Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Big Pet Peeve

Scenario 1: Okay, you are in the check-out line.  You are in a hurry.  The person in front of you is emptying their cart onto the counter, but they can only use one hand because they are on the phone.  The cashier greets the person.  They don’t answer because they are on the phone.  After emptying their cart, they attempt to retrieve their debit or credit card—with one hand because they are on the phone. The cashier tells them the total.  They don’t answer because they are on the phone. They swipe their card—with one hand because they are on the phone.  They try to type in their pin—with one hand because they are on the phone.  They try to gather up their wallet, purse, card, and change from the cashier—with one hand because they are on the phone.  They load their bagged groceries in their cart—with one hand because they are on the phone.  They push their cart away from the counter—with one hand because they are on the phone.
Scenario 2:  You are in the very busy parking lot of a major chain.  A woman pushes her card toward her car as her two small children run along beside her.  The woman talks on the phone.  Her small son runs toward the car which is no less than 100 feet away.  The woman talks on the phone. She is completely oblivious to the idea that her son is running away from her and possibly toward danger.
Scenario 3: You are in the grocery store contemplating needed items.  Someone walks up behind you loudly talking on the phone.  You decide to go to the next aisle.  They follow you.  You go to another aisle.  They follow you.  You cautiously give them the “Pleeeaase” look.  They don’t notice.  You go to another aisle.  They follow you.  You are forced to listen to their one-sided conversation through the entire store.
Now please understand, I love my cell phone.  It is one of the greatest inventions known to mankind.  I have no problems with phones in the store for a purpose.  I have no problem with the man I saw reading labels to his wife on the phone to determine if what he holds is the needed item.  I have no problem with business associates who call to make a quick appointment.  I am NOT talking about taking care of business.  I am talking about idle chit-chat that could be conducted out of the ear-shot of complete strangers.
Have we become so self-centered that we believe everyone is obligated to listen to our conversations whether they want to or not?  Or that we have the right to hold up a line of other shoppers so we can continue our conversation and check-out at a leisure pace?  Or that we are willing to risk the lives of our small children so we can continue a conversation?
I am saying we need to put everything in perspective.  We need to get our priorities right.  Let’s reestablish common courtesy.


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