A New Use for the Loo

P1030091Awhile ago when Chris and I were on a little vacation in Southport, NC we ate at a cute little restaurant on the water.  I excused myself before the food arrived to go avail myself of the facilities.  I was trying to pre-empt my brother in law Carlton’s theory of “food in–food out”.  But that is a story for another day.

I found my way through the restaurant to the restroom and stepped inside a stall.  It was a smallish bathroom with only 2 stalls and as I was in my private space a woman and a little girl came in.  There was a lot of chattering going on and the little girl did what she came in to do. I exited my stall to wash my hands (doesn’t it just gross you out when people leave a restroom WITHOUT washing their hands?) and obviously the woman with her was taking her turn.  Now it would not have been obvious had I not heard the little voice say, very loudly, “GRANDMA!  YOU DID IT!!!!! ”

I could not suppress my giggle and the voice from the other side of the stall door said “Obviously we are working on potty training.”  It cracked me up and made me smile the rest of the day and even months later when I think about it.

But it got me to thinking.  We all know what the purpose of restrooms are, right?  But these days it seems they also serve as a phone booth.  Oh you know what I am talking about!  There you are, sitting doing your business and from the stall next to you comes this one sided conversation.  You are captive audience.  There is no way to get away from the chatter which you really do not want to be a part of, right?

Cell phones have become a part of most of our daily lives.  I am tethered to mine.  I know I am.  When loved ones live far away it is not hard to get attached to the cell phone as the means of keeping in touch via calls, texts, and emails.  I am guilty of not always being aware of the fact that I may be being rude with my phone usage.  It isn’t that I mean to—–I just do it.

Some of my pet peeves of cell phones are:

  • The loud talkers—those people who make public calls and have the voice that needs no amplification in the Super Dome. They can usually be found in any public place.
  • Talking on the phone when checking out or placing an order—I have been guilty but I am reformed.  It is rude. It can wait.
  • Loud obnoxious ring tones that should be silenced or put on vibrate in theaters and other public settings. I know I love to hear Pharrell’s  song Happy play but you might not.
  • Using bad language—ugh.  I am not a fan of it at anytime but when I have to hear it repeatedly in a public place it makes me not want to stay around too long.
  • Can you hear me now?  Don’t’ make a call if reception is bad.  Just don’t.
  • On airplanes the people who use their phone, talking very loudly (always business of the utmost importance) until the flight attendant has to tell them 3 times to shut it down. Please, please, please, powers that be—do NOT allow phone calls during flights.  Please.  I beg you.
  • Making calls in inappropriate places.  I did this once and blogged about it.  (I would let you read it but I obviously was in such a state when I wrote it that I did not tag it correctly and I can’t find it!) The problem was I just was not thinking about where I was at.  I was out of my usual place in the library and yes—I should not have taken a call where I was at –lesson learned.  But—-could the man I offended have accepted my apology?  Yes.  It rankles me to this day the way he acted. He was a clodpate.

And of course–using public bathrooms as your own personal phone booth where everyone who comes and goes becomes a part of the drama that is your life.  Just don’t do it.

Do you have any other times or examples of when cell phone usage irritates you?  Feel free to rant.  But keep it clean, okay?  And make sure you wash your hands before you leave.  🙂  



  1. I was in line at our local Subway one day at lunch. One of our town police officers was in front of me in line….ON HIS CELL PHONE. The Subway manager (who was taking orders) asked him three times could she help him (and there was a long line of folks waiting behind us). He actually held up his phone and said: “I’m on the phone.”. She replied matter-of-factly: “I have a line”. The person standing behind me said that I should break in line in front of him. Thankfully, he ended the call right about then.
    I try to be aware and respectful, and I know sometimes I probably fall short!

    • As do I, Dianna, but I try to be aware a little more these days. Yes, that police officer needed a swift kick in the ……phone. 🙂 No one should be above common courtesy. No matter what their job.

  2. Just yesterday at the library all kinds of jazzy tunes went off for about 5 seconds each which was all the time needed to answer the phone. Each ring did startle me and I had to ask myself “Now…where was I?”
    I remember years ago before cell phones but in the new age of portable house phones, my daughter opened the bathroom door and stuck her arm through handing me the phone. “It’s for you.” That never would have happened with phones wired to the walls. No I don’t take or make calls in the “loo” at home or in public places.
    Funny story about the little girl.

  3. I especially dislike it when people take calls in meetings. Please refrain or at least leave the room to take the call. I’m guilty of taking calls while driving and let’s face it, it’s dangerous. (I don’t text, however, and I’m terrified by the number of people I see doing that!) Good post. I think manners overall need more attention.

    • Oh yea—I agree. Put your phone on silent, casually check caller ID and if you need to take it–excuse yourself and leave the room, right?? 🙂

  4. What about when people answer their phone (in any public place) and say, “Sorry, I can’t talk now. I’m at ____ .) Why not just silence the phone and let it go to message? I really think some people just want to seem/feel important. As in, there is no way they can sit in a meeting, conference, church, doctor’s office, etc. without conducting business. Look everyone! Look how busy/important/needed I am!!

  5. OMG I am so with you on this. All of it. And also what others are saying. Rude, rude, rude!

    • We need to get back to some basic manners, don’ t we?? I am not totally innocent but am trying hard to be more aware of it. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I’ve never understood the answering in the “loo.” Great post!

  7. One of my pet peeves is people in public places on their phones via Bluetooth that talk at full volume level while walking through target! Not only do they look crazy for appearing to talk to themselves, but also rude…bluetooths should be used when you’re by yourself as in car, home, etc.

  8. Beth Ann you don’t want me to even start on a rant about cell phones. Thank heavens most people have gone to texting just so we don’t have to listen to their conversations. I do like the convenience of my cell phone but.. I don’t know I could probably live without it. And the thing that drives me craziest about rudeness with a cell is when you are with someone talking, having lunch, dinner and that someone gets a text or call and they proceed to have a chat. Totally rude.. hello you have people right here to talk to. Ignore the call and enjoy the people you are with! And I am right there with all your pet peeves.

  9. Helen Brown says:

    I agree that it is rude when you are having a nice lunch with someone and they spend time talking to another friend on the phone and you just sit there and hear the whole conversation. It makes me fill like I am not very important to that person.

  10. Amusing story about the grandma and little girl. I don’t think people are intentionally rude they just move into their own world and forget their manners. And believe me, I’ve met some might righteous and rude anti cell phone natzies. Of-course, there ire isn’t directed at me. Well, maybe, sometimes. But I just tell them to shhh. I’m on the phone.
    I don’t talk on check my phone when I am eating or engaged with other’s unless I’ve made it clear that our lunch will be punctuated by some business texts regarding scheduling I’ll have to return. I also try to give my kid my full attention we are talking. I check when walking, in line, and while I am driving I chat using a headset. Bathroom? Uhm, after dropping my phone in the toilet, I now leave it securely in my purse. I do kind of like eavesdropping in most situations, tho. Your pet peeves are reasonable. Holding up a line while you chat should be grounds for murder.

    • I think it all revolves around respect. If you respect others you will tell them that you are expecting calls or texts that you will have to take while you are in their company. I know that work is important and Chris is very tethered to his phone these days but I still make him put it down at times. 🙂

  11. It’s the constant checking of cell phones by young people that irritates me.

  12. When people use them while driving and on a dinner dates. 🙂

  13. I get REAL annoyed with people who talk on cell phones during meals out. Seems like it doesn’t matter whether they’re alone or in a crowd, there’s always ONE who insists on conducting important business via phone. Maybe they should whisper a quick hello, then go outside??!

  14. I’m with you about phone calls on airplanes — I hope that is never allowed. I feel the same about cell phones on the subway. Here in NYC you can’t use your phone underground. As much as it would be a convenience to be able to text someone if I’m running late, the thought of listening to someone’s crazy ring tone every two minutes is not a compromise I’d want to make. 🙂

  15. As an employment counsellor I advise people to turn their phone off when going for an interview. I tell them of my experience interviewing individuals who’s phones would ring during an interview and of how someone actually took the call (in an interview!) Then I went for an interview a couple of years ago for a new position at my current company and guess what, my cell phone rang!! You can imagine how embarrassed I was. Of course I didn’t answer it and apologized all over the place. When I left, I checked the voice mail and it was hubby wishing me good luck on my interview! (He got the time of the interview wrong) My boss thought it was very funny and gave me the job anyway. He still teases me about it though.

  16. Nice list! I agree with everything. And I’m sorry that man didn’t accept your apology. How silly if that just totally ruined his day. Anyway, I especially don’t like it when people talk on the phone all the way through a retail transaction with a cashier. It’s so rude. Also, when people make you listen to a song instead of a ringtone when you call and wait for them to pick up or go to voice mail.

  17. I hate those walkie-talkie ones that beep when one person is through talking and it is the other one’s turn. You should never be in a phone conversation at a checkout counter of any type, anywhere. That is just so rude, both to the person who is waiting on you and the people behind you in line!!

  18. When I’m having a conversation with someone and they ‘play’ on their phone the whole time. What happen to god eye contact?! It drives me crazy!

  19. On a city bus on a Monday morning hearing very loudly and in great detail a young womans’ sex adventures from the weekend. that was not fun. and where the was her mother during all that?!

  20. Here is a post about my Pet Peeve with cell phones: http://benzeknees.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/toxic-procrastination/

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