Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cell Phone Questionnaire

As some of you know, I'm not a big fan of cell phones.  They are generally for the convenience of the calling party rather than the called party.  For the called party, I think it's more of a pain in the neck.  When I'm in a meeting, movie theater, coaching softball, sleeping, etc. the phone is typically turned off, locked in the trunk of the car, or left in the drawer.  I don't even carry it when I'm jogging.  I would rather risk the unlikely emergency/injury than carry a cell phone and risk destroying my solitude.  This is a bit ironic, since I'm a sales engineer for a telecom company and I make my living selling wireless switches and base stations…the networking equipment that enables cell phone users to talk, text, and surf the web.

I couldn't understand my disdain for cell phones, so I spent some time discussing it with my therapist, the world renown Dr. Charles Shaw.  What he suggested was perhaps it's not the cell phone I dislike, but rather cell phone users…specifically ones who don't follow proper cell phone etiquette.  By golly, I think he may be onto something.

Now, I don't want to get into a long dissertation on proper cell phone etiquette.  I will, however, pose a few questions to all you cell phone users out there.

1. Do you have an iPhone with the fire alarm ring tone selected?  If yes, do you leave your iPhone in your office cubical unattended, with the volume on high?  If yes, do you think it's a wise idea, given you work in a crowded, multi-story, corporate office building?

2. Do you have a Bluetooth headset for your mobile phone?  If yes, do you think it's professional to conduct business with it while using the urinal?

3. Do you prefer to have a 30 minute text message conversation with someone when it could have been addressed with a two minute phone call?

4. Do you talk on the phone while driving your motor vehicle?  Do you think other vehicles like being run off the road because you're more focused on your conversation (or texting) than on the *&%$!@ road?  Do you like head-on collisions (like I almost had with the teenage fast-food delivery driver)?

5. Do you enjoy dining in a restaurant your family, friends, and co-workers?  Do you enjoy dining in a restaurant while they are texting (or typing on their Blackberry) instead of eating or conversing with you?

So, my point is, please use common sense and exercise common courtesy when using your mobile device….and by all means keep using your cell phones, download tons of data, talk all day, text all night, update your Facebook account every five minutes, and help your local wireless carrier generate lots of revenue so they can buy more equipment from me (especially if your carrier is Cricket).  The only exception to this guidance is for one woman, one teenage boy, and one pre-teen girl… know who you are.

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