Chit chat on cell phone in public... rude?

Yesterday I was in a grocery store and there was a man who was talking on his cell phone the whole time. We entered at about the same time and shopped at similar rates, so it seemed like we were always on the same aisle.

So for the whole 45 minutes we were there I heard bits and pieces of his conversation. It was nothing shocking or offensive, just a lot of,

“So, what else did you do this weekend? Oh, really, I’ve never been there, was it fun?.. Dan and Susan came over for dinner on Saturday and guess what, she was wearing a leather skirt! Hiiillllarious! She’s such a hard-core veggie!”

Etc etc etc

Do you consider this behavious harmless or obnoxious?

On the one hand, if he’d brought his friend with him to the store and they’d had the same conversation, no one would think it rude or unusual.

But it sure got on my nerves and I was really glad that he got in another check-out line!

I think it would only bother me if he were talking about nothing, as it seemed he was. I don’t know why that would bug me, but it would (if there were actually substance though, I think I’d be okay with it).

I recall once as I was boarding Tower of Terror at Disney World and this guy’s cell phone rang and he took the call. Now that’s annoying.

I think that cell phone conversation in public isn’t rude, per se, provided one follows the same rules one would if speaking to someone in person.

My only beef is with those who instantly enter another dimension when on a cell phone. You know the ones - as soon as the phone hits their ear they lose all sense of their physical presence in the universe. They yell into the phone as though sound waves were no longer capable of travelling as efficiently, and the rest of society disappears. They walk up to the register and pay no heed to the fact that there are actual people around them. The technological marvel glued to their head apparently makes a great shield against any unwanted conversation, such as how much their purchases cost, or whether they would like to update their account information, or any other pertinent information regarding the transaction. So they nonchalantly throw a bill or two on the counter, as though this action were completely independent of anything, and continue yakking. When they finally get out the door with their purchases, and at some point before they reach home, they’ll usually realize that their inattention has resulted in an erroneous purchase or some other item overlooked. So what do they do? They pull over to get something from the gas station and while they’re in line they call up the store they just left to yell at the manager while the poor kid at the counter rings up their gas and pack of smokes.

Nah, I got nothing against people who use phones respectfully, just use some common decency.

Loud telephone conversations in public situations are inexcusably rude.

I wouldn’t say it’s rude but it’s definitely annoying.

If it’s a really important call, like “Honey, what kind of cough syrup did the doctor tell us to give to Little Johnny” while you’re standing in the Wal-Mart Pharmacy, that’s cool.

Long, drawn out conversations about nothing: stupid. Unless it’s a LDOCAN in an elevator, then it’s rude. I friggin HATE people who walk into an elevator yakking and I have to stand there and listen to “Yeah? Then what did she do?” “Oh, nothing, just got out of class,” etc.

I think people who walk around with a cell attached to their ear look insecure. Cell phones are the security blanket of the 21st century.

Don’t even get me started on the moron I saw in the store who was walking around wearing a HEADSET talking into it! What was she doing, controlling air traffic!!!

I agreee it’s annoying, but why? Why do we react so strongly to it? Why would the same man having the same conversation with his friend present be less annoying?

Speakerphone, including the nextel push to talk are totally unexcusable in public, and I perdict will lead to further restrictions of public cell phone usage - these people are the bad apples who will spoil it for the rest of us.

Otherwise as long as the converasation is short and you are not confined next to people for the duration and you can stay conscienios of your surroundings then OK.

Occationally hearing from a long lost friend 1000’s of miles away will permit a voilation of the 2nd ‘rule’ but never the 1st.

Count me with the group who says rude!

Well, I no longer make the assumption that the person apparently talking to themselves is a nutter. :wink:

Actually, I only find cell phone conversations annoying when the speaker gets unbearably loud. Otherwise it’s no worse than a couple of friends having a conversation. Although I wish people WOULD get a grip about private matters - I really don’t care to hear them in any context.

Now, those damn Nextel things I find incredibly annoying. People sound like cops on the beat with those, except for the fact that they’re talking about what store in the mall to meet at and what size underwear Pookie needs… it just seems inappropriate to me.

I think the reason it’s so much more annoying to endure the cellphone chit-chat, compared to a real conversation, because we’re only able to hear HALF the conversation. Essentially, it seems like this weirdo is talking to himself in the grocery store. With a friend there, and with the other half of the conversation, it’s more normal.

And, has been noted above, they tend to GET REAL LOUD when they talk. Content may be inane enough, but content at volume is an intrusion into my serenit/peace of mind/wa and a flogging offense, in my book.

I think it’s perfectly fine if the person is just having a conversation. However, if this person were at the cash register and continued to yak through the purchase, then that would be rude. The way I see it, the person who is in front of you, in the flesh is more important than any person on the phone. So, if you’re going to interact with anyone in person, hang up the phone! Otherwise, it’s no big deal.

And, IMO, people don’t oppose to a person having a conversation with a friend because they can hear the whole conversation. And people are eavesdropping pricks.

I was annoyed by this the other day. (Then again, I’m easily annoyed, but that’s another thread . . .) I needed to kill some time while away from home, and had brought along some work to do while I waited. I went to the local downtown mall and sat at one end of a quiet area with tables and good lighting. It was the middle of the day and the mall was nearly deserted; and no one was in “my” area except people occasionally walking through. A radio station was playing at low volume over the speakers, just enough distraction to keep me from getting bored with my paperwork, but not intrusive.

After about 45 minutes of peace, two women sat down at the table directly across from me, unpacked their lunches, and started yakking. I could clearly hear every word. Apparently they were oblivious to the twenty other tables in that zone, especially the ones at the other end of the room, and also to me at my table with papers spread out, bent over my work. Granted, I accept that I was not in a library and had zero right to expect absolute quiet or not to be disturbed. But give me a break – these women completely changed the character of the room from quiet to yakkasaurusville.

I wasn’t overly annoyed, and I only had to kill about 15 more minutes. But yeah, two-person conversations can be just as annoying as the one-sided variety.

Definitely annoying, but I wouldn’t say it was inherently rude.

Of course, people who take cell phone calls in the library or movie theater (even before the movie starts, it doesn’t matter) should be subject to a wide array of torture devices, but if they’re just walking down the street or on the bus or something, I can’t say it’s particularly offensive.

I think it’s really stupid a lot of the time, yeah.

“Oh really? Yeah, I’m on the bus. Yeah, class was okay. OMG! I know! So I was all like, ‘woah!’”

I thought the thread title said “…nude.”

I’m not really sure what I expected from the discussion, but this certainly wasn’t it.

Irritating, yes, but no more rude than anyone having a conversation in a public place (unless they were being particularly loud, or not paying attention, but that’s not a habit restricted to mobile phone users).

It bothers me as well; I think it’s because it’s not an actual physical interaction between people.

I agree w/ 7 up yours about yakking thru the check out line. Teenage girl in front of me at Tar-jay did this; I wanted to smack her.

I don’t mind if people in public use their cell phones for quick, semi-important business for things like ordering ahead for pizza. If they’re just chatting away then I find it annoying. It crosses over into the rude territory when the conversation they are having interferes with the smooth flow of things, such as talking while at the checkout, or when someone makes you wait for them to have their conversation. When I worked in retail it just irked me to no end to be in the middle of talking to a customer and then, as soon as their cell phone rang they picked up the call and proceeded to carry out their conversation while I was standing there impatiently waiting for them to finish! The least these people could have done is to either let the voice mail pick up the call, or kindly inform the caller that they will call back.

I notice that people walking down the street while talking on their phones do not pay attention to where they’re going. I constantly get bumped into by cell-phone talkers.

On the train, I don’t mind it unless they’re yelling, which, nine times out of ten, they are. Then I get up and politely ask them to speak a bit quieter. If they give me any guff, I loudly say, “Well, if you can’t be quiet, will you please try to be more interesting?” That usually shames them into hanging up.

Little to add, since my opinions of and need/desire for cell phones are aboviously from an earlier century (and not necessarily the 20th.) Overhearing others’ phone conversations is just one more minor irritant to tune out. Clearly here to stay, and not worth getting excited over.

I was a little surprised on the train yesterday. A 20-ish woman was carrying on a conversation - just about what so-and-so had done over the weekend, and such. She was on the lower level very near the front of the car, and I was in the rearmost seat on the upper level. If I wanted to, I could have heard every word of her conversation. As opposed to the young woman 2 seats away from me who made a couple of brief calls, and if I had wanted to, I could not have made out more than a word or two. I was just a bit surprised that someone would want a bunch of strangers to hear their conversation so clearly. Or that they could be so clueless as to not realize the volume of their speech.

I support legislation authorizinng - nay REQUIRING! - bystanders to grab those Nextel beep-to-talk phones/radios out of the hands of users and smash them against the nearest hard surface.