Cellphone etiquette

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 β€œWhere 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?

Also see If you’re stressed out these days, look no further than your ear.

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.

This entry was posted in Work.

3 thoughts on “Cellphone etiquette

  1. This is interesting. I have seen the “please do not use your cell phone” signs everywhere – even at the drive thru at the bank. It’s sad that you have to tell ADULTS this. You would think adults would have better manners.
    As far as the customer goes who pointed at what he wanted … I would NEVER have put up with that. I would have looked at him and said, “I’ll wait until you can tell me what you want.” I didn’t even let my kids act that way when they were learning to talk! We don’t point and grunt.

  2. Yessss!!!!! This is the # pet peeve of all my co-workers. What is so important that you can’t put your phone down for one minute so you can act like an adult. Do these people really think they are that important. I’m always falling victim to the ear phone customers wear and think they are talking to me. Example “Hey how was you weekend,” the customer asks, “Good,” I say, “how was yours?” Customer then gives me strange look.

  3. How else can you treat these people. I’m one of those weirdos with a BT headset growing out of the ear and even I can rotate the thing out of the way and pay attention to the business at hand. Our local Arabica has a “We will wait until you finish your conversation ….” sign up. First time I showed up with my BT headset they ignored me and went to the next person. Fortunately I wasn’t on the phone and got the idea right away. I bet lots of people with these things haven’t a clue. Many is the time when my turn in line finally came that I told my phone conversation to hang on or let the next people through depending on where I was in the conversation. And no I don’t deliberately start conversations in line although I do answer the dumb thing – It’s a combination business and personal line. I had it ring right in the middle of a purchase once & told the caller to hang on. With the headset on it’s in auto answer mode unless I can get the screen out & unlock it faster than the headset answers it. ;(

    People have to learn how not to yell at the phones too. They aren’t any different than the regular phones. Unless yours is plugged into the wall AND the handset it’s a radio πŸ™‚ We will hear you (Just talk normally TO the Microphone) and the people around you don’t want to. πŸ™‚ or am I wrong ??

    Enough – He’s blathering again …… Take his phone & keyboard away- Lock him up!!! πŸ˜‰

    GOD Bless!

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