Since working at the coffee shop, I’ve become very aware of cell phone etiquette. From the drive-thru to the counter, some customers routinely yak on their cellphones while expecting us to give them our undivided attention and great service. I’m sure the majority of them are really nice people and don’t think a thing of their divided attention. It’s just how life is now. I understand it, but personally, I think it’s rude. John Tesh mentioned it on his show, and I have to agree with him:
Hang Up Your Cell Phone While You Order Your Latte
Cell phone users are rude! That’s the consensus of business owners all over the world. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, chatty cell phones users have become a big problem in service businesses, particularly restaurants, grocery stores, banks, and post offices. It’s common for uncaring customers to continue to talk on their cell phones while they order a latte, pay, wait, grab and go.
And they’re so oblivious to the world around them, they hold up the line, ignore the salesperson behind the counter, and loudly regale everyone in the place with their personal business. And believe me, nobody wants to hear about their latest office crisis, or the “Where do you want to eat dinner argument.
In a bid to stop the rudeness, a flurry of signs have popped up. Basically saying “This is a no cell phone zone” — and requesting that customers turn off their phones. Of course, not every customer bothers to read the signs — or abide by the rules. Some customers even get angry if they’re asked to put their call on hold while they place an order and pay. So, workers are taking things into their own hands.
For example, in one bakery, if a customer is on the phone, servers skip to the person behind them in line. One clerk takes it a step further: If she’s faced with a customer on a cell phone, she grabs a toy cell phone, presses a button to make it ring, then says, “Hello, may I help you?” Then she won’t talk to the chatty Kathy customer until they hang up their phone.
So, are you guilty of talking-while-shopping?
I can’t believe people can’t call their people back after ordering their coffee or after checking out at the grocery store. Another coffee shop employee (elsewhere in the country) wrote about how one customer routinely comes in while talking on his phone. He gestures to the menu board, pointing at what he wants. The staff has to guess. Then, he puts his money on the counter and points to it. This particular employee was leaving her employment, so when the rude man came in the shop her last day, she’d had enough. When she took payment, instead of putting his change on the counter as usual, she flung it across the room.
Then she looked at him and pointed in the direction of his money.