Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Did We Do Before Cell Phones?

I realize cell phones are a convenience, but sometimes those who use them make me want to pull my hair out. I try really hard not to be one of those people who forget they aren't the center around which the entire world revolves. Generally, you find those types somewhere with a cell phone stuck to their ear.

Today at Walmart, I was hurrying to get my shopping done so I could stand in a line twenty-people deep and listen to an entire 'private' conversation being had by the woman in front of me. This came after I'd earlier followed her through the cereal isle, waiting for her to claim one side or the other so I could pass. Nope! Didn't happen. She continued to cruise down the middle aisle, moving at a snail's pace, looking neither left nor right, with her phone planted firmly to her ear. If she'd pushed her cart as fast as she moved her lips, I wouldn't have had a problem, but... I wanted to run my cart right up her heels but, being the patient and kind adult that I am, I cursed beneath my breath and endured the 'convoy' she'd created. I really wanted to tell her that she wasn't the only person in the store and that I found her extremely rude, but I didn't. I'm not very good at confrontations. I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm a coward.

I decided to do Taco Bell for dinner rather than having to cook. Wouldn't you know I'd get behind the person in the drive-though line who was busy on her cell phone. She actually kept the staff person waiting to take her order until she could put her friend on hold. All the cars behind her had to wait because she was so self-important, what she was discussing couldn't be delayed until she got the hell out of line. She continued to talk all the way to the pick-up window, then balanced her phone between her shoulder and ear and struggled to reach the outstretched hand reaching from the window for her money. God, I wanted to jump out of my car, run up to her window, grab her phone and throw it into the street. Here again, it's a good thing I'm a coward. Cell phones tend to make people believe they are alone on this planet except for the person they're talking to.

I have a cell phone, but I don't use it when I'm behind the wheel of my car. If I need to make a call, I pull over. If someone calls me, I let it go to voice mail or pull over and answer. I refuse to sacrifice someone's safety for the sake of a crummy phone call. I can't believe that the law allows drivers to engage in dangerous behavior all for the sake of the almighty dollar. You know there have to be some kick backs from the cell companies to keep something from being passed that prohibits cell usage while operating a motor vehicle. In my opinion, it's almost as bad as driving drunk. Some people can't walk and chew gum at the same time; what are the chances they can drive and dial. I don't want to meet one of them head-on.

I'm sure you've noticed that people who use the phone while driving slow down an average of 20 MPH while they talk. They're oblivious to what's going on around them. How can they possibly be alert enough to drive? I almost got hit by a big-rig whose driver was dialing. Luckily one of us was paying attention. ME! I really do think "hang up and drive" should become the Tennessee state motto. And I don't mean to be insensitive, but if you have missing teeth, hair badly in need of a trim, and are using food stamps, should a cell phone really be your priority?


Unknown said...

All I can say is "Amen". I loved your comments. They were funny, but sadly true. I'm sure we have all been faced with this problem before.

Chris Redding said...

In NJ, as of March 1 it is a $250 fine for talking on your cell phone without a hands free device.
I'm with you Ginger. I don't talk on the phone and drive.
Nothing is that important. Even if it is the school nurse calling me, the kid can wait five minutes until I get somewhere I can safely call back.

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