Notes from Jackson Street: Cell phones and voice mailboxes
By JOHN A. WINTERS, Publisher
Recently I was sitting in a restaurant minding my own business. I glanced up and saw two men sitting across from one another intently staring into their cell phones.
What is the point of going out with friends when you spend your time glued to your phone, laughing at some tweet, meme, responding to a text or email (the latter being quite old school, I know) or something that you may or may not end up sharing with your friends. And they too are deciding whether or not to share some tweet, meme or whatever with you. Because you know, don’t break the spell.
Anyhoo, back to the two gentlemen. Every now and then each would pick up ANOTHER phone sitting on the table and start typing away. Yes, four phones on the table between two men, who worked together. I surmised that last fact because they were wearing identical work shirts, with identical colors and company logos.
Full disclosure, I too have been seen at a restaurant with my cell phone in hand, busy typing away. I do this because 1. I want to get out of the office for a while. 2. I am hungry and I like to support our local eateries. 3. It gives me a chance to respond to emails, check our social media sites to see if anything needs to be posted without being bothered and 4. I AM ALONE.
Enough on restaurant decorum.
Let’s talk about using cell phones as walkie talkies. Don’t. Just don’t. Let me assure you that no one, repeat, no one, gives a hoot about your conversation you are sharing in the aisle of some grocery store or Big Box Store. Again, no one.
Not only do we not care, it is annoying as all get out. We don’t care about your wart removal, Aunt Sissy’s hemorrhoids or that your Baby Daddy/Mommy didn’t come home last night. It is, and I hope this offends you walkie talkies out there … rude.
There is a perfect time and place to use your cell phone as a megaphone – and that is in your car (hopefully with the windows up). We have a “hands-free” law in Georgia, meaning you can’t be holding your phone while you drive. But feel free to turn on that speaker with the phone near you and talk away.
But again, not in public. Not ever.
And finally to mail boxes. Here we have the case of 1. Not setting up your mailbox, meaning no one can leave you a message, and 2. Your mailbox is full, meaning, again, no one can leave you a message.
I realize that the new generation calls and then doesn’t leave a message because whomever is going to call back so why bother. I am not that new generation, and if you call and don’t leave a message as to why you called, I am not calling back. If you can take the time to hit #5 on your keypad for “dad,” you can take a couple of extra seconds to say you need money.
If you won’t set up your mailbox, at least leave a message that says “I refuse to set up my mailbox in defiance of corporate greed/I really don’t want to talk to you/I have no idea how to use this $1,000 device.
If your mailbox is full, let’s hope it’s not a personal/business phone. Because if a client is trying to reach you, just (again) rude. If you can’t handle your mailbox, can you really handle my business?
Bottom line – be polite, be aware of your surroundings, and decide why you really want a communication device if you don’t want any messages.