Cell phones and bathrooms: Can we establish some official ground rules here?
Okay, I have, on occasion, taken my phone into a public restroom either because I was waiting on a call I absolutely couldn’t miss, or because the phone is in my purse. The conversation is usually, “I’ll call you right back.”
But I have had some strange experiences in public restrooms. One time, at U.C., a girl was a few stalls down having some severe diarrhea, and felt the need to share the experience, not only with me, but with whoever it was on the other end of her phone conversation.
Usually, I mistakenly think that the stranger in the next stall is talking to me when they’re not. I mean, when there are only two of us in the bathroom, what am I supposed to think?
One time, however, I assumed that the person in the next stall was talking on their phone, and it turned out they were talking to me. I’m not accustomed to making small talk with strangers while I’m peeing, and I didn’t realize that the lady was speaking to me until she got upset that I didn’t answer.
Another cell phone scenario that could use some standard rules of etiquette is that damned blue tooth wireless earplug.
If you don’t see that a person has one on, then you’re always interrupting their phone conversation by answering a question that you thought was directed at you. If you see their shiny metallic earpiece, then you’re never sure if they’re talking to you or not.
Plus, you can never tell if the guy talking to himself behind you at the checkout is crazy or if he’s just on the phone.
Oh yeah, and one more thing. It seems to be the natural inclination of many people to speak extra loud when they’re on a cell phone (and the tinier the phone, the louder they yell). This is particularly annoying in quiet places like a library or a doctor’s office.
I don’t have anything against cell phones, I love them. I’m just saying that maybe we could get together and establish some simple rules of cell phone etiquette, and have those rules distributed with every cell phone purchase, or read aloud to everyone as they pass the Verizon Wireless kiosk at the mall.
Heather Annastasia Siladi