Peter Post knows about etiquette. Post is the great-grandson of Emily Post, the connoisseur of manners who literally wrote the book on good behaviour. As a director of the Burlington, Vt.-based Emily Post Institute, he recalls how he recently watched three businessmen sit down to lunch. Barely two minutes later, one man proceeded to place a call on his cellphone, ignoring his companions. The two men clearly did not appreciate the snub. “Their body language,” says Post, “went from being in a friendly, jovial situation, to being very cold and very frustrated.”
Cellphones have been around long enough that their owners should know by now when and
where to use them. For those who still do not—and clearly there are many—here are some gende reminders from Post, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and other well-mannered sources:
V’ ' It seems so obvious, but—keep your voice down. Not everyone, believe it or not, is as fascinated as you are in how the Maple Leafs/Steelers/ your office mate Mary made out last night.
Another duh: Turn off your ringer in business meetings. Not to mention theatres, cinemas, restaurants, libraries, classrooms, gambling dens. Modern phone features—voicemail, call display, vibrating signals—leave no excuse,
even if you just have to take that phone-a-ffiend call from Regis. Out in the lobby, of course.
Ï*"* When driving, pull over to the side of the road before talking, or use a hands-free kit. Wait: is that a manners issue, or safety? Both.
Other drivers will appreciate your courtesy in not causing a horrible accident.
The well-brought-up cell user avoids making calls from a bathroom stall. (Even though, yes, others do.)
And for cell-less onlookers: Try
to be tolerant. Remember the spirit of Hyde Park—speaking in public places is supposed to be a right.
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