Skip Nav
Geek Culture
The 1 Character Related to Sirius Black That We Didn't See Coming at All
JK Rowling
The Story of Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak May Be WAY Darker Than We Thought
Try Solving This Math Puzzle That Is Making People Go Crazy on Facebook

Confession: I am a Cell Phone Rant Offender

Forgive me, geeksugar readers, for I have sinned. You see, I began the Cell Phone Rant Group as a means to call out the mobile phone rudeness of the world, and yesterday, I totally broke a commandment: Thou Shalt Not Talk on the Phone While at the Cashier.

When Cell Phone Rant Group contributor kiddylnd shared her cashier rant, I totally agreed. And I still agree! It was a booboo that I will try to never repeat. As kiddylnd says, you should give your full attention to a cashier, but hear me out! To read my confession, just


I had just left the gym and had my iPhone earbuds in and was getting a rare quick chat from my normally busy sister. On my walk home, I spied a Walgreens and remembered I was fresh out of shampoo and conditioner, and this was the last Walgreens I could go to on my walk home.

Still talking to my sis, I seized the opportunity for clean hair and grabbed my supplies. When I got to the counter, instead of clicking off, I just tried to barely talk — my silly logic was that if I wasn't so obviously on the phone, it wasn't as bad and I wouldn't offend the cashier as much!

I know — excuses, excuses. Now that I have admitted my guilt, I hope I can be forgiven, and I hereby sentence myself to cell phone karma: I will not roll my eyes the next time someone divulges the dirty details of their last date on the bus.

Do you have any cell phone rant offenses to confess?


Join The Conversation
SilverFang9899 SilverFang9899 8 years
I agree that it is very rude to be distracted by a cell phone while interacting with the cashier. I think the polite thing to do is ask the person you're speaking with to hold for the 30 seconds it takes to transact a purchase.
mayara mayara 9 years
When I get annoyed at the rudeness of cell phone users, it's about things that a) I don't do, even when not on a cell phone, b) I get annoyed at even if it doesn't involve a cell phone, and c) I usually get annoyed about *before* I even know they're using a cell phone. The truth of the matter is that most people don't know how loud they're talking and seem to forget where they are and that other people can hear them when they're on the cell phone. *Everyone* I know talks louder when using a cell phone than they do just before and just after. Plus, I hear many things said during cell phone conversations that I just about never hear people talking about if they're not using a phone. In addition, the rules about phone use seem to have greatly changed since I was younger. In this day and age of voice mail, people regularly answer they're phones in the middle of a conversation without even saying "excuse me" or something similar, something I was taught not to do when it came to answering the phone back before we even had an answering machine. Finally, I'm not saying you *can't* do the things I find annoying and/or rude. You are certainly free to do them. And I'm free to think you are an annoying, self-centered ass if I see you doing (some of) them. You don't have any right to not have people think you're being rude.
Colt-B Colt-B 9 years
just wanted to say great post emmiekitten. for posts 99 and 100 I think your two posts are the best one on here. Also just want to add that people who don't car about others do. there just tired of all the crap about complaining that something is rude or offensive. again i point out my happy holidays to Christmas remark. I'm not any religion but i love to say Christmas. I'm really shocked we haven't changed the name of Easter or to say happy 4th of July. because there are a lot of people here who are not from America. but a lot of people don't seam to care about that. We should change this rant from cell phones to something even more rude to do at a department store and thats putting things down in the wrong spot in stead of putting it back to the place you got it. and I also agree with another post that when your a cashier you get paid to do all these things and you should expect it. So since I'm from Wisconsin anyone want cheese with there Wines? lol and to end like my last post, at least were rude and talk on phone's, monkey's are rude and fling poo at each other So what will it be a person talking on there phone or someone flinging poo at you?
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 9 years
Geek you are forgiven, we all make our transgressions. However I vote on the side of, it's just rude to be on a cell phone when recieving service from someone, regardless of the minimal amount of service it might be. Everyone who's commented that they think it is fine and that they pay attention, well yay! I'm glad our Sugar commentors are in the small group of people who can be on the cell phone and give attention to what they are doing at the same time. However, I would then suggest that everyone else, but the people who have specifically noted they are above average cell phone users.... just need to (outside of an emergency or special situation) get off the phone and be focused on what you are doing. Cell phones are great I use mine all the time of course, but I don't have public conversations when not appropriate. Not only does it irritate me when I'm behind some rude person yapping on the phone and not paying attention.. (I obviously need to stand behind my fellow Sugar commentors, and not the general mass public ;) ) But it also makes me very judgemental of people who can't seem to wrestle the phone from their ear ("so what are wearing tomorrow night? I think i'm getting a cold sore, OMG!") to handle customer service in a mature and polite manner. Your life ain't so fabulous baby that I need to hear all about it in the grocery line. Just focus on the here and now once in a while, I promise it has long reaching stress reducing benefits.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
Oh Geek - you are fogiven JUST THIS ONCE! You could have easily put your sis on hold for a minute though...
star54 star54 9 years
I'm sorry but I don't see what the big deal is. In fact, this was only brought to my attention recently when I was on the phone with a friend, and she told me to hold on... then came back a minute later and said it was because she was paying for something and didn't want to be rude to the cashier by talking on the phone. I can't recall ever putting someone on hold or having to call them back just because I was approaching a cashier. Why should I? Am I going to be asked a bunch of questions that are vital to completing the transaction? NO. Am I interested in making small talk with a complete stranger about the weather? No thanks. Whether I'm on the phone or not, I never, ever fail to acknowledge the cashier by saying Hi, and always say Thank You at the end. What more do you need to do? The other day I was standing in a long line waiting for the cashier, so I pulled out my phone and started texting. I put my phone down when it was my turn, but then she was taking her sweet time taking all the hangers off and folding my clothes so I picked up my phone and continued texting... and I remember thinking "This is probably considered rude of me" but then again I did my part and she did hers and the transaction didn't take any longer than it normally would have, so I didn't care.
angeldoesit angeldoesit 9 years
I hate, hate when people do this too. I think it's rude, among other things. And I mostly stick to my rule about not talking on the phone while in front of a cashier. If the transaction is very fast, I'll tell my caller to hold for one second while I complete the purchase. BUT there has been a time or two that I have slipped. No matter how valid the reason seems to be, I always hate myself just a little afterward. But I get over it too. Because I'm human and these things happen. Like most other commenters said, the key thing is to be aware. Don't be rude. Don't be obnoxious. I worked at an Internet cafe in the very early days of the Bluetooth. One time I had a conversation with a man at the register, not realizing he wasn't talking to me. He was so engrossed in his conversation, while standing in front of me, that he didn't even notice I was talking back to him. I would've appreciated being told that he was talking on a magic device in his ear and not to me.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I see no problem with telling the other person to hold on and paying attention to the cashier. It is when you completely ignore her while on the phone or hold up the line.
nettefairy nettefairy 9 years
I worked at a music store once and one of my coworkers had an incident where they were doing paper work by the counter and someone on the phone came up to the register and just started tapping their credit card on the counter to get service. ugh. .
Emmiekitten Emmiekitten 9 years
"When someone is on there phone I still talk to them as if they are not, I talk about what items they have and let them know what I need from them" OMG, this is so rude! Fair enough ask the standard questions (in my case I would automatically pack for them and give them the reciept to save time on both our parts, i'd ask if they had a rewards card, they can give me it or shake their head, and i'd tell them the price as well as moitoning to the display, so they can read it too) but I wouldnt try and get them to reply with anything mmore than one word answers. I recieved a very important phone call while shopping the other day, which meant I had to finish up and leave right away, while still talking on the phone taking down directions. The cashier got all my things packed up and gave me a pen and a bit of paper to write on without me asking. I said thank you and sorry as I left, but the rest of the transacion I must have been pretty distant making notes, but I appreciated the help from her and next time I am in the store I will speak to her supervisor and tell them so. Theres no point being rude- the customers are people too
Emmiekitten Emmiekitten 9 years
As a cashier I dont mind when people talk on the phone when theey come through the till. I appreciate that some phone calls are important, and have done it many times myself before. The thing that bothers me(and a lot of my colleagues agree) is when people make no effort to acknowledge you and simply turn their back to you and carry on talking. especially when it is obviously a social call. Those people tend to get a LOT of loose change on their next shops. All it takes is a little nod, a smile and a thank you at the end of it(even mouthed) and you are still being polite and helpful :) And im sure most workers will be happy. Unless they are generally extremely rude and angry anyway...
alleyezonme18 alleyezonme18 9 years
Well here goes nothing... I think everyone wants more then they can ask for i dont see why we are even bothered by cell usage anywhere, first the streets and now while your in line at a super market dont you think this is a tad bit ridiculous. why arent we talking about the issues in hand already like gas, war, lowering income wages, ext.... this comment/opinion is pointless to me none the less its not going to stop anyone from doing it because society is asking to much...
Nichole77 Nichole77 9 years
I HAVE to comment on this one! I'm not technically a cashier but close enough, I think. I've been a guest service rep at the front desk of a busy hotel for over eight years now. I cannot tell you how completely annoying it is when someone comes to check in and they're on their cell phone. There is a huge amount of information given to our guests upon check in, mainly because we have several amenities that we explain and also there are registration forms to fill out and need explaining as well. When someone is on their phone not only are they being completely rude by holding up others and myself but they are basically missing everything I'm trying to tell them. I can't stand it when I'm asked questions about everything I've just told them. Again my time is wasted by repeating what I've already gone over. I've come to the point where I no longer try to tell them anything until they are done with the call. Instead, I politely make it obvious that I'm waiting to speak with them. I have way too much work to do to repeat myself over and over to people who don't have enough common sense to hang up and listen for five minutes. Really, are these conversations THAT pressing and important that people no longer have time to complete common everyday tasks in a courteous manner? If so, step aside and give your full attention to the person on the other end of the call and then after you hang up we can conduct business the proper way. After all, I don't care how good of a multi-tasker a person is, if you're on a cell phone you're only half paying attention to BOTH people you are interacting with.
Cheezeit Cheezeit 9 years
I was a cashier for 3 years and I'd just like to point something out here. The problem is not with the cell phone. The problem is with people who delay the cashier and the line because they're not paying attention. Yes, if you're talking to your friend and ignoring the cashier, who's trying to ask you if you want mayo on that, its rude. Don't do it. The issue with the cell phone is that it leads to a lot of problems. For starters, people on cell phones generally talk more loudly, my own father included. The other problem is that people on their cell phones inevitably seem unable to multi-task. Sure you think you can do it just swell, but thats because your attention is being divided amillion different ways at once, and you dont even notice. I worked at a jimmy johns, where when you place your order its really really important to get answers to what you want on it, what sides you want, what you don't want on it, etc. Every time someone on a cell phone would tell someone to "hold on" they would answer that one question i had, then immediately go back to their phone. Sadly, I had more questions, each of which was delayed, because they had to keep telling the person to "hold on a sec" and then I had to repeat the question, and then wait for them to decide. You get the picture. Even if you dont think youre holding up the line, you probably are. You're just not paying enough attention to realize it. And next time you get irate at the staff because you *think* you said no sprouts (but didn't because the person on the phone distracted you), remember that we tried to ask you, but you kept holding up your finger mouthing "hold on."
Cherise Cherise 9 years
To areyouserious: no garbage men complain about how much they are getting paid. If you haven't been watching the news many places have had strikes because of pay. And your comment about the world revolving around cashiers. The world doesn't revolve around people on cellphones ether. Before we had them what did we do? We waited till we got home. Cellphones haven't always been here. And just to let you know. I plan to be a college professor. I'm a cashier because I need the money to pay for my car and to help pay for school. I don't expect to have small talk with a person that comes to my register. I don't expect them to want to be friends. But I expect the best of people which means I expect everyone to treat everyone else in a respectful manner. I was raised that way and I'm happy I was. Yes I may be sensitive, so what? That's my personal life and as you said you don't want anything to do with the personal life of a cashier. So why talk about it and why display your own personal life out in the open where everyone can here it?
jeffkhockey5 jeffkhockey5 9 years
As once being a cashier myself at a little store that I can not disclose the name of other than the fact that the store was always a party and sometimes took place in a city...but besides that almost every day I was confronted with a customer that was speaking on a cell phone as I was checking them out. There was and can never be a problem with a customer talking on a cell phone as they check out, bottom line is that they are a CUSTOMER, not my friend, not someone that I want to set down for a cup of tea. I was paid minimum wage to set at a register and check individuals out, the customer being on a cell phone in no way hinder my ability to check these individuals, other than slowing a process and a possible delay in communication there was no problem I had with the customer, and therefor no reason for me to judge this person as rude or as someone whose mother had not raised them properly. The way I see it is like this,no harm no foul, a person on a cell phone is just like any other customer one can encounter in a mundane work environment,just another person. The kicker in this all is more often than not a person on a phone would stop their conversation to say please and thank you, more often than those who were not on a phone at all...
California-DJ California-DJ 9 years
To larrytxeast -- You have beautifully demonstrated my point that it's a crass world we live in. I recognize that there are different kinds of people. Some of them are like you and remind us of how little you care if you're offending us. In fact, I find that the less a person feels he has going for him in his own life, the more he thumbs his nose at the rest of the world. It would help if your argument was at all cogent. You list the myriad of things you don't like, but how is your life impacted if a girl who lives near you gets a tattoo or wears a swimsuit you find offensive? It really is easier to ignore bad fashion sense than to ignore it when someone is drowning you with noise pollution. I don't know how much you leave the country, but I put poor cell-phone manners in the same category as having cigarette smoke blown in my face in a movie theater (China), actually listening to entire cell phone conversations in a movie theater (in Mexico), or having to walk around a young child in a department store who is being allowed to squat and poop in the middle of the aisle (also China). Those are inconsiderate acts that are being visited upon us. I'm not inviting a response, because from the tenor of your post I can see that it would be a whole lot of "screw you." That would in no way properly propel this debate.
larrytxeast larrytxeast 9 years
One last comment. #91--it is NOT okay to treat cellular phone users disrespectfully just because you think they're inconsiderate. What truly is inconsiderate is that you think you have the right to judge them, when you don't. Maybe I don't like people listening to MP3 players because I take offense that they're tuning me out. Does that give me the right to snatch the earbuds out of their ears? Maybe I don't like people rolling up their windows to their cars because they're "blocking me out"--maybe I think they should be made to roll them down and engage me in conversation. No difference here, and to suggest that there is is to basically behave like a bigot. I consider such people no different than the ones that participated in KKK rallies years ago or yelled out the n-word (that rhymes with "trigger") to a fellow man with a darker shade of skin than theirs. It's bigotry, plain and simple. Further, if someone were to tell me to "hang up the phone," then as far as how the "chips would fall"--they'd get an earful. I'd let them know real quick-like that they aren't God and that until they are I'll keep right-on talking on my phone all I want, thank you very much.
aydiosmio aydiosmio 9 years
For those of you whom use retail pharmacies and your cashier IS the pharmacist or the technician, it would be nice if you called the person back after you left the pharmacy instead of continuing your conversation while the BUSY pharmacy staff is trying to let you know what is going on with your body and get you on your way. Its never nice for you to walk up to the drop off window while on the phone. We need to ask you questions and don't want to have you answer personal questions while theres another person on the other side of your phone line listening to what we're talking about. We can only follow the HIPPA law as closely as you will allow us to. The worst is when you remain at the counter talking loudly when the pharmacy staff is trying to work and FOCUS on everyone's medications and issues. Please keep the pharmacies cell phone free at least 8 feet away from the counter. Also, keep in mind that nobody else cares about what happened with you and Johnny the night before. Use your indoor voices please.
CrazySweet CrazySweet 9 years
I do think you can just tell the person that you're talking to on the phone that you'll just be a minute and can they please wait - it's so rude and look stupid when people continue to talk on their phones when they're being served.
retrometa retrometa 9 years
You actually think you're being clever but you're not. Considering you're lack of intelligence let me explain something to you in terms you can understand: There is an increasing body of evidence strongly suggesting that cell phone abuse greatly increases you're risk of developing brain cancer and inner ear tumors. Making "clever" comments about your cell phone abuse may distract some of your more distractable readers into thinking about something else -- less unpleasant -- but in no way lessons the harm you're doing to yourself. You, and people like you, abuse cell phones because it's easy to do. But you did not develop the technology, you could not possibly have conceptualized the process since you don't have the intelligence. Therefore, if you really want a response to your mindless dribble I'll give you one: People who abuse cell phones do NOT have to be treated respectfully. It's perfectly OK to tell a cell phone junkie to hang up the damn phone and let the pieces fall where they may.
California-DJ California-DJ 9 years
I once heard someone describe grace as "the art of making the people around you feel comfortable." I think that is what this is ultimately about. The people around you don't want to hear your conversation. They don't care. It's incredibly rude to make us a captive audience because we're in line behind you or at the table next to you. If you need an audience in life, join your community theater. I've notice that several posters have talked about this being a non-issue and "no big deal." To you I say, the problem isn't that you can't get off the phone in public; the problem, I believe, is much deeper. Have those of you who so proudly move through life blabbing into your phone ever considered any of the following probable reasons for your inconsiderate behavior? Are you: Terrified of being alone with your own thoughts? Filled with an anxiety that is only dulled by hearing a familiar voice? In need of attention? (This, I suspect, is a huge reason you're making yourself the center of attention.) Showing off your new technology (Get over it -- every poor, inner city high school kid I've ever taught has a cell phone) Absolutely void of self-awareness? You know the majority of people in that coffee shop, listening to you rattle on about your private life, think there is something deeply wrong with you. And here's the deal: I can guarantee you that if you're one of those thoughtless shoppers who gab into their phone in the middle of the grocery store while I'm trying to get by, you'll find about ten reasons to disagree with my post. The first rule of psychology is that we humans will do everything in our power to protect our egos. Rather than admit how crass we've become as a society, the worst offenders have to defend their actions by claiming that the rest of us are too sensitive or too uptight. But you know who's uptight? People who are so anxiety filled that they can't get through a simple trip to the grocery store without holding a public cell phone conversation -- regardless of who it bothers.
larrytxeast larrytxeast 9 years
I could not agree with #85 more. After I post this, I need to go "get a life" because this will be post #3 and it's time for some balance. The real problem with all of this is the simple thing--if a person wants to talk on a cellular phone, it is absolutely no one else's business. This is not North Korea or China, this is a free country, and if someone wants to talk on a cellular phone that is their right and not any of your business whatsoever. Just because you don't like it? Who cares, no one asked you to like it, no one CARES if you like it, and your dislike of said activity doesn't give you the right to go around judging people. Believe me, there are things that I don't like which I have to remind myself isn't any of my business. I don't get it that everyone buys Apple iPods when SanDisk, Creative Labs, and others make (I think) better MP3 players that let you replace the battery yourself and don't require their own software to load the songs up--drag & drop and be done with it. I think it's insane that 80% of people use iTunes to purchase songs that are AAC files (they're actually not MP3s technically) that will only play on iPods, period--when they could buy actual MP3s from Amazon or Rhapsody that don't have silly digital-rights-management and will play in any brand of player (including iPods) and that you can backup to as many computers as you want--hassle-free. I think it's stupid that people spend money on ringtones, or buy SUVs instead of minivans based purely on appearance. I can't stand to see tatoos (spelling?) on a woman, or boy-cut shorts for bathing suits. I dislike all those things, but you know what? Those people have the right to buy what they want with their own money. They don't have to rationalize their decision to me, they owe me NO explanation for the rationale behind their choices. Same goes here. Mind your own business.
Amandarose531 Amandarose531 9 years
Oh my goodness - Coming from my work perspective, a video store clerk, there isn't anything more annoying than someone coming to my register and ignoring me as I try to well, ask for information like "account name please or phone number" Well, I can't very well tell if it's the blue tooth/cell phone welded into their ear they're gabbing away to or if they're just being rather chatty with me, can't stand it. Whatever happened to a little common courtesy and manners, jeez.
From Our Partners
Latest Technology & Gadgets
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds