Cell Phone Addicts – I Need Your Opinion!

Photo: Judy Berna

It has happened enough times now that I’m ready to vent. I’m all for new technology (heck, it’s how I get around every day, on my bionic foot), but there has to be a limit.

So I have come here to ask you, our faithful readers. What do you think? Let me explain, in three simple words, my problem. Cell Phone Manners.

Even though I’m married to a man who works for the highway department, and they have a huge non-distracted drivers campaign right now, that’s not my issue today. My problem concerns when and where a cell phone conversation is appropriate.

I work at a library. I’m the smiling lady (on most days) who checks your books out to you and your adorable kids. We have an interaction that lasts from 20 seconds to a couple of minutes. I’m sure you are not one of these people, but sometimes patrons decide it’s okay to approach the desk with a cell phone glued to their ear. This past week I had a woman actually initiate a call while she stood in front of me, like I wasn’t even there.

Now here’s the problem. First of all it feels very rude from my side of the desk. I’m a person, a human being who only requires a few minutes of your time. I work hard to be friendly and efficient. It helps me to be welcoming when the people on the other side of the desk acknowledge my existence.

Second, our specific library has signs all over the place that say no cell phones allowed. If someone has an emergency call to make, we have a lovely, warm entrance way where they can conduct their business. So why do so many people think those signs don’t apply to them? Why does their ‘just a quick call’ to their child, about what time they need to be picked up, make them immune from the courteous rules our board of directors set up?

So here’s my question – am I just being sensitive and bossy by being irritated by people using cell phones in our library, and more specifically while they approach my desk to check out books? Or am I a geekmom who’s behind the times and needs to lighten up?  I’d love to know what you think.

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