I realize how foolish it is to put the words “cell phone” with “etiquette.” It’s like putting “Facebook” or “Twitter” with words like “RESTRAINT.”
Yet, twice in the last several weeks I have had run-ins with cell phones in places I just can’t believe people would take them and actually USE them. Could I offer one word of advice? It won’t go anywhere with you, but just one word:
Could you please NOT use the cell phone in a public bathroom?
It would be understandable if the public bathroom were in, say, the Pentagon. The Pentagon might be a place where there could be a free pass to use the cell phone in a public bathroom when the one on the cell phone in the bathroom is a four star general needing to talk to the President about a nuclear strike. It’s possible the general has been on hold with the President for awhile, and, well, nature called. So, you can’t just hang up with the President while he is consulting other world leaders. So, should I be in the Pentagon and in a public bathroom and hear a four-star general conversing in the next stall and realize he is the only one in there (which would be a relief), then I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing something like, “Well, Mr. President, I think we should stand down on this one.”
So, one exception could be if we are on the brink of nuclear war and you are on the phone counseling the President.
It just COULD be understandable if it were a hospital public restroom. The surgeon needs to take a quick break and he gets a call from surgery. So, maybe if I hear voices coming out of the next stall and the deep male voice is saying something like, “No, that’s the spleen. You’ll need to put that one back. The appendix looks like…” I will certainly understand.
Nuclear war. Major surgery.
But you just holding a conversation with someone about your horrible day because you had to wait in line for some stupid concert ticket? I’m sorry… out of bounds.
It’s quite possible women are not bothered by this at all. Conversation in the public bathroom has been going on for centuries over there, I’m sure. But in the men’s room? Not so much. Thus, it is completely unnerving to go into a restroom, notice that the stall is occupied by one pair of feet, so you take the next stall, and then you start hearing TWO voices out of that first stall.
Gentlemen, could we PLEASE have some space here? Plus, if I happen to be on the phone with you and I hear a flush, I just want you to know ahead of time… I’m hanging up. President or not. Surgeon or not. I’m hanging up. Nuclear destruction can happen. I don’t want to hear your bodily functions in my cell phone.