This one happened during college. I was supposed to get together with a classmate/friend (Susan) to work on a project one Saturday. We both had errands and things to do first, but agreed we'd call each other on our cell phones when we were close to being ready, and decide on a time and place. We also needed to discuss a couple of other details like what to bring.
So as I was finishing up my errands, I called her. She did not pick up so I left a message. Then half an hour later I saw she'd called, but I hadn't heard my phone ring. Then I called her...no answer. In other words, telephone tag. I was getting anxious to nail down a time and place so I could plan around it.
Then, unexpectedly, I ran into someone else I knew, John. I stopped and chatted with him in the street for a few minutes. Then my phone rang. I saw it was Susan. I said, "Sorry, I need to answer that" and answered the phone, talked to Susan, and made our arrangements. Then I hung up. John looked offended, so I said, "Sorry about that...we've been trying to get a hold of each other." He said, "Well....I just hate cell phones."
Is it ALWAYS rude to pick up a call if you are talking to someone? I hadn't expected to run into John, and I HAD already had a couple of unsuccessful rounds of telephone tag with Susan, who I really did need to speak with.