Well that was embarrassing.

The problem with embarrassing circumstances is you never see them coming.

I am not an easily embarressed guy, and such occurences happening while I am working are quite improbable, as I clothe myself in a professional vineer. But sometimes, as the saying goes, shit happens.

I cover many regular city meetings for a local paper, and in my career I’ve never made a nuisance of myself. Until today.

I fairly recently bought a cell phone, since I have no other phone anymore, and while at a city Water Authority meeting today - always a solumn and weighty affair (not to say it isn’t important, but these guys bring such gravity to room you’d think they were deciding national foreign policy) I somehow completely forgot to turn off my phone.

And yes, it rang. It was a call-back from another assignment I’m working on. I was told the gent was out of the office all day, so I sent him an e-mail, expecting to hear back from him in a day or two. Under normal circumstances I would have been quite happy to get a call like this - he not only got back to me quickly, but when he really had no reason to. I appreciate that.

Except when in a board meeting.

The phone rang, and I must have looked quite shocked when I realized that annoying Cingular ditty was cheeringly announcing itself from my pants. I quickly stopped the call, and thought the phone turned itself off, but only seconds later it rang again.

I had to bug out of there and answer it, explaining to the guy I didn’t have time to talk, and went back into the meeting feeling like twice the fool when I got the annoyed or bemused looks (and worse, the cold shoulder) upon reentering.

I’ve seen this happen to other people, but I had no idea it would be as embarrassing as it was.

Curse you phone!!! Curse my brain!!!


I once called my mother, not knowing that she was in a movie theater.

The worse thing is that she answered the phone to tell me she couldn’t talk.

I was embarrassed for the both of us.

Yeah. I now see what predicaments these things get us into these days.

In a million years from now it won’t seem like a big deal.

This is what the silent mode on phones was made for. My phone stays on silent most of the time; and I only answer if I can.

Plus the vibrations in my trouser pocket are no bad thing. :wink:

Picture the scene at my school.

150 students at rows of examination desks in the Sports Hall.
All working in complete silence.

They’ve all been told in their classes that mere possession of a mobile phone causes instant disqualification by the Examining Board. We’ve put up warning notices outside the building (which the pupils read while they waited to come in), and the teacher in charge has further given a clear statement before we started.

Seven teachers are keeping an eye on proceedings, patrolling the aisles or watching closely from the front.

Ring! Ring!

Horrified staff close in on the sound, ready to escort the miscreant from the premises. We’re annoyed that someone has not only disturbed all the pupils, but has thrown away their own chances of passing.

Ring! Ring!

It’s proving difficult to track down the sound. Not only do the brick walls give off echoes, but it’s almost as if the noise was moving…

Ring! Ring!

Suddenly the teacher in charge flees the building. :confused:
Strangely the noise follows him out. :eek: :smack: :o :o :o

Last year, my daughter’s school band trip was to Atlanta. We were going to the Coca-Cola Museum (cool stuff) and a local mall and then Six Flags. While there, the band director decided it would be good for the kids to see the MLK Jr Memorial. Ok. We were ahead of schedule, totally fine.

We get there, and the kids get the “turn off your cell phones while in the memorial area, this is a solemn place” lecture. Of course, as I am standing there, reading the plaque in front of the eternal flame – my cell phone goes off. I could have died. Of course, all the kids laughed and the band director took it in stride, knowing that I just never used the stupid phone and didn’t think about anyone calling me.

To this day, my cell phone stays on silent mode 90% of the time.

This is precisely why I love my Treo. It has a switch on top that is specifically to turn the ringer off without having to go through on-screen menus and crap. There have been a few (not-quite-so-embarassing) moments where it went off at inopportune times, but it was usually near enough that I was able to make a mad scramble for it and flick the ringer off.

I’ve had the ringer on at work a few times before; it’s always the worst when it goes off in a quiet workplace because even a “one step up from silent” tone sounds ridiculously loud. These days, I’ve gotten pretty good about leaving it on silent or vibrate when I’m at work or in school.

What always happens to me is that I end up turning the ringer off and then forget to turn it on for like 4 days until I see it sitting there on the table with 10 missed calls.


Our district judge is very strict about cell phones in the courtroom. They must all be turned off or to vibrate at the very least, and if a phone rings audibly while court is in session, the bailiff confiscates the phone and returns it at the end of the day.

Until, that is, the day the judge’s phone rang while he was on the bench. He was pretty embarrassed about it. But, he recovered, and said, “Okay, for the next month, everyone gets a free one.”

I’ve never trusted cell phones…and I never will. I could never forgive them for the loss of my dignity.

Mine, too- any of the buttons that can be pressed without flipping it open will just hang up on a caller. Very handy.

A couple of years ago, during a concert with one of the choirs I sing with, an audience member’s phone rang twice.

It was the critic’s.

There is an “End” button on mine that ignores the call. And on my phone you just hold down the * key for 2 seconds and it enters silent mode.

Having “clever” ringtones can make it worse. I’ve done away with them save one, my sister’s. She calls me a lot and often it’s for silly things and casual chatting, so I found the perfect ringtone: Yakity Sax (the Benny Hill theme song). I still find it funny and appropriate.

Except for that one time it went off during a yoga class. During downward dog.

One time I spilled about my infatuation for my history professor on my blog, and I think he might have read it.

At the time, he was in the media quite a bit for a televised “best professor” competition for Ontario (which he ended up winning). I suppose he wanted to find articles on himself and so he did a vanity search, because one day as I was looking into my blog’s stats (it was on my own domain), I found that he had found my blog. His hostname had his surname attached to the university’s name and that’s how I knew.

I was embarrassed because just a week or so before that, I posted about how my cellphone rang in his class and how he was so nice (or “sweet”) about not making me feel embarrassed. I wrote this particular entry like a preteen schoolgirl. Not to mention I wrote an “Okay I admit it” entry explaining why I kept squeezing him into so many entries. :smack:

I still cringe thinking about it. I just hoped his Google search brought him to my congratulatory post about him getting on TV and he didn’t bother clicking around my site.

The critic one reminded me of the time we were giving our final presentation for senior design, the last presenation for my BS. In the middle of our presentation, one of my group members’ dad -answered- his cell phone, and talked for about a full minute, during his daughters presenatation!!!

When I got my work cell phone I didn’t know how to set it to vibrate. Even worse was one time I got a call and when I flipped the phone open I hit a button accidentally turning the speaker on. I was waiting in line at some government building. I didn’t know what button I hit and didn’t want the people around me to hear the caller on the other end so I just hung up and called back when I got to my car.

I had briefly changed my ringtone to “I’m a barbie girl” (Don’t ask, it was funny at the time)
Found out the next morning I hadn’t, actually, changed it back. During a presentation. My presentation. 17 people without any apparent sense of humor and me. And Aqua’s masterpiece - at max volume.