The winner of the Clueless Contest

Our full plane had landed and we were delayed waiting to be connected at the gate.  A number of people used their cell phones to say they arrived, or briefly finalize plans.  If there was room, some passengers took their luggage out of the overhead bins.  The crowd settled into patiently standing or sitting, and waiting to deplane.

But in this crowded and silent space, one young woman continued on her cell phone, in full voice, as if she were on a speakerphone in the privacy of her home.

We develop courtesies and good manners so we can function in harmony in our society and in our organizations.  It helps keep our dealings with each other more like a line dance or a ballet, instead of like a gang war.  As our technologies change, our etiquettes evolve accordingly.

However, our clueless cell phone jockey continued relentlessly.  Her subjects ranged from coworkers she couldn’t stand, to friends with emotional problems.  Passengers glanced at her and exchanged arched eyebrows with each other, but she went on and on, through the long waiting period, through deplaning, and into the terminal.

I was right in front of her as we walked through the gangway from the plane, her private matters still droning in my ears.  I turned to her and said, “Excuse me, but everyone really shouldn’t have to hear all this”.  She said to me “What?” then into the phone “Wait a minute, some rude guy…” and then to me “Mind your own business!”  And I replied to her, “Apparently you don’t care who minds your business”.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2012. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “The winner of the Clueless Contest

  1. There was also a piece in Slate this week covering similar ground, titled something like “the end of civilization”.

    Here in Japan people are more considerate in general of others, and what you described would be unusual. But the local version of cluelessness is texting while walking, even at busy crossings, and the most clueless are teenagers (what a shock!). It’s not like Japan needs any more population control. At least it’s illegal while driving, but enforcement of all traffic laws is very lax.

  2. You are so right, unfortunately it happens all the time. On airplanes, in restaurants, on commuter trains… everywhere. We are slaves to our cell phones. The utmost ridiculous situation is when 2 people are together – walking, at restaurants… – and each is busy with their own cell phone. The list is endless.

  3. That was extremely brave of you to confront the phone offender………..kudos to you!! (You’ve heard of road rage…..well do you think we could end up with a phone-rage situation??) I recently went to a social evening and was situated in a small group. A woman I knew walked in, sat in the middle of us, and proceeded to have a full blown conversation on her cell phone (about absolute trivia), while the rest of us just stared at each in amazement!!. Needless to say, as politely as I could, I asked the woman to either remove herself from the group or quit the call so that the rest of us could continue our discussion……I’m not sure we’re still friends because of it!!! Oh well………

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *