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Monday, May 24, 2010


Jemima Aslana


I find it SO rude when people talk on their phones while in the company of others. The least they could do is move further away, so their off-party convo won't disturb the in-party convo. But nope, that's becoming very unusual these days.

And yes, it's rude. And I'm only 25. One thing is when they leave a conversation because they have to take a call. At that I can be miffed, but it's not my place to judge what has more value to them. But if they actively break off an on-going convo to call someone else, *that* is rude. And both things will be very rude if they insist on inflicting their half of the conversation on the hapless bystanders.

I hate it. I try to make people around me understand that it's incredibly rude, but I think it's a product of the times, or rather of the mega-offices, where multitudes of people talk on the phone and to each other on-off at the same time for an entire workday. That's gotta move some boundaries, and by now it's seeped out of the offices and into everything else.

But that's just my pet theory :P It's based on some of my super-polite friends also doing this, and those who do are all office-workers in one form or another. Correlation isn't necessarily causation, of course, but it's worth thinking about.


Your first reaction was correct. It's not just distracting it's rude. In my opinion, barring true emergencies,the person who is right in front of you takes precedence over someone on the phone.

This applies not just to friends and family, but to those sales people in retail stores who interrupt the transaction they are conducting with me to start helping another customer who called on the phone. EXCUSE ME, I'm right here and you were helping me, put the other person on hold and tell the you'll be right with them.

I never place a cell phone call in front of someone else unless we're all in agreement that the call must be made (ex: we need to directions to the place we are going). If my phone rings when I'm with someone, I do not answer unless it is my child's school or my elderly mother...if it's not an emergency, I tell them I'll call the back.

I'm old enough to remember when there were only landlines. The really nice thing about cell phones isn't that we can talk on the phone in front of everyone all the time, but that we can take our cell phone off somewhere private to talk and not be rude to others by having personal calls in the office or blabbing away in front of our family in the living room.

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