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Think about it – Is Now the Time to Make that Call?

Usually I don’t write any of the blogs during the week; I tend to write them on Sunday. But today is different based on a few things that have happened recently.

One night I went to work out; it was around 8:00 PM. Let me define my workout. It consists of running/walking on the treadmill for about 35 minutes and saying good-bye to about 375 calories. I look forward to working out because besides burning off 100 or so more calories than the one coke I drink during the day, I can catch up on my reading, watch a little TV and frankly enjoy a little quiet time.

Six minutes into my workout I hear someone over my right shoulder say, “Is Tory Holt picked? What about Chad Johnson?”

At first, I thought he was talking to me, so I tried to bend my body like a pretzel to see if I could see him. No luck at all.

Then he says, “Okay. I will take Marvin Harrison.”

This went on for about another 30 minutes until I left. The 26 year old behind me was on the elliptical machine while he was on a call for his fantasy football draft.

In the past month these occurrences have all happened in my presence:

  • While I was watching the movie Invincible, a person who was seated about five feet to my right answered her phone and spoke to someone for 4 minutes
  • Two people in a NY elevator were on the phone at the same time—for the entire trip of 32 floors down to the lobby
  • I have been in the restroom while someone was on the phone in a stall
  • I have been having dinner at a very nice restaurant while someone was on the phone speaking very, very loudly

And my favorite from the last month:

  • Someone was actually on the Hertz bus screaming at his administrative assistant for messing up his travel plans

I understand multi-tasking. In fact, part of our hiring criteria at M/A/R/C is to be a solid muli-tasker. I would consider myself a good multi-tasker.

I just believe there is a time and place for all of this “need to be available 24/7” and believe this is beyond out of control. Drew Barrymore in the movie Fever Pitch references a boyfriend she had who didn’t like how much she was on the phone and took her cell phone and tossed it away.

Everyone thinks they have an important job and I am NO different, but when I reviewed the last 10 calls I made, 6 could have waited. My sense is that most people are the same. I am all for taking a call in public if it is an emergency but calls like:

  • What are you doing tonight?
  • I can’t believe Rich didn’t call you!
  • Sorry to hear you will miss the big game

These calls don’t sound like they qualify as emergencies in my book.

With unlimited cell phone usage, I believe things will get a lot worse before they get better.

“No cell phone” areas will pop up everywhere in the next year. To me that is a good thing.

There might be some who don’t understand what bugs me about all this.

  • Am I bothered by an invasion of my privacy?
  • Am I irritated because of my lost quiet time at the gym?
  • Am I annoyed because I pay good money for an enjoyable dinner or night at the movies, only to have the experience ruined because of a lack of common courtesy?
  • Am I upset at myself for sometimes doing the same thing?

Actually, it’s all of the above.

Am I the only one bothered by this? I look forward to your comments and stories.

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