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Apparently not much is personal any more. I donít know about you, but I resent hearing that tinny William Tell Overture while Iím watching a movie. Last year a New York City Councilman introduced legislation to penalize anyone making or taking a call during an indoor performance. Pending Ö they couldnít figure out how to enforce it.
How about working through pocketbook? The last concert I attended, people behind me were drunk and disorderly. The manager said she couldnít do anything about it. I demanded a refund. She then seated us elsewhere, but our pleasant evening had become a major stressor. I told her I wouldnít be back until they figured out ďsomething to doĒ.
Apparently people are taking and making calls during funerals. Is nothing sacred any more?
Iím torn because I enjoy being connected with loved ones via cell phone, and Iím on-call to my coaching clients. Iím all for using it to make cold cruel world less so, but why not find a quiet, private place?
Are we doing this to look important and get attention? If you are, thatís not how you appear. We perceive you in one of three ways --
∑Either you canít function alone and need a constant umbilical cord ∑Your self-esteem is so low youíre desperate for attention. ∑You are rude, egotistical, and have no social consciousness.
If you do have to take a phone call in public, you should be apologetic about it, not proud.
Here are some common-decency suggestions for use of cell phone:
1.By all means use phone for essential business Ė this means to point and brief. 2.Maintain a distance of at least 10í from others, lower your voice, turn away, act like youíre doing something private BECAUSE YOU ARE. 3.Value real people in your presence over cell phone. It is RUDE to take a phone call when youíre with someone else, with few exceptions. 4.Doctors and expectant-fathers have emergencies; you, rarely. 5.Get some balance in your life. If you canít take time off to enjoy a play or visit an art museum without taking phone calls, what are you doing to yourself? 6.Understand that we think youíre rude and egotistical when you violate common decency. 7. Get a quiet ringer or vibrating cell. 8.Donít give your cell number to everyone. 9.Let other people know you expect to use phone with etiquette.
You know how it goes Ė when a few people donít behave right, rules and laws follow, and then everyone gets penalized. Work for quiet, no-phone zones, but most of all, enforce your own and maybe we can avoid massive legislation.
It would be a shame not to be able to use your cell phone in a public place in case of a real emergency, and this is where weíre headed, folks.
Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, offers personal and executive coaching, Internet courses, and business programs in emotional intelligence. Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc and mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org .