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Cell Phone Backlash

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Cell PhoneThose who know me, know that I have shunned and resisted cell phones with all my power. For me it's not about making a statement. Actually, it started with not making a statement at all. Back in the dark ages when having your ears stuck to a giant cell phone was a symbol of vogue, I deliberately avoided getting one so I wouldn't be viewed a privileged technophile. By the time cell phones became ubiquitous, I had managed to get along without one and my frugal side saw no reason to throw money at this inane device.

Sure, there have been times when I wished I had a cell phone, like the time my car broke down on New Jersey turnpike and I had to walk 2 miles in 95-degree heat to the nearest rest stop to get help. But even that experience didn't convince the stubborn me to go mobile. And so, as of now, I continue to remain a cell phone virgin, happily untethered.

Today I saw another reason to rejoice at my mobile-free status. While ordering a sandwich at a local Subway shop, I noticed this sign prominently displayed:

No cell phones while ordering or you will not be helped.
Be courteous.
Thank you

I know, not exactly customer friendly. But something egregious must've taken place prompting the manager to post this candid note. I almost wanted to commend the man for his courage. Most cell phone chatterers are probably nice people, but get them on a call and they become the rudest and most obnoxious people you could ever imagine. And the rest (specially the ones with the ear-pieces) act like deranged vagabonds talking to the devil in their heads on the streets or in store isles. No sense greeting someone you know these days, they're probably talking to the devil and you will either be ignored or be embarrassed for disturbing their communion.

I can understand why that Subway sandwich store manager felt compelled to post the no-cell-phone bill. Not long ago my kids and I were at a check-out counter at a store in my town. The person in front me was talking to the devil and utterly ignored the clerk as if this lady was just a fixture. The patron certainly owed nothing to the clerk other than the cost of his goods, but by just being a discourteous jerk, and judging by the clerk's expression, he earned a spot in the clerk's jackass list.

All I could do was to turn to my kids, watching this curious lack of etiquette, and say: "And that's why I don't have a cell phone."

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