Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Cell Phone Etiquette
aka: C'mon People!

Yes, I am older than many students at my school.

Yes, I remember a time before cell phones.

Yes, my parents taught me to respect other people.

It may be that I am unique because of these things, but I could not be the only person that does not want to hear people's private conversations in a public location. (Especially if they aren't particularly interesting.) I was in our student lounge area a couple evenings ago, eating dinner and reading some material for class. It was quite late and there were only a few people in the relatively large space, but since most of the seating is close together, privacy is a mere illusion.

A fellow classmate (I assume he belonged there anyway, though his behavior made me question his maturity) received a call on his cell phone. He was obviously upset and proceeded to engage in a fight with a significant other. About every other LOUD word was "F**k" and the repetition of some unkind phrase that the other person had apparently used on him and he was now using as a weapon. I learned that what he does is no longer any of the other person's business. It appeared that it was MINE though, since I was hearing all about it. I thought when it became obvious that this was going to be a lengthy and personal discussion, he would leave the public area. I thought this person would probably not want another person who might someday be a professional colleague, to hear the details of his personal life or his foul language. I was wrong.

I considered leaving, since he was disrupting my reading, but also didn't think I should be the one to have to leave. Finally, after about 5-10 minutes, another classmate entered the area. OK, the Loud Phone Caller will realize there are now two of us hearing his drama and he will take his phone outside. Again, I was wrong.

Much to my amazement, this other person started making a phone call on his cell phone, and he put it on speaker phone! Had he done it after listening to the first caller's conversation, I might have believed he was making a point, but no. He sat down and immediately connected to his call on speaker phone so he could set up his computer.

HELLO!! Common courtesy people!! Let's show some respect for each other. Unless you are a celebrity, most people do not want to hear about your private life, nor do they wish to hear you exclaim obscenities. Also, as we are repeatedly reminded of, the area in which we live contains a very small law community. Our professional reputation really does start the day we enter law school. How do you want to be remembered when you are facing a former classmate across a negotiation table, or a courtroom, or a hiring partner's desk? Think about it, and take your phone calls outside.


Patti_Cake said...

Here, here and here again. I am so with you on this. I am probably older than you, I have a cellphone but I sure don't talk loudly in public on it. So rude. So unneccesary. I don't care about celebrities private lives either. I have enough drama in my own! Happy Anniversary to you and Casey!

Holly said...

I can relate. Just because some of your classmates might be in a "professional" school seeking a "professional" career, it doesn't necessarily mean they are at the proper level yet.
Actually, many practicing lawyers are that rude and unprofessional as well. I call it the "I'm the center of my own world" syndrome.