'cuz they ain't coming to my place again for supper!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Twice I have received calls from business associates who were quite obviously calling from the restroom (the background noises and room echoes left no doubt). All I can say is if you are sooooo busy that you have to make your business calls during trips to the bathroom it may be time to adust your schedule. BTW, the mental picture that comes to mind of the caller is not the most flattering. If you are trying to assert an air of authority do not make calls from the john.

I agree cell phones are a necessary part of life now, I have one. But just like everything else, there is a right time and wrong time to use them. Stuck in traffic and late for an appointment? Right time. Driving 40 mph, swerving in and out of the left lane on a crowded highway (because you can't drive and talk at the same time)? Wrong time. At a dinner party seated at the table with other guests? Wrong time. Are these people going to change just because they irritate me? Nope. :^)


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Karen,

Ewwww! Maybe I'm too old fashioned, but I couldn't bring myself to discuss the details of a mortgage or my credit report in public. And in a public restroom? What if you're sitting next to someone who ... oh never mind!


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

From this week's Dear Abby:
DEAR ABBY: My husband travels all over the state of Florida as a disc jockey. He provides musical entertainment at weddings, conventions, school dances and corporate events. I recently accompanied him to an evening wedding that was held at an upscale country club.

No sooner had the ceremony begun when a young woman entered, crossed the center aisle and sat down. A moment later, her cell phone began to ring. Instead of turning off the phone, the woman took the call! She got up, walked in front of the videographer, and stood next to my husband and me behind our equipment while speaking loudly to the caller throughout the entire ceremony.

Although countless guests turned around and glared at her, she never once stopped to consider that perhaps her phone conversation was disrupting the bride and groom as they recited their vows, or that her voice would be the only one picked up by the videographer's microphone.

I felt so embarrassed I actually hid behind our equipment in order to avoid the murderous stares from the guests. Only after the ceremony was over did she finally end the call. To add insult to injury, her date arrived right before dinner wearing tennis shoes, shorts and a T-shirt with a nearly naked woman on the back.

Our society seems to have lost touch with any inkling of decent conduct. -- STILL SHOCKED IN FLORIDA

DEAR SHOCKED: How sad that a guest or someone in the wedding party was not assertive enough to escort the woman out of the room. However, since no one was willing to do so, whoever was officiating should have halted the ceremony and firmly instructed her to either end the call or complete it outside.

P.S. It appears she and her date are made for each other.


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

TrekKaren,
I read that recent Dear Abby piece the other day and was flabbergasted! In fact, i read it aloud to my DH (something I rarely do, but that is how innerved I got!) We both agreed to the true rudeness of the receiver of the call, and the lack of etiquette today's society has. We aren't old, nor are we young, but when and where, did common sense and plain old courtesy, and the parental taught value known as "respect" go out of town?


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RE: Cell phones at dinner parties

Wow, what a topic!

I have to say that cell phone usage is gotten WAY, WAY out of control. People chatting aimlessly at the store, on the road, wherever is becoming the norm (My favorite response to a particularlly cell phone user is a loud 'HAAAANG UP!!!!' right next to them.

On the other hand, I usually carry my cell phone - I support a computer system that is supposed to be live 24*7 and if something goes wrong I need to know about it.

My solution is to put the phone on 'Vibrate Only' mode and keep it my pocket. If it goes off in a social setting, I politely excuse myself, determine who it is, answer it if necessary (these things DO have voicemail you know) handle the call quickly, and make my apoligies to the host/hostess.

Once my Mom took my partner and I and another couple to a very, very nice resturant and I had forgotton to select the vibrate mode and just as we were being seated the dammed thing went off. Of course, I looked around with a very indignant look to see who it belonged to. Needless to say, I was quite embarassed when I realized it was mine and, excusing myself on the way, took it immediately outside. I then returned with a sheepish look on my face and apoligized to my mom and the others about the gaff.

Sometimes they are necessary, and sometimes they are not. Its just like any technology - its the people using it that control the behavior.

And, I too have been a resturants where the man is on the cell phone, the woman gets bored and pick up her's and starts talking to someone else also. If my companion did that, I woull call him/her on the cell phone and ask the to get the *##*! of the phone!


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