Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hang That Stupid Thing Up

I don't own a smart phone or anything like that. I have a flip phone that's limited to making phone calls and taking tiny, grainy photos. I can text, but I have to push buttons about 8000 times to say "Hi". It's the only phone I'll ever own, and if I wasn't in the job I'm in, I wouldn't own one at all.

So, it drives me nuts to deal with someone on a traffic stop or a criminal complaint who is continually screwing with their phone. I can't tell you how many times I've approached a car I've stopped, only to find the driver on the phone. I immediately say, "You wanna get off the phone, please?" If it takes them longer than about 5 seconds to end their conversation, I put a blunter spin on the request. I'm not standing in a monsoon or a 25-below-zero blizzard while you report to somebody that a mean policeman has pulled you over.

The worst are the people who think they're the victim of the crime of the century, but are constantly answering calls, checking for missed calls, sending texts, reading texts, or updating their Facebook status the whole time I'm trying to get their story. You want my help? OK, but get off the phone or I'm leaving. Someday I want to see how far I can throw one of those things.


Carolyn said...

When I get pulled over I turn the radio off, roll the window down and put my hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 and wait - are you trying to tell me that I could just ignore the officer and finish my call? :)

Not sure the problem lies with the smartphone itself or any other gadget/distraction ... pretty sure its inherent to the user. Some people are toddlers and cannot put down their toys. I use my cell A LOT - rarely as a phone! It's the readout for my HR monitor when I am running and rowing and it also shows me the data from my fitness monitor. Its GPS in my hand when I inevitably get lost. I listen to podcasts all day long at work. I use it a lot ... but not while I am with someone in real life! The only calls that get answered every time no matter what are from my parents and i have it set up that only people I designate can get through to me after 11pm (unless they try calling multiple times like they would in an emergency ...) - I see my phone as a tool for my use, not a tool for others to use to bother me, and this tool has a lot of features that will help me do just that ... if I want to!

I've seen what you are talking about and it bothers me too - people yammering while a cashier is checking them out (hate. that.), parents at the playground ignoring their kids because they are on the phone, idiots running into signposts because they are texting while walking (actually that doesn't bother me ... it amuses me and makes my shriveled black heart beat with joy!) While camping I had to listen to others whining about the bad reception and asking me to turn on my truck so they can recharge their phone - what?!?!?!

It's a tool - don't be a jerk with it. I carry a pocket knife - its a tool I use A LOT, but I don't fidget with it. I see dudes fidgeting with knives all the time when they are bored ... I see people screwing around on their phones the same way. Leave it in your pocket until you actually need it and ignore it when you don't!

Aunt Murry said...

Manners. Parents need to teach them

Sharon GARDNER said...

Where's the thumbs up button? I want to give Aunt Murry a thumbs up. So many of the "problems" we hear about today are largely due to a lack of respect for others.