The telephone doctor: What kind of cell phone user are you?Nancy Friedman cell phone etiquette
It's common knowledge that fellow cell phone users can be pretty
annoying. It seems as though most people have a pet peeve or two
about them. In our travels, we have found that there are a variety
of cell phone personalities. Read on and see which one applies to
The head turner
The head turner looks as though his head is on a spindle of some
sort. As he talks, he is constantly looking around. We're not sure
what he's looking for, but we think he wants to see how many people
are watching him as he's talking on his phone. "Hey, look! I have a
cell phone. I'm unique." It's as though he doesn't realize that
nearly everyone has a phone now and no one is interested in his.
Trying to be a big shot is making him a sad spectacle.
This poor soul thinks everyone is hearing challenged. His voice
projects three times the normal amount needed. It's obvious he
isn't able to hear how loud he is. And the shouter doesn't seem to
realize that his phone already amplifies his voice, so he really
doesn't need to shout at all.
The secret talker
The good news is that he talks quietly, but he covers the receiver
with his mouth while his eyes dart around from side to side, and it
looks as though he's delivering information for the CIA.
The corporate cliché-meister
This person uses buzzwords and clichés to impress those around
him. "Well, just tell Bill to keep me in the loop. We need to run
this concept up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes it. When we
go live, the entire project represents a real paradigm shift into
the B2B space. I mean, this would really connect the dots and help
us build synergies for all of our stakeholders. I just hope we
don't get any pushback."
The useless call maker
This user is a phone freak. He's hardly ever off the cell phone.
He's making useless calls, one after the other. You can normally
find the useless call maker on an airplane making astute comments
such as, "Hi, we haven't left yet. Ok, bye!" or "Hi, we just
landed. Ok, see you." I'm not sure why these useless calls couldn't
wait until he was off the plane.
The crazy talker
Well, it looks like he's crazy. This is the hands-free user. You
see and hear him walking and talking loudly, head bobbing up and
down, but there's no one around. So naturally, you think he's
either talking to you (uninvited), or you think he's talking to
himself. Either way ... crazy. Too bad people can't see how they
appear to others. Use those things in the car, on the side of the
road, or for hands-free operation - not in public.
The "I don't care where I am or who you are, I have a
phone call to make" user
This cell phone user makes and takes any and all calls anywhere he
pleases, declaring, "This land is my land! My rights count, yours
don't." Funeral? Restaurant? At a play or recital? As the cell
phone rings, he quickly (and insincerely) says, "Sorry about
This type of cell phone user has all his speed dial numbers
directed only to you. He calls you a lot just to talk. Problem is,
he has the time, you don't. And you don't know how to tell him not
to call so much without hurting his feelings. Hmm, how do I get an
unlisted cell phone number?
The "My ring tone is better than your ring tone"
Download heaven here. This user has gone to great lengths to get a
ring tone that is unique. And, they let it ring longer than usual,
just so you can hear their special ditty!
The generic cell phone ring tones user
One phone rings, 10 people in the area check their cell phones to
see if it's their phone. (Is that mine?)
The cell phone driver
Drive or talk: Pick one, not both. You can't do two things well at
the same time. How scary, to look in the rear view mirror and see a
delivery truck tailgating you, with a distracted driver on a cell
The right hand/left ear cell phone user
This just looks really uncomfortable (and odd).
The considerate cell phone user
This rare person has a high regard for others and their personal
space. When he makes or takes a phone call, he removes himself from
the table or whatever area he's in and uses the phone in a private
area so as not to disturb anyone.
Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer
Service Training in St. Louis. For more information, call (314)
291-1012 or visit www.telephonedoctor.com.