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A small outbreak of 'Disgusted of Croydon'

The Carphone Warehouse has commissioned a survey on mobile phone use which makes for rather depressing reading:

"The survey also found only 14% of people would turn their phone off during sex. While 75% of people think it is rude to use the mobile during dinner, only 9% of respondents said it was unreasonable to do so on a train".

In the past few months I've seen people using mobiles while standing at urinals, and continuously while eating in a restaurant, quite apart from the usual selection of bores/boors who bellow into the bally things while on public transport. As I'm forever pointing out, mobiles have very powerful microphones, so anyone who raises his or her voice while using one on a train is a moron or an oaf. I've fantasised about buying one of those deeply illegal portable signal blockers, but quite apart from their illegality and possible interference with emergency service channels, they don't work with 3G, apparently.

For what it is worth, I think the rot set in with the introduction of walkmans, with this representing an intrusion of the private into the public realm and users getting less and less considerate. Maybe I should just move to Tunbridge Wells and be done with it.

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Anonymous Verity said... 12:12 pm

This is not just a British, American or European problem.

Here, a workman, or even an architect, will ring one's doorbell and then walk into the house talking into the mobile phone without even acknowledging one. Then they'll continue the call inside, while you stand there, de trop in your own home.

There's never a word of apology or an indication that it was an urgent call. When they've finally finished talking, they reset their phone, put it back in their pocket and finally say, "Good morning". I have stood for three or four minutes in my own home, ignored, while a stranger stands in my living room having a phone conversation on his mobile. Two or three minutes later, if the phone rings again, they take the call without even an "Excuse me".

You could be right about the Walkman, but I think mobile phones are the rudest, most decivilising development in the history of the human race. No one receiving a call ever, ever says, "I'm with someone. I'll call you back."

On the TGV, the have "quiet carriages" as you probably know. Does that stop them shouting into their mobiles? Are you kidding.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:18 pm

It is the sheer lack of consideration in the way that some people use them that gets me. I've often seen people talking on their phones while at the till in supermarkets etc, and clearly not thinking that there is anything wrong in so doing. However, your tale of tradesmen etc at the door takes some beating.  

Blogger Andrew Kennedy said... 12:46 pm

Thank you for this post Croydonian. You are absolutely correct. Mobile phones are a scourge on modern society.

The other day I was in Sutton and called into Starbucks for coffee. 3 girls (of the Vicky Pollard variety) walked in behind me, Elizabeth Duke Bingo Bling clattering as they walked. One collected the coffee orders and two went to sit down.

Within seconds the girl queuing answered a call on her phone. It was her friend who was now sitting a whole 3 meters away. "Stacey, can you get me a skinny blueberry muffin with that". Quite why she wanted a skinny muffin was beyond me. Talk about locking the stable door....

About 5 minutes later her phone rang again. It was her best friend Kayleigh who was shopping in Boots (directly opposite).

"Hello Kayleigh, where are you ? Oh, what you doing in Boots ? What kind of stuff ? What colour ? Cool. We're in Starbucks. Yeah. I'm wearing that yellow top I bought in New Look. Yeah. Come to the door and look across and I will stand in the window and wave." The mind boggles.

I know I am a libertarian but at times I wish I had a gun.  

Anonymous Verity said... 12:50 pm

When I was having work done at the back of the house, the architect would walk in talking on his mobile and, without acknowledging me, walk through to the back and start looking at yesterday's work, still talking on his phone, while I trailed along behind, waiting for permission to talk.

Oh, good heavens, they talk on their mobiles at the tills here too; they talk at the meat counter while the shop assistant waits patiently to serve them and other customers wait placidly until it's convenient for the telephone-talker to actually place an order.  

Anonymous Verity said... 12:52 pm

Andrew Kennedy - If you are a libertarian, then you know that guns are GOOD.  

Blogger Serf said... 12:56 pm

and other customers wait placidly until it's convenient for the telephone-talker to actually place an order.

Then the sheep are just as much to blame.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:14 pm

Good to see we are all singing off the same hymn sheet. I style myself a libertarian too, but there is a world of difference between valuing and using one's freedom, and being an inconsiderate oaf when in the presence of others.  

Anonymous Verity said... 1:22 pm

Serf - the other people in line don't see anything wrong with someone holding up the queue by talking on their mobile instead of placing their order. They do it themselves. They think it's normal. And, in the land of mañana, it is.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 1:34 pm

great line in Private Eye a few years back.some bloke had been on his phone for half and hour on the train taking different calls and talking loudly.it rang again and he said to the person on the other end ,
'I'm popular today' a wag responded from a few rows away
'no,you're not'  

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