Nov 28, 2007

Lock Up Cell Phone Scofflaws

Today's New York Times has a has a story about a judge that was recommended for removal by the New York's State Commission on Judicial Conduct after the judge ordered 46 people taken into custody over a ringing cell phone in his courtroom. From the article:
"On the morning of March 11, 2005, the judge, Robert M. Restaino, was presiding over a slate of domestic-violence cases when he heard a phone ring. According to the commission’s report, he told the roughly 70 people in the courtroom that “every single person is going to jail in this courtroom” unless the phone was turned over."

Granted, this judge's actions were judicially nutty, but I think he was on to something regarding idiotic cell phone users who let their phones ring anytime, anywhere.

In the courtroom. In church. During public meetings. In restaurants. On a date. On the bus. On the airplane. In the grocery line. In the movie theater. At the play. At the symphony. In the doctor's office waiting room. During the sales call. At the funeral. At your child's dance recital. During the college lecture.

Get my drift? Remember 1931's Frankenstein movie, where the villagers with pitchforks drive the monster into the windmill, and then set the windmill afire? Maybe that's what should happen to rude cell phone users. Is this hitting home? Are you one of these people! If so, do you have ANY IDEA how annoying and inconsiderate you are??

Do you think anyone wants to listen to your "We Didn't Start The Fire" ringtone at 80 decibels, followed by your conversation about the dinner party you had last night? Who do you think you are? Unless you're President of the United States and you're taking a phone call from the War Room during a nuclear attack, turn off your cell phone if you're in a public place! That's why there's voice mail, you know? That's why there's e-mail.

You're not impressing anyone by answering your cell phone during public events. In case you haven't noticed, everyone has a cell phone these days. You're not special anymore. It's not like you're Cary Grant in a movie in the 1950's, and only cool jet setting millionaires had phones in their cars.

Turn the thing off. Turn it off. Turn. It. Off.

Have a job that requires constant contact? It's your turn to be on call? Like a doctor, or electric company lineman, or a plumber? Put your cell phone on VIBRATE mode, and take your call out of public earshot.

It's called basic manners. Remember those? Thinking of others? Try it. When in a public place, turn your cell phone OFF. Your fellow humans will be eternally grateful.

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