“How can my cell phone be ringing?” was my panicked thought as I quickly reached for my purse. I was at a seminar and the familiar ring tone interrupted my rapt attention on the speaker. I was sure I’d turned my phone to silent before even entering the building. How could I have been so stupid? But wait, as I grab my phone and notice it isn’t even vibrating, much less ringing, I hear a deep voice a few tables away. I stuff my cell phone back into my purse grateful that it wasn’t me interrupting the class. Then, I realize that the offending phone belongs to a guy who has decided to carry on a conversation without so much as leaving the room! Seriously?
Now, I’m sitting there annoyed because the speaker, who is apparently used to rude people, has continued on with his teaching and I’ve missed part of it because this guy (whose phone has the same ring-tone as mine) is talking! The glares in his direction tell me I’m not the only person who is miffed. O.K., mister, I understand that people make mistakes and forget to turn off their cell phones, but to answer? And then, to carry on a conversation?
Finally, my attention moves back to the speaker, whom I’m sure said something brilliant while my mind was elsewhere, and I continue on with my note taking. Not more than twenty minutes pass and there is that familiar ring tone. Again, my attention is interrupted, and again, said man answers his phone. At least this time he leaves the room. But once again, I miss a few minutes of the speaker’s insights.
Maybe it’s the slight bit of Attention Deficit Disorder that I’m sure I have, but each interruption takes my mind completely off the speaker and I lose precious time trying to refocus. Time, by the way, that I have paid money for.
I love cell phones, don’t get me wrong. But, NOBODY is so important that they can’t turn theirs off, or at least to vibrate, for a few hours. I understand there are emergencies but come on people, use some common sense.
I attended a play two days after this whole cell phone incident and an announcement came over the loud speaker before it began. The announcer asked everyone to take out all electronic devices, turn them off, throw them on the floor, and stomp on them. Perhaps he had been at my seminar. Two minutes into the show, a phone rang.