CNN Senior Executive Producer
I’m not going to mention any real names in this piece, even though I only got wind of one person’s first name. But I experienced something today in a CNN rest room which all of us have probably had to confront. Whether to answer a cell phone call when you’re in the bathroom.
I never have answered a cell phone in a bathroom, for a variety of reasons. Protecting my cell phone from potential water damage is the least of those reasons. I think there are certain boundaries we need to preserve to maintain a civil society. This is not the most pressing issue on the civility front today. But it did turn my stomach when someone in the men’s room picked up the cell phone and proceeded to have a conversation as if it talking on a cell phone while in the process of a natural act were the most natural act in the world.
“Yeah, we still on for lunch?”
“OK, that time sounds good for me.”
Hand wash (thank goodness).
And the conversation went on as the offender exited the bathroom.
I have to imagine the person on the other side of the line heard the sound effects.
If I were that person on the other side of the line, I know what I would have said.
I’m passing on lunch today. Not as hungry as I thought I’d be. Let’s reschedule. Text me from the car.
I’d take a foot tapper in the next stall desperately sending me Morse code over a cell phone talker any day. At least, with a foot tapper, I can distract myself by getting a song in my head to the right beat. But there’s no blocking out a cell phone conversation two feet away.
I’m no Miss Manners. And I’m not an activist. But I think a well-mannered society should have certain common understandings. Turning off your cell phone ringers in theaters is now standard. Not talking on cell phones at the cash register is becoming widely accepted. Now I want to know this.
Who out there among you agrees with me? Cell phones have provided us with a certain level of freedom. But in the bathroom, I say, let freedom ring.
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