Categories: Society & Culture

The Continuous Rudeness of Cell Phones

It is Sunday night.  I am in bed.  There is a buzzing from the far corner. I open my eyes and see the cell phone flashing.   It is flashing because it is Permanently on Silent.   It is permanently on silent because of this very reason.

The day I got a cell phone, I implemented a policy of shutting it off every night at 10 pm and not turning it on until after my morning coffee which would be about 9:30 am.

When I turned it on in the morning there would often be ‘missed calls’.   None were from any number I recognised, so I never returned the missed calls.

I never returned the calls, yet the world kept turning, the sun kept rising. My not answering or returning calls had no effect on the world.

This is something most people who own cell phones are unaware of.  The fact that not answering a cell phone is perfectly legal and has no effect on the continuation of life on Earth.

Most people are robots.  They must always answer when the phone rings.   They can’t go to the bathroom without their phone.

I can, but then I am exceptional.

I can leave the phone in the house and go out.
Go out without my ‘leash!’
And I can shut off my phone any time I want.

My cell phone is flashing.   Eventually, it stops.   The time is 9:41 pm on a Sunday evening.

When I check the message it is from someone I don’t know, who got my number from a mutual acquaintance in relation to business.  At 9:41 pm, on a Sunday evening, it was convenient for them to call my number.

This kind of rudeness, this kind of selfish behaviour, I do not support nor tolerate.   That is why my cell phone is on silent.  That is why it is way in the corner.   That is why I do not answer it.

Why would anyone call a stranger, in relation to a business problem, on a Sunday night, at 9:41 pm?

It would be bad enough to call a stranger, in relation to business, anytime after 5 pm on Friday evening and before 9 pm on a Monday morning.   It is beyond offensive to call after 9 pm on a Sunday night.

However, as my phone is on silent, the call went unanswered.  I listened to the message when I was ready to hear it.

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The caller could have called every minute on the minute all night, if the flashing or vibration bothered me, I would have shut off the phone.  But, as it was only seen on my journey to the bathroom, it was not particularly disruptive.

In ancient days, people would have a ‘land line’ at their office and a ‘home phone’ where they lived. Only those who were personal friends/relatives would have the home phone number.

When I had a land line, I unplugged it when I went to sleep, so no one could call.  I replugged it after my coffee because that was when I was ready to correspond.

Sure, it’s ‘selfish’ for me not to be available to the world whenever anyone feels like calling, but alas, I tend to believe I have a life.

Today, with cell phones, everyone is ‘plugged in’.   People are so controlled they can never shut off a phone, never be out of contact, must always take every single call.

Once, employed to the King of the Bosses From Hell, I was drinking my morning coffee when I noticed the phone flashing.

When I took it up I learned, the Boss From Hell had made his first call at 4:46 am.

At Four Forty Six, a.m. before the Sun even neared the horizon, he had called.  He had called and continued to call every few minutes. until 6 am.

I was sleeping.
I did not get up nor see the phone until past 7 am when I was drinking my coffee.   I was rather amused by his evil.  I didn’t return any call.  I waited. The phone rang about ten minutes later.

I answered to learn why I had been called.

Of course I didn’t do anything until 8:30, which was my usual go out and get a lift to the office time.

However, the high point was the incredulity in the voice of the Boss From Hell when I told him I shut off my phone at night.  I think his slave master genes were activated, as he probably forgot that in 1834 Slavery was abolished in Jamaica.

I can not fathom how anyone, calling at these unreasonable times, can expect the call to be answered.  I could not possible conceive of calling anyone outside of ‘business’ hours for business.

As I am not an emergency service, nothing happening outside of business hours is of much import to me.  Of course, I am an aberration, and happily accept it.

  • kaylar

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    • It is a general for all to receive a call from an 'unknown' in recent days. I prepared myself to face the disturbance the day I purchased a cell phone. What is the problem now? The morning before 10 only persons from office to inform well in advance about their absence or sanction of leave? Nothing else. In the evening after 10 anybody in the office is free to disturb me the reason being
      1. Holding an important position. Any Public Representative will feel it convenient to disturb me when the Head is not available for seeking information relating to Govt., work.
      2. Even Head does not feel it as he himself needs some information on files as Boss
      3. Colleagues and relatives may at any time find it necessary to call upon me as a courtesy.
      How can I avoid them? No way. This is the minimum respect and courtesy to answer their call if they happen to be relatives and friends and it will be the responsibility to clarify the doubts and furnish information to the Public Representatives and to the Boss respectively. This I can not avoid.

      But, I can't sacrifice the happiness of the people at home by attending. Instead of causing a disturbance I found a nice way of keeping my cell phone on FLASH only.
      Even at the time of taking my breakfast, it will be ready at the side of my plate and ready to flash to make me alert.

      I generally do not like people who do not answer a call and plead excuse saying 'I was in traffic'. I advise them to keep their phone on Vibration mode while in traffic or attending any social gathering where the chances of listening to the phone will be very less.

      Responding to a call shows what you are meant for a society.

      • I really disagree here. This is my life. I don't have to be on call to whomever feels like calling me when it is comfortable for them. I am not a slave. I don't have to jump when anyone calls. A person calls I have a right not to answer.

        A person is driving and the phone rings; let it ring. The person's life is at risk. And when I am with my friends, no... I don't answer. The people around me are more important than the caller.

    • I appreciate cell phones, especially, my android. I do, agree, that it should have a proper place in our lives. Families are too caught up with their cell phones at the dinner table that we have forgotten that it is a time to share and enjoy each other's company without that distraction. I know a Pastor Friend who is with the phone 24/7 and is, constantly, getting calls. While I respect his position to serve others, there should be some consideration that his family time is important. Priorities play a strong role in regards to the use of phones.

      • Exactly Caleb, if we were having dinner I would not consider it proper to have the cell phone at the table. Cell Phones have become the leashes on humanity.

    • Since the advance of the technology from Internet at home until nowadays we have our smartphone with those communication apps, there are companies expected their workers to answer the call and message after work. Some employees even need to attend calls, messages and emails after work. To me this is totally unfair if there is nothing important. After work, they should be given a time to rest. Wow, if employees got to attend the managers or boss after work, then the company is really in a profits. They do not need to pay the employees overtime.

      During my father times, not everyone owns a cell phone, therefore after office hours, others don't have chance to call each another.

      There should be a respect to people who had off work and resting at home.

      • Everyone should shut off their phone when they leave work. They shut it off and that is the end of the annoyance. The point is, as soon as I say 'shut off..' everyone looks at me as if I suggested they eat their relatives. This is how brainwashed people are.

        When I told the BFH I shut off my phone his mouth dropped open. Under no circumstances would I ever answer a work call outside of work.

    • Me, since my contracted phone is from my monthly load allowance, I see to it that the phone is always with me, because my lady boss might have an instruction for me.

      Besides, my sisters might call for an emergency news since my father is already 84 and has diabetes and with one leg amputated already so I always would answer it even if it's at night but this never happens.

      As to those unregistered phone numbers, usually they are from my credit card provider to offer me a supplementary card, though they don't call after 5:00 in the afternoon.

      As to my boss, she wouldn't call on unholy hours although for her, his boss calls even at 2:00 in the morning when an idea suddenly appeared on his mind.

      • That's the difference. I only like to talk to people on the phone when I feel like it. Not when they feel like it.

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