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You know, that’s a really personal matter, and I didn’t want to join you for it…

May 17, 2010, 11:45 PM

Tonight, while I was on the phone with a friend who shall remain nameless, I was traumatized. I’m going grocery shopping at Giant, and I’m talking about whatever on the phone with this friend, and then I heard this sound in the background:

*flush*

I asked her, “Are you in the bathroom?” Turned out that we’d been talking in the bathroom for the entire time up to that point. That was a lot more than I wanted to know, unfortunately. The term “oversharing” came to mind. Now mind you, this friend and I are pretty close, and I admit that this friend has seen me in a speedo before (yes, I own one, get over it). But nonetheless, taking the phone into the bathroom is a little bit beyond my comfort zone.

I don’t know about you, but I consider it a shade impolite to take calls in the bathroom. I’ll be in a public restroom and hear someone chatting away while they’re in a stall with their pants around their ankles. What I’ve always wanted to do is to go around the restroom and flush every toilet in there, just to underline the fact to whoever’s on the other end of that call that they’re having that call in the bathroom. You know, President Lyndon Johnson used to take meetings into the bathroom. I’d rather think that this kind of practice stayed in the 1960s, but apparently it’s alive and well with cell phones, where people will take a call just about anywhere. I would have been more than understanding if my friend had not taken my call and then called me back once they were off the commode.

After all, I consider potty time to be private time. That’s why there’s a door on the front of the stall, after all. When I’m at home, the phone stays out of the bathroom. When I’m in a public restroom, the phone stays in my pocket. If I’m on the phone and need to answer nature’s call, I will excuse myself and end the phone call before even entering the restroom. And that privacy ought to also be extended to others as well, because I, for one, don’t want my own restroom noises to be transmitted to a distant location via a stranger’s cell phone.

So that begs the question: When will people learn that there are certain places where the cell phone does not belong? We need a massive public education campaign or something to make it where taking a cell phone into a restroom is just absolutely taboo, and that no one would think of doing such a thing, and being on the receiving end of scorn from all of one’s friends and family if caught.

As you can see, I was a bit traumatized by the whole experience, and I did kind of verbally castigate my friend on the phone (right in the store) after I heard that flush. Hopefully they won’t take my call in there again…

Web site: Good Housekeeping discusses using cell phones in the bathroom

Song: Five years of YouTube...

Quote: And if we could get some influential figures to sign on to a public education campaign against cell phone use in the restroom, all the better. I still remember entering the restroom at the office when we still shared a floor with the Embassy of El Salvador, and seeing the ambassador, His Excellency Rene Antonio León Rodríguez, standing at the urinal, just chatting away in Spanish on his cell phone. That made me more than a little bit uncomfortable about using the restroom. Perhaps we could recruit him to educate others after getting him to break his potty-talking habit...

Categories: Friends, Some people