Recently, we went out to eat and were seated in a booth directly by a man who was eating alone. Just about the time we sat down, he either received a call or made a call and then went on to talk very loudly. Everybody in the section we were in could hear him -- I saw a few people give him the evil eye -- I wouldn't be surprised if the whole restaurant couldn't hear him, also. I don't know how long he talked -- it seemed like a long time but it probably wasn't.
Anyway, for whatever reason -- maybe because the connection isn't always great -- or maybe because when folks are in a public place they don't hear as well -- people tend to talk exceedingly loud when they are on their cellphones. It's annoying in a store when you can hear someone three aisles over but, in a restaurant, it's worse.
I will say that I don't mind so much if people have short conversations -- for instance, "We're at the restaurant -- see you in a minute". For the most part, though, I think people should let their calls go to voicemail and return the call later -- especially if it's not an emergency. Yes, I know, you wouldn't know if something is an emergency until you answer -- but most of the time, it's just people calling to chat about something that could wait. If you must answer, then do so, find out what it is, then tell the person you'll call them back. Or, for God's sake, TEXT. I've heard a lot of people say they "don't text" -- as if this has earned them a Girl Scout badge. All I know is that it's better to text than to disrupt everybody else with some conversation that others don't need to hear. I mean, really, we are getting into the realm of courtesy here, if nothing else.
Anyway, the restaurant we were in was not one that would be considered "high end" -- I have a feeling at a more upscale place, management would have stepped in quickly. So, maybe you just get what you pay for.
I've noticed that some places -- notably salons and some offices -- ask people to put their cellphones on vibrate -- but none really say, "please don't talk on your cellphone" but I'm beginning to think that's what some places -- like restaurants -- should do. I mean, after all, if you want to smoke, for the most part, you have to step outside -- why not with this, too? Both are equally disturbing when you are trying to have a meal or trying to enjoy a salon visit. By the way, I'm so grateful to the doctors' offices which post signs that ask people not to wear perfume or cologne while there -- but that's a whole other story.
No wonder I don't even want to leave my house much anymore. If the phone would stop ringing, it would be perfect.