Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Maureen Bozlinski
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
mbozlinksi@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Yes, I can hear you now, and that's the problem

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Michelle Singletary
Published:
Enough.
I've had it with people and their smartphones, iPads, Kindles or whatever who are interrupting my experiences at the movies, during a play or while dining at restaurants. I'm fed up with the loud conversations over cellphones on buses and trains.
The one plus to my frustration is that I'm saving money. Because I can't stand to be disrupted by rude people talking, texting and playing games on their devices, I've cut back on going out.
I can't help but think about Verizon's advertising slogan, "Can you hear me now?"
Yes, we can all hear you, and it's extremely annoying. And it's surely going to get worse.
Virgin Atlantic recently announced that passengers flying from New York to London and vice versa on its new Airbus A330-300 planes can make and receive phone calls while in the air. The airline said in its statement that the service is intended for use in exceptional situations and will be limited to six users at any time.
How soon will this "service" be expanded to other airlines like the checked bag fee that started with a few carriers and became a done deal for most of the industry? There will be people who will pay the premium price to talk while flying. And to be sure that fellow passengers, with no place to move, will be disturbed. As if flying isn't frustrating enough.
I don't go to the movies as often as I would like because I know that I'll have to leave the feature to fetch a manager to tell some patron to shut off his or her cellphone. I refuse to spend my money for a movie-going experience that will be ruined by the glare of cellphones being constantly popped open to read and text or even make calls.
It's so jarring to be sitting in a dark theater only to be jolted by a phone with a screen so bright it could be used to land an aircraft. One man's Bluetooth headpiece kept blinking a bright blue light. I tried to ignore it, but every time it flashed, my head would snap in the direction of the light. When I asked the guy to remove the earpiece, he looked irritated. He glared at me when the movie was over.
I love taking the train and typically enjoy the ride. It can be so peaceful and you don't have the stress that comes with flying. But if I don't get a seat in the "quiet car" that Amtrak has designated for those us who want peace, I'm privy to some conversations that should only be conducted in private.
I understand the occasional short conversation to let someone know when to pick you up or that the train is running late, but people are holding long and involved conversations often about inane stuff. Businessmen are barking orders or, in one case, holding a conference call. I really don't want to know your business.
On a recent Amtrak trip, a woman sat next to me and made a call to her friend who, I learned, was afraid she had a sexually transmitted disease. Thankfully, another seat opened up and the woman moved. But I could still hear her describing the test for the disease.
So many nice restaurant meals are interrupted because people are checking their phones or even taking calls at the table while you sit there waiting for them to finish. People could at least have the manners to excuse themselves and take the call in the restaurant's foyer.
I was at a play and, during an emotional scene, a woman's phone pierced the silence. She was in the front row and had to dig through her purse to find the device. This after an announcement was made before the play began to check your phones and turn them off.
If you're not careful, talking and texting on your cellphone might drag you into court. Legal experts are watching a lawsuit filed by a New Jersey couple who are suing a man and his girlfriend who were texting each other when the man swerved and hit the couple as they were riding on a motorcycle.
David and Linda Kubert both lost a leg because of the accident. Kyle Best, who was driving, pleaded guilty to using a handheld device while driving. The Kuberts sued Best and amended their civil lawsuit to add the girlfriend, who wasn't in the car. The couple believe the girlfriend should also be held liable if she knew Best was driving when she texted him.
We all need to look at our electronic etiquette. Our desire to stay so connected may cost more than we want. It's already costing people their peace and quiet.
Michelle Singletary: singletarym@washpost.com.
Washington Post Writers Group

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup