General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Cell phone at store

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finecabernet:
Question for you all (I expect these answers to be mixed). Yesterday we were trying to work out the details of a trip to NYC (we're in Philly, and we knew NYC was going to get a snow storm). My sister and I kept missing each other and she finally got a hold of me while I was in a convenience store. We're talking as I'm hitting the cash machine, and the man next to me says "Could you please keep your conversation private." I was a little startled and just replied "I'm leaving now," to which he replied "good" or "Thank gosh" or something to that equivalent. Since my business was concluded I just left without replying.

Now I could understand him being annoyed if I was holding up a line (I wasn't), or we were in a place where you needed silence or quiet (we weren't), or if I had been talking for an extended period (I wasn't). I thought his hostility (which is how it seemed to me) was surprising and uncalled for.

Thoughts?

mmswm:
I do consider it rude to speak on the phone while at the cash register, but not because of privacy concerns.  I think that by chatting on a cell phone while a store employee is ringing out my purchases, I am telling that person that they are not good enough to deserve my attention.

In the situation you described, I would have told the person on the other end of the call "Can you hold on a few moments while I cash out?" and left the call connected until I was ready to resume the call.

snowdragon:
By Cash machine do you mean and ATM or self check out - if so I think he was WAY out of line.  If you were ignoring a person trying to check you out - I can see the person checking you out being annoyed but the guy was not doing that and had no reason to address you. I would not have even bothered answering him.
 

finecabernet:
This happened while I was withdrawing cash at a machine, not while at the register. Ironically, when I was at the register I had my sister on hold because I didn't want to be rude to the clerk!

PastryGoddess:

--- Quote from: mmswm on February 09, 2013, 08:19:46 PM ---I do consider it rude to speak on the phone while at the cash register, but not because of privacy concerns.  I think that by chatting on a cell phone while a store employee is ringing out my purchases, I am telling that person that they are not good enough to deserve my attention.

In the situation you described, I would have told the person on the other end of the call "Can you hold on a few moments while I cash out?" and left the call connected until I was ready to resume the call.

--- End quote ---

This is what I do.

I ask them to hold on, put the phone on mute so they don't hear every little thing and put the phone in my pocket until I'm done.  Most people are ok with waiting for a couple of minutes.  If it goes longer than 5 min, you can ask if they wouldn't mind a call back.

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