Cell Phones in Unlikely Places

Not long ago at a conference I overheard an unusual conversation. And no, I wasn’t eavesdropping, the conversation was too obvious. During a session break, I stepped into the rest room, as did a number of others. While in the room, I noticed an obvious and intentional conversation taking place about strategy and protocol from behind a stall door. The inhabitant of this “personal space” was having a rather public/personal conversation on a cell phone. Talking on the cell phone from the restroom? I wondered for a moment, do you think the person on the other end knew where his conversant was calling from? In the background you had to have heard the flushing of commodes, the running of water, and the sound of automated towel dispensers. Wouldn’t that interfere with a conversation? Would you repeat yourself, I couldn’t hear you because of the flushing toilet next to me?

Now I believe in making the best use of your time, but sometimes I think you can cross the line. We ask people to silence their cell phones in worship services, meetings, funerals, wedding, and movie theatres. Maybe we should start asking people to silence there cell phones in restrooms? I don’t know – it just seemed like an unusual place to have a phone conversation. When is it appropriate to have a cell phone conversation?