The photo below depicts two young people proving a child can grow all the way into their 20s and not yet learn any courtesy or social intelligence when it comes to cell phone etiquette.
Any parent claiming either of these two young ladies as their daughters should ask themselves, “Where did I go wrong”? Yes, their daughters grew up looking like decent people. And while I believe they are decent, the two young ladies appear to suffer from a significant defect. Neither young woman knows how to behave in public.
My friend, Larry King, and I were dining at the Lakewood Towne Center Panera Restaurant. We abruptly stopped our luncheon conversation because of the sudden onset of extremely loud voices blasting throughout the restaurant. It was like someone yelling into a bullhorn.
We looked around to determine where the noise was coming from. Ahh. Two young ladies were sitting in a booth had their cell phone propped up while they conducted a face-time conversation with an unknown caller using the hands-free speaker feature. If these young women ever play their car stereo as loudly as they were broadcasting their phone conversation, a cop would be tempted to give them a noise violation ticket.
They were oblivious to the fact that everyone in the restaurant was being disturbed by their naive and self-centered behavior.
My elderly friend, Larry, shuffled over to their location to pose a simple question. “Boy, that sure is loud, isn’t it?”
On the positive side, I am pleased to report the young woman who owned the phone stopped acting like a jerk. She said, “Sorry; we’ll turn it down.” The second woman did not appear to understand why they should have to quiet down, but she did not act out in any negative way. They turned the phone blaster down like all three were in the booth talking at a normal conversational level.
The two restaurant guests sitting in the booth next to the phone blaster admitted that they found the two social ignoramuses’ phone call disturbing too.
Parents, please teach your children several essential life lessons. 1. The world does not revolve around the child. 2. There are other people with whom we share the planet. Therefore the child should be ever mindful of being thoughtful and courteous when around others. 3. If your child can’t behave themselves in a restaurant, he or she should stay home until they are civilized enough to be released out in public.
While the two subjects may recognize themselves in the photo, I purposefully did not select any of my photos which show their faces in order to avoid any wide spread public embarrassment. If I observe the same two behaving badly a second time, I will use sound and video with their faces fully exposed.
This story reminds me of the time I was in Starbucks near SR512 and South Tacoma Way. My wife and I were sitting, talking, and drinking our espresso in the back of the coffee shop near the back door. A gentleman; no he was not a gentleman. An ignorant man walks back to our location from the front of the coffee shop talking extremely loudly on his cell phone.
Without batting an eye, missing a beat in my conversation, or looking up, I increased my speaking volume as I spoke to my wife to match and then exceed the cell phone guys volume. In college, I learned to elevate my voice loudly enough to crack window glass. So I was confident I had what it would take to make my point. The rude cell phone guy was bothered by the fact that my loud conversation was making it impossible for him to hear his phone call. It was not long before he used the back door to take his obnoxious phone call outside where it belonged.
There is a better way to behave. When I enter a restaurant, I turn my phone down to what I call “church.” That means my ringer is off. The phone is silent. The vibrate option lets me know there is phone activity in the form of an incoming call, a text, or a message. If I must take the call, I answer and softly whisper to the caller, “Just a moment please.” I then stand up and walk outside to continue my conversation so as to not disturb others.
If I am correct and these social intelligence violators are wrong, then perhaps they might learn something from their experience and by recognizing their behavior profile in my article.
If they are correct and I am wrong because of modern changing mores, then perhaps this is a sign that at my age, I no longer fit into society. If that is the case, “Stop the planet. I want to get off”.