Using Your Cell Phone While Waiting in Line

The other day a friend of mine was shopping in the market and was stuck in a line with several other shoppers. One young woman must not have seen the line and instead decided to wait to the side while she chatted on the phone. A store employee pointed out her mistake but she continued to stand there. My friend decided to be helpful and alert her to the growing line of people behind her, so she could join the line before it got even busier. Instead, the woman snapped, “I’m waiting here, and I’ll just go after you.” My friend pointed out that several of the people behind her had been waiting longer, but the woman issued a snotty comeback. My friend was so flummoxed by this blatant rudeness that she was tempted to let the people behind her in line go ahead of her. Would it have killed this woman to simply wait her turn and join everyone else?

Nobody enjoys standing in line, but bad manners make the experience even worse. Almost as bad as the people who cut in line are those who spend the entire time loudly chatting on their cell phones, not bothering to end the conversation when they get to the till. Instead, they avoid contact and bark out their orders with their phone wedged between their shoulder and ear. They barely respond to the employee’s questions, and then take ages to get out their money and collect their belongings. Meanwhile, other customers are held up and left fuming.

When I got my nails done the other day another customer decided to make a phone call just as she was sitting down to a manicure. The poor manicurist could barely get hold of the woman’s hands, and yet it never occurred to the woman that perhaps it was rude and inconvenient to be chattering away while someone was trying to do her job.

Being aware of other people, especially when you’re using a cell phone in public, will make your day-to-day errands much more enjoyable and efficient. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been knocked into by someone who was too busy talking on their cell phone or playing with their iPhone to look up and see where they were going.

Are you letting your cell phone get in the way of civility? Hang up and return the call after you’ve conducted your business!

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