What Are All These People Talking About?


Everywhere I go, everyone I see has a cell phone in their hand. I have to ask myself “What are all these flippin’ people talking about?”

This might sound odd coming from a guy who’s sold thousands of cell phones, who always has the latest and greatest cell phone and who has the largest data plan offered by AT&T, but, really, there is a time and a place.

My annoyance seems to fall into three categories:

The Grocery Store
You know how you pass the same people in each successive aisle in the grocery store? It annoys me to death to hear their conversation each time we pass.

First aisle, “He said that?
Next aisle,“…and then they went together?
Next aisle, “My sitter isn’t coming until 8 tonite,” and so on and on.

Or the guy, and it’s aways a guy, who’s shopping remotely for his wife.

How are we for peas? Do we need peas?
Now, I’m at the Mexican section – do we need salsa?

Geez man, take a look before you leave the house. Tell me you can’t take the initiative about what to pick up at the store. Do I really need to share in your shopping experence? I’ve got my own shopping to do and your need to announce every thing you look at is distracting me from getting what I need. I feel like one of these days, I’m going to come home with extra peas and salsa just because you said we needed them.

General Rudeness
You see these cell phone junkies in line at the coffee shop, restaurants, pumping gas. They’re yakking up a storm or texting or emailing or checking in –  completely oblivious to the people and even potential risks around them.

When I worked retail,  I once did an entire transaction with a woman who was planning a cruise on the ImageBlack Sea the whole time I helped her. She never acknowledged me in any way. She brought her purchase to the register, looked down at the credit card reader, and still talking, swiped her card and left. I swear, if you asked her if a man, woman or space alien had rung up her purchase, she would not have had a clue.

Just last week, I read a story about a woman who walked right off a cliff while texting. How much you wanna bet her last text was Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Shut Up and Drive
Look around at your fellow drivers. How many are on the phone? How many are texting? This isn’t rude, it’s down right dangerous. I’ve seen people backing out of parking spaces while they were dialing, merge onto busy highways while they were talking. They’re worse than drunk drivers – most of those folks are out late at night or early in the morning. Cell phone drivers are all over the place all the time.

When I was an outside salesman, I made every effort not to talk and drive. I found, when I talked, I made mistakes in my driving. I missed exits, changed lanes without looking properly, and I always parked crooked if I was on the phone.

Over Loudness
We’ve all seen or I should say heard, that person who’s shouting into his/her phone. If they were a little more self aware they’d realize how loud they are when they walk and talk their way into a room and every single head turns to see who’s talking. And the topics people chose to talk about in public…..well, no need to go into detail, we’ve all heard them.

It’s bad enough that I have to listen to your side of the conversation, but how about those folks who have the volume up so high, you can hear the person they’re talking too?

Or the ringer/alert tone that’s so loud you could hear it standing track side at the Indy 500……I understand the desire to hear your phone ringing or your text messages arriving, but I don’t share your desire.

Of course most of us have done some of these things from time to time, but, based on the numbers of people talking and texting and generally looking down at their phones, there is a healthy number of us doing way too much of it.

My suggestion is…… Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiing…….Oh, wait I have to take this………sorry……

2 Responses to “What Are All These People Talking About?”

  1. I agree with you on everything except the grocery store. It’s a common complaint that I hear – and one I am very guilty of. But I fail to understand the issue. When I lived in Richmond, I would go to the grocery store with my mom. We’d shop and chat. It was social time for us. Now that I live 500 miles away, I usually still shop with her – on the other end of my wireless headset.

    Was it annoying to you (meaning anyone complaining about grocery store phone calls) when my mom and I shopped and talked? If not, why does it bother you so much now? I am not a loud phone talker. I ask her to hold on if I need to speak with someone in the store – or someone speaks to me. I end the call before I reach the cash register.

    Can someone please explain to me why this is considered so rude?

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